At the end of a long or distressing trial, the judge commonly turns to the jurors, thanks them for their patience and care and adds: “You may be excused further jury service for life.”
As the long – or so it seemed – and distressing game at the Reebok drew to a close, I wondered whether football fans might also benefit from such exemptions.
This, for anyone who remembers how our team celebrated going up as champions in 1996, was our Tranmere moment: a whimpering and passion-free performance that got pretty much what it deserved.
If some – most ? – of the 14 players used by Keano yesterday were fighting for their Premiership futures, they gave a fairly convincing impression of doing the opposite. Since I feel entitled to a refund of my sports channel package in Abu Dhabi, I hate to think of the sort of compensation claims being drafted on behalf of the 3,000 fans who travelled. Play like this next Sunday, lads, and you’ll be slaughtered.
Twelve years ago, I left Prenton Park hoping the dismal 2-0 defeat had at least shown the directors how much the team needed strengthening if it was to survive in the Premiership.
No such luck then. We played all season with one up front, and the one was Paul Stewart, and suffered yet another relegation.
It defies belief that the club’s current leadership will be as relaxed and complacent about what needs to be done this summer. But thank goodness, as Pete Sixsmith put it in Sixer’s Sevens, we didn’t need any points.
Come back later today for a happier Salut! Sunderland posting, complete with a trio (it’s growing!) of heartening YouTube clips.