Never let it be said that I will not invoke stereotypes if desperate for an opening line. A day at Bootle means that I am perfectly qualified to use the Harry Enfield gag from, oh, twenty years ago about Liverpudlians uttering the above words in high pitched voices.
But I do think that some of us need to. The impact of the excellent win at Stamford Bridge has really hit the region as red and whites have been able to stick their heads above the parapet after the disaster at SJP.
After that hideous experience, some folk went overboard, demanding the defenestration of the entire team and management. Bruce should be sacked, suspended, sent to live in West Cornforth etc. The players were a disgrace and the lot, apart from Bardsley and Bent should be made to play for Brandon United for a month.
Reasoned debate – no; hysterical overreaction – from a handful; understandable lashing out after a humiliation – yes.
Two weeks, and 7 points later, some are hailing this as the result that went around the world. It isn’t. People in China are no more talking about the excellent performance by Nedum Onuoha than they are about the engagement of posh Prince William and working class Hetton lass, Kate Middleton. It barely registers for most people and although we are loving every minute of it (I have watched MOTD 2 at least 456 times!!) it was one game on a relatively quiet weekend.
What we have to do as fans is to treasure it, file it in our memory banks and make sure that, should our next opponents, Everton, refuse to be as lethargic, lazy and lacklustre as Chelsea were on Sunday, we don’t become over-critical.
There will be a good crowd on Monday night. The Greek brother is going, Mr and Mrs Horan will be there, there will be fans of Coventry City, Doncaster Rovers, Blackpool and Manchester United (all one person!!) attending. All will have expectations after the excellent show on Sunday.
Football is not an exact science. It depends on so many variables – the attitude of both sets of players, the fine tuning by the managers, the weather, the phases of the moon and goodness knows what else.
Everton will be fired up for this one. They often do well at the Stadium and they have the best manager in the Premier League in charge. As fans we need to be patient and not expect to go galloping through Distin and Jagielka as easily as we did through the wretched Ivanovic and Ferreira.
Should it be harder, the last things the players want to hear is moans and groans and howls of derision. Mags have been accusing us of being fickle and of not sticking with the team. I can take most things, but having Black and Whites lecture Sunderland fans on loyalty is not one of them.
We supporters showed our quality in the 15 point season. Not once in that annus horribilis did the fans turn on the team or the manager(s). We knew that we were rubbish but we maintained an average of 30,000+. Not many would do that.
Let’s revel in Sunday’s wonderful performance, but let us be equally aware that there are some difficult games coming up. There are no easy games in this season’s Premier League, that’s for sure.
As for me, I am off to put some more water on my woollen bed coverings.