The Manchester United ‘Who are You?’: go down, Sunderland, for Poznan stunt

Jake asks the question

In the league table of human wickedness
, the Poznan mockery by Sunderland supporters – after Manchester United lost the title in extraordinary fashion despite beating us on the final day – is lower than the Inquisition, the Holocaust and 9/11. It’s not even as bad as singing ‘you’re s**** and you know you are’. But there are those from Manchester and many, many more from hotbeds of United suport in SE Asia, the USA and Woking who took it as a glaring example of Man’s inhumanity to Man. Scott the Red*, a good friend to Salut! Sunderland, was so upset he wants us to go down. Since he also believes we make too much fuss about diving, we may conclude judgement has deserted him. Scott, the brains behind both the Republik of Mancunia site and the all-club By Far the Greatest Team blog**, expects revenge on Saturday (as if United needed a trivial grievance to be favourites) …

Jake asks: 'greatest mismatch in history or a shock in the waiting?'

Salut! Sunderland: The first Manchester derby of the season brought you last-gasp victory. What is your assessment of the way it went?

Obviously the result was what we wanted and to win it in injury time was brilliant, but I was really pleased with our performance and the way we approached the game. Ferguson bottled it last season at the Etihad by looking for the draw. The team selection and formation showed we meant business and we were rewarded for that. If not for the linesman disallowing Young’s goal at 3-0 and not spotting Toure’s foul on Evra on the box, we could have had a real thrashing on our hands.

What is it like to have such intense rivalry again without having to look outside Manchester towards Liverpool or London?

I thought it would be a lot worse than it has been to be honest, particularly when they won the league. I don’t know many City fans though so maybe that’s why I’ve escaped it. It’ll never be like the rivalry we have with Liverpool, pure hatred, because at least they’re Mancs too.

And how were the bragging rights manifested after that 6-1 drubbing last season (obviously adapt to take in any serious thumping, either way, on Sunday)?

City fans celebrated the anniversary of that game on Twitter ( and in a banner they have at their ground celebrating being champions they incorporate the 1-6. It’s pretty small time for fans of the champions. It was a bad day for us though, there’s no escaping that. It’s forgotten we were only 1-0 down before we went down to 10 men in the first minute of the second half and in the 89th minute it was a fairly respectable 3-1. Instead of shutting up shop, as any sensible team would have done, we kept pouring forward to try and get another goal instead of acknowledging that the game had gone.

We must be approaching an anniversary – third, fifth, tenth? – of the first time someone asked whether it was time for Sir Alex Ferguson to retire or stand aside. How much longer will he continue to dismiss such thoughts?

Who knows? If he’s still doing the job well enough, why would he retire? He won’t want to leave the job without a strong team in place but equally, why would he want to leave a strong team for some other manager to win trophies with when he could do it himself?

He doesn’t seem ever to get bored managing a team that pretty much expects to win everything in sight. Could you stomach supporting a useless or just ordinary club?

United has been in my family for generations. My dad was going to Old Trafford when we became the first English club to win the European Cup and a few years later he was watching us in Division 2. Since winning his first trophy with us 1990, Ferguson hasn’t gone longer than one season at a time without winning something. I know I’m totally spoilt by that and the expectation I have at the start of every season is to win the league. But essentially, your team is your team. I’m just fortunate that my local team is one of the best in the world!

I have never hated Manchester United, as you know from our many exchanges, but many do. Has the despicable side of Chelsea or the limitless money of Citeh deflected such hatred to any extent you have noticed?

To a certain extent, yes. Whilst nobody likes the team at the top, I have had conversations with rival fans who at least seem to appreciate the way United have been successful, even if that doesn’t necessarily make them like us more. City and Chelsea don’t bring through players and they do little for developing English talent. Five players in our squad on Sunday came from our youth team (six if you count Rafael da Silva who signed for us when he was 16) and 10 were English. City didn’t have any former academy players in their squad and just three were English.

Who are the greatest players you have seen, or wished you’d been around to see, in United colours and who should have been allowed nowhere near them?

Spitting Image puppet of Eric Cantona at the National Football Museum in ManchesterImage: Duncan Hull at the National Football Museum

Eric Cantona is the most special United player I’ve seen. He made things happen and inspired our team to greatness. Who knows what would have happened to those kids that Hansen said wouldn’t win anything if in their first season they failed? Cantona saw to it that we won the Double in their first season in the first team squad and that impact is immeasurable. Ryan Giggs was an incredibly exciting players. It’s easy to forget how skilful and fast he was. Cristiano Ronaldo was something else, particularly during that 07-08 season. If he didn’t score two goals in a game you’d think he’d had an off day. Roy Keane was immense. Ferguson once said that Keano wasn’t the fastest player but if you put the ball down in training he was the fastest to it. That sums him up. He was a brilliant captain. The best footballer is Paul Scholes though. Without question. Sir Bobby Charlton, who got to play alongside the likes of Best and Law, said Duncan Edwards was the only player who ever made him feel inferior. He was only 21 when he died. You can only imagine what kind of player he would have become.

Wes Brown, John O’Shea, Phil Bardsley, Fraizer Campbell – and, of course, Keano, Bruce, Welbeck, Evans, Louis Saha, briefly Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke, er Bellion in the past. Rap my knuckles now if I’ve overlooked others but what do you make of the United-SAFC connections?

Crime of the century or inevitable banter?

I used to have a bit of a soft spot for Sunderland, being honest. It wasn’t just that so many of our ex players went to Sunderland, but so many players we had a strong connection with. You’ve had loads of our former youth team players, you’ve had two of our captains as your manager, and our Treble winning strikeforce. But after your fans celebrated City’s title win last season, I don’t have much time for Sunderland. In all honesty, I hope you get relegated… and that Wes and O’Shea go to the other United graveyard, Everton.

And how lucky were we to avoid Darron Gibson?

He seems to have done alright for Everton. He was never going to be good enough for United but he’s got the right mentality. He really wanted to make it at United though so stayed longer than he should have. He’s only two years younger than Rooney but in terms of his development, he’s at least 10 years behind. He’s only played 69 league games which is nothing for a player of his age.

See also: Goldy’s Logic: injecting a hint of proportion into the Poznan debate:

You see Pete Sixsmith’s wonderfully entertaining gloom each week at your By Far The Greatest Team site – how do you rationalise the Sunderland woes he has the duty to describe?

It’s a strange one. You’ve spent a lot of money, you’ve got a decent (although massively overrated) manager and plenty of experience in the squad. I don’t watch any of your games, only read about them (thanks to Pete) so I’m probably not best qualified to judge.

Will United bounce back/now go on to win the title again this season? Champions League? And what about those petty little doemstic cups?

I think we’ll win the league every season. The odds are against City because it’s so rare for a team that isn’t United to retain the title. As for Europe, I wouldn’t say our squad was anywhere near good enough. But watching Chelsea get battered game after game and still win it should give faith to every club still in the competition.

So, the top four in order, and who’s going down and – unless just mentioned! – where SAFC will finish?

1 United
2 City
3 Chelsea
4 Spurs

16 Sunderland

18 Southampton
19 Reading
20 QPR

Diving: Rooney is often accused, even SAF found it hard to defend Young, Suarez is almost a pantomime act and every club has ’em: Ridgewell (WBA), Osman (Everton), Torres (Chelsea), Bale (Spurs) and name your own Sunderland culprits (I recall a certain suspicion about Bardo from the season before last). Should we just stop caring?

Yes. I can understand the anger when a player dives against your team and it costs you, but it’s time for people to get over the rage. Players cheat and when your team benefits, it would be rare for fans to get worked up about it. Retrospective punishments would help sort it but those at the top don’t seem to care too much about it… unless it’s Eduardo, for some reason.

What single development would make football seem more in touch with ordinary supporters?

It’s probably gone past that point now, hasn’t it? Making tickets cheaper. They cope just fine with it in Germany. Would love to see standing sections back too.

Will you be at our game? What will be the score?

I will be, yes. 3-1 United.

* Scott the Red runs the highly successful Manchester United fan site.

** He is also responsible for the relatively new blog that reaches out to fans of all clubs, By Far The Greatest Team which, once it breaks into profit, will doubtless be paying Pete Sixsmith handsomely for reproducing his incomparable Soapboxes.

Colin Randall disguised as Monsieur Salut, by Matt

See also: Monsieur Salut talks all things Sunderland at ESPN FC:

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49 thoughts on “The Manchester United ‘Who are You?’: go down, Sunderland, for Poznan stunt”

  1. Even Skott’s boss has a sense of humour and thinks it was all a (foolish) joke:

    Sir Alex also spoke on his disappointment in the reaction of Sunderland’s fans on the final day of last season but accepts it was more foolish than malicious:

    “Their fans’ reaction on the last day was disappointing. When you think about the players we’ve given them over the years, including Evans and Simpson, who helped them win promotion. I don’t think it was malicious from their fans, just foolishness; they were just enjoying the moment.”

    • In the unlikely event of a win (or even a point) at Old Trafford today, I hope all our fans face the rear of the stand, link arms and bounce up and down. Failing that, they could do a Poznan.

      • They did a poznan every time you conceded instead. I bet your players love looking up to the fans to see them celebrating another loss…

  2. Hi lads (and lasses)

    Little prelude: I’m a United fan, I’m from Manchester, I go to every home game and as many aways as I can.

    I don’t understand how this Poznan thing has caused so much fuss. Scott’s reading far too much into it, it’s a shame he and his website have so much influence over a large readership as it’s increasingly full of bitter articles. If any Reds are getting upset by this Sunderland thing then they really do need to do one. When we get all wound up like Scousers then it’s no wonder opposition fans like to take the piss, and fair enough. This whole internet-football-fan nonsense is becoming a joke.

    Anyway, looking forward to a good game tomorrow, and hopefully 3 points. Come on the Reds.


  3. My final comment on this thread. Scott the red has already said players cheat and we shouldn’t be angry for too long. It also appears that players can not only cheat but they can taunt fans – at least Man Utd’s can:

    The last game I went to (at Goodison) cost £32 for a view of a pillar and the beer was twice the price of that in the pubs outside.

    Are we (fans of all clubs) not being somewhat exploited and taken for granted? Could that explain some behaviour

    • jebus christ man, referencing a people article thats embrassing

      “After the year I’ve had, with its ups and downs, it was a big moment,” he said. “But I stepped up for the team and the kick went in.

      “It’s an incredible feeling to get that 19th title to make us the most successful club of all time. And as an Everton fan, winning it is special.”

      Rooney really taunting the bin dippers in that article, bet you just read the headline

      What a muppet you turned out to be

  4. Bitter about what? I believe, Sir, the whole substance of this debate has been created by Scott, and other Man Utd fans, being so childish about a other childish behaviour at the end of the season, that they wish relegation upon us.

    Who is bitter, exactly?

    • So essentially you’re saying its okay for the Poznan-ing Sunderland supporters to act in a childish manner?

      The crux of the debate is Sunderland supporters celebrating the title defeat of Man Utd. The only reason for them to do that is because they hate Man Utd.

      Why then couldn’t Man Utd fans return the hatred?

      IMO, I wouldn’t be thinking nice thoughts about someone who’s celebrating my downfall, especially by mimicking the (ripped-off) trademark of the one who inflicted the downfall.

      • I can understand the hatred at the time – but as we keep reiterating, you lot done similar when we were relegated in 2006. Scott passes this off as a minority located near our fans at the time. Well, ditto in this case.

        We don’t go on about it.

        Sunderland fans don’t hate Man Utd – well some probably do. The crux of it, that ANY side in the country would have received the same kind of banter. Childish? maybe. Extraordinary or hate driven? certainly not.

        Here’s what we thought of it back in the summer

      • Search “Sunderland Poznan” on YouTube. It is a lie to claim that United fans did anything like the same or are in any way comparable. I’m all for debate but you’ve got to be honest. It becomes pointless if you are going to lie. Come on now.

      • Not lying. Hundreds of Man U fans either side of ours mocked us. Only difference is no dramatisation because it wasn’t replicating something from a rival club – but only because there wasn’t one involved. It wasn’t filmed or deemed relevant but the principals are the same. It was one small part of our ground that participated. Not the whole ground.

  5. Why are sunderland fans so bitter, funny because they’re actually a big club with a decent history. I really do hope you go down.

  6. Why do you think they spell Republic with a “K” at the end?

    Is this the final bugle call on the fight for literacy?

    • Didn’t hurt my feelings. It just made me realise how small time Sunderland fans were. I thought Stoke were the only PL club with fans like that, and I’ve long wanted them to go down. It’s cringeworthy.

      • I think it did hurt your feelings, otherwise this debate wouldn’t have started. How small time to make anything of the Poznan thing to such a degree

      • PMSL at Scott the red throwing his toys out the pram. I know you claim to be a grown up but come on your 6 really (at least in the head) to take this so personal. You get upset at fans giving a little bit back after all your fans/supporters have given to other clubs. Any team celebrating early and then a couple of minutes later finding things have changed would get the like. Is it not time to get over it. Yes we will probably lose tomorrow at OT just like we lost to you twice last season (but we did not lose to City then) which seems to go just a little over your head.

      • For the 100th time, I’m not upset and I haven’t taken it personally. If we won the league and your fans started celebrating because they were playing City, I would think that was pathetic too. If you are happy with being City/Liverpool fans for the day, cool, but I’d be embarrassed if our fans did the same. If you’re not, fine, Agree to disagree.

      • What are you on about?

        The only things you ever have debates about are things that have upset you?

        You must be upset that I’ve called your fans pathetic for celebrating City winning the league then, right? Otherwise you wouldn’t be having this debate? I am sorry for hurting your feelings.

  7. I remember walking out of Old Trafford in May 1968 with Mike Clarke and we put our arms around each others shoulders and danced with delight because…………………
    I’m making it up. Wish I had done though.

    • Thanks Pete. A nice reminder to all here that your fans haven’t always been pathetic. Like I’ve said, it’s this nu-fan bullshit. Probably saw it on Soccer AM and thought it would be hilarious.

  8. I might have added that putting the petty comments to one side for a moment that this is arguably the weakest article in a country mile or two, that we’ve seen all season in the WAY series.

    The author is from the “Republic of Mancunia” apparently. We have no way of knowing exactly where he hails from. On this occasion I suspect that a Man Utd “fan” from Uttoxeter or Malmesbury might have done better.

    • Strange that the majority of Man Utd fans will probably have a greater distance to travel to Old Trafford than many of our fans!

    • How original. Another petty, small-minded Sunderland fan. Go and Poznan yourself off to the shops singing YNWA eh.

      • It obviously is a ‘big deal’ cos it’s made you change your entire opinion on the club. You have gone from liking them to wanting them to go down. If it wasn’t a big deal we wouldn’t be here now having this conversation.

      • As I’ve repeatedly said, it hasn’t made me change my mind on Sunderland Football Club. I don’t have an opinion either way. But I think that fans who are more concerned with the opposition than they are their own club are pathetic. Cheering City winning the league and singing Liverpool’s YNWA makes me cringe. It’s the kind of thing Stoke fans do. So I’m not going to lose any sleep over it but I will be glad if you’re Poznaning and YNWAing in the Championship next year.

      • you were rude to us in 2006. I hope you get relegated. Jesus, Scott, if you get that touchy about the fans of other clubs being a tad sarcastic towards your team, you’ll be wanting nineteen teams to be relegated.. Of course football changed “thanks” to the Sky TV mentaility, but I would suggest that those clubs which benefit most from Sky are those who carry that mentality to games – when they actually go. Which, of course, includes Man Utd.

        PS we’ve been singing “YNWA” for more than the forty odd years I’ve been going, as have most other clubs, and it has only become treated as a song belonging to LFC “thanks” to the Sky mentality. Other clubs sing “we’re on our way”, which SAFC fans originally sang, and at least we used some of our own words in it, unlike YNWA. Soon, no doubt, other clubs will be singing “he’s our keeper, our Spanish keeper, he’s David De Gea…De Gea, de Gea….” and we won’t cringe.

        Grow up, man

  9. The picture at the top of the ESPN article says it all. Picture taken ” “after Utd lost the title”. Lost being the main word. I suspect this is the main reason for all this sour grapes and threatening posturing. Man U LOST the title and their fans can’t take it.

  10. There’s a long winded debate about this here when really it’s very simple. Most of us don’t like Man Utd. It seems to have come as a shock to them. It shouldn’t have.

    • Do you see your small time mentality in display now, buddy. Picking at the petty ‘nothings’. Must you be this defeatist?

  11. Slight overreaction from your fans here. Not saying I hate Sunderland or your fans I don’t, I just hope you get relegated. That’s fair enough. After celebrating another team winning the league last season, I would think it was funny if you were relegated. I wouldn’t embarrass myself and celebrate it, but I hope it happens. In the same way, I would love Stoke to get relegated. They spend more time abusing the opposition than supporting their own players. I’m not a massive fan of the modern football fan and “banter”, as it’s passed off as. Making yourselves and your club look embarrassingly small time is called “banter” and somehow you think that excuses making knobs of yourselves.

    Pete Sixsmith was at Old Trafford in 68 when you beat us and City won the league. Do you think your fans were celebrating City’s title win then? Do you think if you’d lost that day your fans would have been jumping up and down because City won the league? Course not. Football has changed, course, but the Soccer AM watching, “who are ya?” chanting muppets don’t appeal to me. If you’re OK with losing the last game of the season but celebrating Manchester City winning the league, cool. Personally, I’d be embarrassed if our fans were so small time, but each to their own.

    It’s not a big deal and it doesn’t need to become one. It doesn’t make me angry or upset, and I’m not slagging off Sunderland Football Club. I just didn’t realise your fans were so pathetic. No biggie.

    • But Scott, you have brushed off Man Utd fans who mocked our 2006 relegation as being a minority seated near our fans at the time. As if it was reactional to the situation at the time; spontaneous behaviour rather than planned disdain displayed by Old Trafford as a collective unit. Fair enough.

      But let’s get this right, the whole of the Stadium of Light did NOT all jump around and celebrate. Similar to your version of events in 2006, it was merely a small section of the ground located next to the fans who reacted in this way. This was them reacting spontaneously to the situation that had presented itself – have no doubt the Man Utd players would have been applauded with the utmost respect had events unfolded differently.

      This was in no way planned disdain displayed by the Stadium of Light as a collective unit. Fair enough, I say.

      • I suggest you search “Sunderland fans Poznan” on YouTube. Incredible for you to claim that United fans behaved anything like that when you were relegated. Why would we give a fuck? We’d just drawn at home against the worst side in the league and our title hopes were over. No offence, but it’s a complete lie to suggest our fans behaved anything like yours did.

        Your fans have sung “You’ll Never Walk Alone” at Old Trafford before.

        City? Liverpool? Sunderland? Who do you lot actually support? All this “banter” seems to confuse you.

      • I was there, it was the South West corner – one part of the ground. We sing ‘you’ll never walk alone’ at Liverpool as well to wind them up.

        It’s no different from when we get called Geordies with the intention of us being wound up. And I have witnessed a lot of relegations – and bar one – the opppsition always throw it in our faces. So what?

      • So what indeed. As I said earlier, I don’t think it’s a big deal, it’s just not for me. If United and Sunderland were rivals, it would make more sense to me, but your fans pretending to be City/Liverpool fans for the day just makes me cringe. You’re not embarrassed by it, and that’s fine, but I would be if our fans were celebrating another team winning the title or singing them anthem of another club. It’s the modern day gimpy football fan that behaves in such a way. Ask Pete Sixsmith if it even crossed his mind to celebrate City’s title win in 68. We both know what his answer will be.

      • I don’t know many City fans though so maybe that’s why I’ve escaped it. It’ll never be like the rivalry we have with Liverpool, pure hatred, because at least they’re Mancs too.


        What % of your support comes from within Manchester, compared to that of City?

        I don’t think that there will be any comparison!

        In my eyes the majority of modern day Utd fans are nothing more than “glory hunters” and that is the only reason they have attached themselves to Utd.

        I, deliberately, referred to them as fans, rather than supporters because the vast majority have never even set foot inside Old Trafford.

        They also, though,display the same condescending, abusive attitude to opposition supporters as those that do and yet you have the temerity to criticise others for reciprocating when the chance presets itself!

        Why is it that the word “hypocrite” springs to mind!

        In addition, you may care to consider the behaviour of your away support.

        They’ve trashed the concourse at the SOL on more than one occasion, stealing from kiosks in organised gangs, threatening staff and then smashing the place up!

        Yet you expect us to treat them with respect.

        Oh for the days when Utd supporters possessed humility and were welcoming, knowledgeable, respectful and appreciated good performances from their opponents.

        They, certainly, used to demonstrate all of those qualities, in abundance, as I witnessed first hand when I stood on the Stretford, wearing my colours, on my first visit to OT in ’64.

    • First the preamble: my dad said Duncan Edwards was the best player he ever saw.

      Now my main point: You write “I can understand the anger when a player dives against your team and it costs you, but it’s time for people to get over the rage”.

      Isn’t it time you got over being angry with fans for doing what they do – in all clubs? Do you think that if MUFC had sent us down that day your fans at the SOL would have refrained from taunts? Of course they would have.

      If it had been City (or Chelsea, Arse, NUFC, Stoke or whoever) who were stopped from winning the title on the last day of the season the opposing fans’ behaviour would have been the same, wherever they were playing and that includes MUFC fans, or at least those whose mouths weren’t stuffed with prawn sandwiches. As you came up through the ranks I’d have expected you to be such a fan, and therefore able to take such things in your stride, which is why I find your post so disappointing.

  12. If the result in the Mancs derby had only been 2-1 and not 6-1 then both teams would have had identical records so perhaps the good people of Salford should be looking closer to home to realise why Sunderland fans had the opportunity to indulge in a bit of light hearted mickey taking. That they failed to realise that was all it was (and provoked in some part by their own responses to the early news from the Etihad) says more about them than it does about us. Oh and of course had we not been the only side to take 4 points of Citeh and rolled over twice, the last day would have been irrelevant – but of course that has conveniently slipped the minds of Reds’ fans.

    Am I bothered about their supporters’ attitude to the Poznan? Of course not. Man U and Chelsea fans are amongst the least likeable opposition supporters for their arrogance and total lack of humour.

    There must be some decent ones out there somewhere, as I refuse to tar all with the same brush, but I haven’t met one yet.

  13. Just posted this at Scott’s RoM site:

    No grudge against or hatred of MUFC as Scott the Red and RoM readers with memories should know.

    But have to say, lads, as implied or stated when introducing the Scott interview and at Twitter ( @salutsunderland ) that if you genuinely need such a petty grievance as an incentive to beat a fairly awful Sunderland (as we’ve been for most of this season) , you’ve become more insecure than I thought …

  14. I don’t think any SAFC fan, or any fan in the country, gave a stuff who won the last day battle of the Mancs. If the roles had been reversed, City would have been given the same treatment. Utd or City? Who gives a sh*t?

  15. Must be terrible not winning the league for once. And it was all our fault.

    After all, we only took 4 points off City for god’s sake!

    Sorry for having a laugh at the end of the season,but we all salut! you genuine born ‘n bred Manchester reds who have bravely stuck by your team for this season despite not having everything your own way at all times.

    It is a level of loyalty we plastic Sunderland fans can only aspire to!

    • Certainly, we gained 4 points against City last season but, from their perspective, they lost 5!

      So, 5 points dropped against us but 6 gained against Utd and Utd fans want to remember us for their having missed out!

      No class, no style and very few Mancunians!

  16. Decent read apart from the childish respomse to the Poznan thing – or ws there a toungue in cheek that I couldn’t see? I’ve spoken to genuine Man U fans who thought our reaction was funny, so it’s not all of them with no sense of reality.
    When they’ve beaten us in the past, they’ve done far worse things in our direction – are we bothered? No. Is it because they are so seldom in position where fans of other clubs can take the mick? Probably, but they really need to grow up a bit on this front. I don’t dislike Man U as a team – indeed, I’ve paid money to watch them in european competition – as they’re generally very good to watch, but the superior attitude of some of the fans get further up my nose than a nasal spray. If you can’t take it, don’t give it out. Having said all that, I fully expect them to win the league, so we won’t have the opportunity to see if there’s any sarcasm on the last day.
    ….and relax

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