Beautiful sunshine and glorious hot weather coupled with a yam yam invasion made me fear the worst today. I met up with some old friends from Wolves before the match and we talked about what the score would be. I said I would be happy with anything below four. We were bridesmaids at a lavish wedding. As it happened I was very happy with just below 4. I wasn’t expecting what came.
I’m not saying we played Wolves at their best. No doubt celebrations have taken their toll and if this match had taken place several weeks ago I doubt the result would have been replicated. Relegation shook the monkey off our back and allowed us room to breathe. It was not without a tinge of resentment that I celebrated the third goal. The what ifs flooded in and the movement and hunger on the pitch reminded me what might have been if we had uncovered it earlier in the season. However, it didn’t. We are relegated. Regardless of the performance today which, at times, was majestic.
How many of those on the pitch will be there in August remains to be seen but there is enough in those young lads who played today to suggest a strong future. That has to be the club’s priority now. Energy, passion and general vim is what set us apart from the league champions today. If anyone with no knowledge of football had watched that they would have easily mistaken the top of the league club from the bottom. We finally had something to be proud of in this shambolic horrible season.
There were many surprising things today. Firstly, the weather which provided Wolves a perfect platform for their party. Secondly was the absence of any individual in the Wolves team who suggested any promise to deliver on the hype. Thirdly however was in the supporters. I feared the worse when I saw a Sunderland supporter dancing around with Wolves fans prior to the match. Were we just the entertainment at someone else’s party? Have some pride about you lads. Then the Wolves fans. Raucous before the match and for the first few minutes but then... The champagne went flat. I still remember our last game at Tranmere. We lost. We won the league. I still have no idea what the score was because Sunderland fans spent the entire match celebrating. That sets us apart from others. If we were in Wolves’ position the place would have been rocking.
Then there were the Sunderland fans. Every last one of the beautiful buggers. In relegation we seem to have lost a few of the negative bunch. Maybe it was the sun or the few pints I had beforehand, but the place basked in positivity. We sang without irony about being the greatest team the world has ever seen, by far. The odd misplaced pass was greeted by “hard lines” and applause. Steele’s name was sounded as a battle cry. Sunderland were reborn today. As the ALS and RAWA plane circled with the mantra that affects us all we realised, we’re stuck with them. Let’s get behind them we’re here till we die after all.
It’s been an awful season but today with the sun shining and a really good performance we have something we haven’t had for a long time. Hope. Not hope based on mathematics that if *insert team name here* lose and we win the next three then we stand a chance. Hope for the future. Stick with it lads and lasses. Keep giving them that support. There may be times when you don’t think they deserve it but this club is built on your backs and you lot nearly brought a tear to my eye today. Sunderland till I die, thank you for reminding me of that today. Now get yourself a beer, you’ve earned it.
To celebrate being complete and utter shite once again, we’re bringing bring back this classic t-shirt from the 05/06 season. Looking back to those halcyon days under Mick McCarthy when we managed to amass an incredible 15 points to see us relegated from the Premier League.
Don’t worry we will reach those lofty heights again but until then we can take comfort in the fact that we’re all... still here when we are shit! Hardcore fans and Sunderland till we die, whichever league we are in and whoever owns the club. Players, manager and chairman come and go. Fans remain. We are the club… click here to view product