Harris Sportsthoughts

Thoughts about Sport

Surviving Sunday

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I’m not in the habit of tuning into Radio 5 for 606 with DJ Spoony. You’ll find more informed football chat on Songs of Praise of a Sunday evening. But when a dejected Newcastle fan called in to complain that her team had been relegated ‘without a whimper’, it seemed like the most forthright condemnation of their performance possible: that they couldn’t even summon as much as a tiny sob as they bowed out at Villa Park.

In fact if Alan Shearer had asked for a whimper during his pre-match teamtalk it is entirely possible that that he’d have been greeted with a gallery of unenthusiastic faces. For this Newcastle side, whimpers require just a bit too much gumption and creativity.

And after the final whistle, as the cameras panned across the obilgatory shots of blubbery teary Geordies , the cheers still rung out from the away support. Christ knows what they were cheering at. It can’t have been the team. Or football for that matter. Maybe the weather. Or the pitch. Or the efficient post-match stewardship of the Villa Park staff.

Survival Sunday was a strangely muted affair. Not a whimper was heard as all four teams still fighting for their Premiership existence lost. If ever there was an advert for increasing the teams relegated to the Championship to five then this was it.

If Phil Brown was embarassed that his Hull team had stayed up despite winning one game all year then he didn’t show it: crooning on the pitch like a pissed uncle at a wedding.

Ricky Sbragia took the other approach and promptly resigned as Sunderland manager. But then his side stopped whimpering weeks ago.

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Written by harrisharrison

May 25, 2009 at 10:34 am

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