Come back Jimmy Dunne

Thursday 14 February 2002

Grim days for a griper. Even though I got in a couple of quality quips against the Villa, deep down I knew we were nowhere near as bad as them. If only we could turn in such a gutless second half performance once in a while it might keep my season going.

My fears were confirmed when we swept aside Blackburn Rovers and I could hear sickening words of encouragement from all parts of the ground. People were smiling, cheering and starting to really get behind the lads. This is the unacceptable side of Fulham fans that I for one simply can't understand.

Sadly this disease is spreading. My 10 year-old has now been brainwashed and actually shouts his support from the terraces along with all the other sick 'so-called' supporters. I'd noticed he'd been edging away from me on the terraces for the last few games and he has now taken up with a group of like-minded idiots. He's still young, but what is he learning from these rational and good-natured nutters?

I am now isolated and a haunted by the ultimate nightmare for a lifelong whinger. What if I too am not immune? There have been worrying signs. I try to pretend it didn't happen but I know I punched the air with delight when Steed hit that second and I was guilty of smiling broadly at several moments of the match.

Furthermore I confess I was impressed by the performance of Marlet, so reminiscent of Vic Halom in his pomp. There I go again. Where will all this praise end? In a desperate attempt to stop the rot I have put together a five-point plan for moaners like me who are going through a miserable run of form.

1. Start as you mean to go on. Boo before the players even get on the pitch.
2. Focus. Needlessly pick on one or two players and give them stick throughout.
3. At half time keep the energy up by moaning at the catering staff and passing stewards.
4. Don't panic. Even if we go five-nil up there will always be something to gnaw away at.
5. Blind faith. You have to believe the tide will turn and we will once again be putting in the inept, clueless performances of our cash strapped glory days.

Most importantly, don't get behind the lads. I can't tell you what a lift it gives me.

Happy Moaning

TERRY SPRATT