What they say

Monday 21 January 2002

From Ian McCulloch

After what seemed to be a thoroughly entertaining afternoon's football, I would have thought that the supporters of both Fulham and Sunderland would have gone home happy with the way things turned out.

Fulham dominated for a large part of the game and will be disappointed that they weren't able to stamp their authority on the whole match, but it was a performance that surely augers well for the future. Sunderland for their part will have taken some positives from the way their team came back in the second half to claim a point and they could even have gone on to win the game.

So things should be reasonably up beat? I thought I'd have a look at the Black Cat's message boards just to see what they thought of it all.

Three topics dominate. The general hatred of manager Peter Reid, accusations over who was booing the team in the second half, and a general rant about Rodney Marsh who must have said something derogatory about the North East on Sky Sports. What I couldn't find was very much about was the actual game itself, and there was virtually nothing about Fulham. It was almost as though the Whites hadn't made it to the match.

I've reproduced a few of the messages here, but I'm very restricted as the majority were so offensive that I felt I was breaking the law just by reading them!

Slp's comments were fairly typical, although he could almost be accused of sitting on the fence compared to a lot of the stuff I read:

"Get rid of this loser. He won't spend. He either buys rubbish or sits on his wad. There are no more SKP's (Phillips) out there. He was lucky to get SKP on a plate. We will now go down unless Reid goes. Reid out!!!!!"

Toosb echoed a lot of fan's criticisms that Reid is too scared to come out of his dugout - and who could blame him knowing this lot were behind you:

"Saxton never ventured more than a yard out of the dugout all game. And Reid only left once, when McCann was coming off. That is quite ridiculous and I have never seen anything like it before."

??? (no really, that was his name) made a plaintive little cry into the wilderness:

"Is there something wrong with us? Resigned to being mediocre are we? Are we just poxy Sunderland who shouldn't expect any better than we are getting."

The rest of the message degenerated into swearing as ??? presumably went out to find a dog to kick.

Greg was so restrained in his comments that some of his compatriots speculated on whether he was actually still alive:

"After months of backing him I have now completely lost all faith in our manager. The team deserves its fair share of criticism too but Peter Reid insists on playing the same old rubbish each week."

'Reid Out' came straight to the point:

"Just cos I can't stand Reid does not mean I do not love the club."

A couple of the things Reid said in interviews upset the fans. PR quoted him and then gave his considered opinion:

"But we kept on going, played well and the players showed a lot of character. I'm delighted with them. Played well" IS HE KIDDING?! We were awful - Fulham should have hammered us."

There you are, we were playing - I knew it. Reid had also made a comment about having a broad back when questioned about the fan's criticism. Tyler Durden was one of hundreds who got agitated about that:

"Monkey (Peter Reid, allegedly) said that it was ok if people got on his back cos he's got a big back! In that case why did he hide for the full 90 minutes.

Not once did he come to the touchline to bark out orders, neither did Bobby or Adrian. He is being paid 40 000 a week to manage our club and he is taking the p**s right out of us!

It stinks, our club has gone rotten and we need to make some sort of stand before its too late!Sack the Monkey."

Dave had a comment about Reid and one John Carew. Carew's agent said he wanted to go somewhere with ambition - sounds sensible to me:

"Can anyone out there tell me what Reid is doing, we must make a number of good signings now, two or three more losses and we'll be bottom.

Have a look at today's Teamtalk. Carew won't sign for us because "Sunderland and Reid have no ambition". Not really news to us, he's been doing things on the cheap for years and it's not working any more."

So what was all that booing in the first half? This was Mackem4ever's view: "I would just like to say that I was appalled when some "loyal" fans started to boo the team after just three or four minutes. What chance have we got if the crowd are on their backs from the start waiting for mistakes. For what it is worth I thought the fans were brilliant today and we saw what effect it had on the players."

Young Mackem agreed:

"Please let us get behind the team from the start the noise we generated from the north stand was deafening at times and the idiots in the south west, SHUT UP!"

The communications between those in the South West stand accused of booing and those in the rest of the stadium doing the accusing, were long, voluble and obscene. None of it was printable. Lets thank our lucky stars we don't have any of that bad-tempered feuding between different parts of our ground, eh? At any rate, Redstripe had it all sorted:

"There was no "Reid Out" chant yesterday, it was Fulham fans."

The naughty blighters. Anyway, someone called Match Ratings summed it all up very nicely:
"Atrocious, utter crap
Fulham are miles better
Reid must go
Again no subs
Never left the bench once, useless cowardly "jobs for the boys"
WE (The Crowd) got the lads a point thanks to the atmosphere
How much longer must we put up with this?!

MackemMagic said:
"Regarding the boo boys, I don't have a problem when the booing is understandable, i.e. booing at Reid after the match or when he comes out near the touchline (hardly ever if you look). But when you boo the players after 2 minutes, like when Killa lost the ball, that's not on.

Anyone see the fight in the men's loo just before half time in the loos nearest the Charlie Hurley food thing??"

What on earth is the Charlie Hurley food thing? I can imagine fighting over a Liz Hurley food thing, but not in the loo surely?

Toosb posed an interesting question: "We had ten full internationals out there, so why was it so awful? Also, how come Bergkamp, Stam and Overmars will not be going to World Cup and yet Kilbane is? Sometimes football just don't make sense."

I know the feeling, we've had a few Kilbanes of our own over the years. Dave, replying to Lanky, thought a comparison with Fulham was on the cards - one of the few who realised we were actually there:

"I agree with you, it may be that as a PLC we don't have the funds to spend, but we didn't before we were either. But Reid has said in the past he has funds but he WAS satisfied with the squad. If he would come clean that would be a start.

Mind you Fulham have spent 50Million and have only scored 8 away this season, and we got a draw today. I was at Craven cottage last year mind, and we were awful."

There's that thing again - Fulham never play well against anyone, the other side always have an off day.

And finally, Mackemansj asked: "Did Reidy really try to buy Lee Clark back?"
The response from Roughy? "Yep, just read it. Wouldn't want him anyway, he's c**p!"

They really know their football up there, don't they? Oh, and Rodney Marsh? "Blinkered southern git" seems to be about the sum of it!