Talking Sport: Bitterness creeps in among angered fans

Trevor Watson
Trevor Watson

This is the time of the football year when supporters come into their own, crying in the stands after their team have been relegated or tearful when something has been won.

Bitterness has now crept in, led by angry fans at Newcastle, Tranmere, Blackpool and even Leeds.

The Geordies are upset after six successive defeats and no big signings despite money in the bank. They talk of not buying season tickets but are worried that if someone comes in and signs big names, they won’t be able to renew. One-nil to the club.

Tranmere are in grave danger of going out of the league after 94 years. A fan who threw his season ticket in the face of manager Micky Adams was given a standing ovation. Adams left the club the day after and wasn’t.

Blackpool supporters gave up the ghost last June - the only team in the country without an away win, the worst defence in the country and they too have boycotted matches, which might not be a hardship.

Leeds had six Italian players withdraw from the game at Charlton because of injury. It was reminiscent of the old ‘Cumbrian flu’ in rugby league when players were suddenly unfit for trips to Whitehaven or Workington.

Former Leeds hero Trevor Cherry called for those players to be sacked and talked of the club being a shambles but the fans still buy season tickets and there’ll be 5,000 at Sheff Weds on Saturday.

Not so long ago Aston Villa followers were enraged but the arrival of Tim Sherwood as manager seems to have calmed things and they qualified to meet Arsenal in the FA Cup Final by stuffing Liverpool, who seem to flop when it matters these days.

Villa could still be relegated and fans asked which they preferred, a cup win or survival in the league, opted for the latter.

That’s money talking because in 30 years’ time supporters will mention an FA Cup triumph but nobody will say: ‘Do you remember us staying up in 2015?’

In cricket England paceman Jimmy Anderson became his country’s record Test wicket taker,which was fortunate because he covered up the fact that England’s finest couldn’t bowl out the West Indies in four sessions.

The draw inevitably brought talk of a return for Kevin Pietersen, despite the fact it was the bowlers who failed not the batsman. With Pietersen, commonsense goes out of the window.

A commentator remark during the Arsenal v Reading Cup semi-final: ‘It’s just beginning to really get going.’ They’d been playing 30 minutes.

Compare that with three cracking RL games on Sky television last weekend, which ‘got going’ from the outset. A pat on the back also to Sky for having the wit to realise Leigh v Salford in the Cup was worth showing.

So Sam Tomkins turned down a chance of joining Warrington in favour of a return to Wigan. As they say in Parliament: ‘The pies have it.’