How can anyone take ‘Joking Here’ serious

“Tired and emotional” is an oft-used euphemism to describe someone too inebriated to make any sense. But I think ‘Joe Kinnear’s drinking water’ will become my new favourite after the rubbish he spouted in the aftermath of our hard-fought point at St James’ last weekend.

Maybe he already has an eye on his next job after taking Newcastle down. If he’s looking at a career in stand-up comedy then, on this evidence, he could outwit a Bill Hicks/Chris Rock/Jimmy Carr super-clone. However, I suspect a man of his eloquence would be more suited to a Bernard Manning tribute act.

The fat Cockney foul-mouth spent most of the week trying to put Wearside into hysterics by insulting at Charles N’Zogbia, and he was at it again on Sunday.

Despite Sunderland having more shots at goal, both on and off target, Kinnear declared Newcastle had been camped in our half the entire match. Strange how we hit the woodwork, had an effort cleared off the line and looked the most dangerous in the first half.

In fact we only really stopped threatening once Cisse went off with an injury early in the second period. I’m a fair man, and could probably forgive an exaggeration like that in the heat of the moment. But no, he carried on.

Without even a hint of irony or humour in his voice, he then went on to whine about how the referee gave them nothing all afternoon and that the officials were once again against poor little Newcastle. It’s a good job his name rhymes with Joking Here or else I’d have taken him seriously.

Howard Webb gifted them a soft equaliser with a penalty that simply shouldn’t have been. He also dished out more yellow cards to Sunderland and gave more free kicks to Newcastle. It defies belief that even the most biased observer could view the referee’s performance as being against them. But then, this is a man who then went on to praise the loyal Toon Army (you know, the loyal Toon Army that were unable to sell all of their tickets for this fixture) in his post-match comments.

It would be unfair of me to rake up old arguments here to prove what an over-rated, horrible, arrogant, vile set of fans they are, so I’ll just point to last Sunday’s evidence.

Firstly they recruited opera star Graham Danby to belt out the Geordie ditty Blaydon Races with kick off approaching to rouse the home fans. At proper clubs, the supporters are loud enough to generate their own atmosphere, but at St James’ they’re spoon-fed.

Don’t question how passionate or loud they are though, oh no.

The next and easily most despicable piece of behaviour was their attitude towards Kenwyne Jones when he went down hurt after a strong but fair challenge from Bassong. When the Trinidad tormentor stayed on the floor, a large number of black and white morons cheered.

And not just a quiet sigh of relief that an opponent’s danger man may need to end his afternoon early. This was full on celebration and, barring the equaliser, I don’t think I heard a bigger cheer from them all game. If you call that the best support in the world, Joe, you’re a lunatic.

Thankfully Ricky Sbragia was the voice of reason and pointed out that whilst Newcastle might have had the better of the second-half, we’d dominated the first and that a draw was a fair result overall.

If he’d been able to keep us as fired up in the second 45 minutes and won he’d have cemented his place in the hearts of Sunderland fans. Michael Chopra managed to do the very opposite with a horrendous miss at the death.

There are sections of our support who he still hasn’t won over and squaring to Jones instead of sending Newcastle to the sword meant that element certainly didn’t mourn his exit and return to Cardiff City yesterday.

Still, we’re unbeaten in all four derby games this season so we have local bragging rights, especially with Newcastle only a point away from the drop and Middlesbrough joint bottom. We’re also only one win away from the top half of the table and if you’d given most Sunderland fans that scenario at the beginning of the season we’d have taken it.

Let’s hope we kick on from here.

* Martyn McFadden

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