Stuart Watson’s Sunday Verdict: Clear cynicism is deep-rooted when not everyone can enjoy wins
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This is not a healthy situation.
Ipswich Town play well, get a much-needed win and now have a golden opportunity to build some momentum. And yet, sadly, many couldn’t bring themselves to enjoy the moment.
The reaction to Saturday’s 2-0 victory at Sunderland spoke volumes about the current mood. In short, there wasn’t a lot. Tumbleweed blew across social media, online forums and news comments sections.
Contrast that to a few hours earlier when team news was met by outcry. Why was Freddie Sears starting ahead of Bersant Celina? Where was the creativity going to come from? Where were the youth team players? What’s the point of it all?
You can bet your bottom dollar that such noise would have intensified had defeat followed. Instead, many dismissed the three points as ‘only’ coming against a side seemingly doomed for relegation and that it’s a result which further ‘papers over the cracks’.
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Please don’t get me wrong, this is not a dig at supporters. Far from it. No, this is merely an observation that cynicism, pessimism and scepticism is seemingly deep-rooted and that a bit of light weeding now and again is not going to truly sort the problem.
Objectively speaking, Mick McCarthy gave a tactical masterclass at the Stadium of Light. He made in-game tweaks to nullify the Black Cats and quieten the crowd, while his grafters on the flanks played vital roles in defence and attack.
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Too many are seeing what they want to see now though. Agendas are set in stone. It seems supporters are firmly on one side of the fence or the other. The blame game is overshadowing the actual game.
McCarthy’s guttural roar at the end and engaging press conference before were a reminder of why everyone sang his name just a few years ago. The defensive walls came down and he educated us all with warm words and openness rather than spiky dismissals. A hint of vulnerability and doubt restored some of the sympathy he no doubt deserves under working strict restrictions.
Why couldn’t he have been like this all the time? Critics are best disarmed through humour. They can be killed with kindness. Unfortunately, the reaction to Saturday’s win suggests too much damage has been done.