While the rest of S&C were merrily getting lost on their many alcohol-fuelled journeys watching Sunderland in Europe, some of us were left behind with the graft. I got the task of sorting out the readers' poll, so, armed with a sharpened pencil and my GCSE calculator, I came face to face with the contents of an unhappy postman's sack. In true Terry Wogan, Eurovision style, here are the results from the 1999/2000 ALS Publications Readers' Poll:
Best player: Phillips 93%, Quinn 2%, Makin 2%, Others 3%
Best young player: McCann 57%, Reddy 19%, Oster 6%, Thirlwell 4%, Others 14%
Worst opposing team including Newcastle: Newcastle 93%, Bradford 2%, Wimbledon 1%, Others 4%
Worst opposing team excluding Newcastle: Wimbledon 46%, Bradford 24%, Middlesbrough 13%, Chelsea 6%, Others 11%
Best opposing team: Man Utd 38%, Arsenal 22%, Leeds 19%, Aston Villa 8%, Others 13%
Most improved player: Makin 46%, McCann 40%, Rae 7%, Butler 1%, Others 6%
Favourite player: Makin 36%, Quinn 27%, Phillips 23%, Butler 3%, Gray 1%, Others 10%
Coolest player: Schwarz 34%, Dichio 28%, Makin 23%, Phillips 11%, Others 4%
Hardest player: Makin 36%, Rae 32%, Butler 21%, Ball 11%
Best match for atmosphere: Newcastle 61%, Chelsea 16%, Middlesbrough 9%, Man Utd 6%, Others 8%
Who at the club deserves a pat on the back: Too varied and numerous to list as percentages, but popular answers include John Cooke, Bobby Saxton, Ricky Sbragia, Bob Murray, Samson and Delilah, SuperKev, Nicky Summerbee, Stefan Schwarz, Gavin McCann, Niall Quinn, Chris Makin, Jody Craddock and Steve Bould.
Did we strengthen the squad enough: No 77%, Yes 23%
Which position do you want to see strengthened: Midfield 41%, Central Defence 23%, Left Back 16%, Right Winger 11%, Others 9%
Marks out of 10 for Peter Reid’s performance over the season: 7.9
Marks out of 10 for team’s performance over the season: 8.3
Marks out of 10 for board’s performance over the season: 5.3
Will we spend enough money in the close season: No 54%, Yes 46%
Which player do you most want to see signed: Top of the shopping list were Flo, Scholes, Solskjaer, Butt, Sutton and Thatcher. And for those people who voted whilst in their sleep, or under a watchful eye of the men in white coats, names like Rivaldo, Zidane, Costa, Figo, Ronaldo, Del Piero and Maldini were all commonplace, unlike the suggestion that Reid should buy the entire 1970 Brazil World Cup Squad.
Most positive aspect of the season? A selection: "Challenging for a European Place." "Excellent league position." "Four points from the Mags." "Going second from top, instead of bottom." "Finishing above the Mags." "The way the team adjusted to the pace of the Premiership." "No panic buys around deadline day." "Quinn seeing off the likes of Stam, Campbell and other defences." "Consistency and 100% effort."
Least positive aspect of the season? A selection: "Not applying for the Inter Toto Cup." "The scandal at Prenton Park." "Failure to capitalise on a fantastic start." "The period from Everton away to Southampton away." "Lack of cover for injuries." "Watching the lads getting booed off the pitch home and away." "No silverware." "Reid and his petty arguments." "Players' attitudes towards fans in terms of acknowledging them at the end of away games and not turning up to supporters' events. They've all gone big time."
Best thing about S&C. A selection: “Honest reviews and articles.” “Integrity, it is important to make constructive criticisms about the way our club is run by those in charge.” “Its funny to read before I go to bed." "Humour, it’s a refreshing change.”
Worst things about S&C. A selection: “Whinging letters in the letters page.” “The songs are silly.” “It’s too small, the public want more."
Anything else: "No."
Compiled by Ross Palmer