The vocabulary of Norwich City was just the same. Unflattering references to Ipswich.
Fans imploring the side to 'have a little scrimmage' – one of the more curious lines from the legendary club anthem, 'On the Ball, City,' from which the club programme takes its name.
But those returning to this place otherwise found their side changed utterly by what can only be described as the German experiment: a high risk gamble to deliver Norwich back into the Premier League's promised land.
Sunderland striker Lewis Grabban celebrates after opening the scoring against his former side
The club's parachute money is running out – £29m this season and that's their lot – so they are staking it on Daniel Farke, a 40-year-old whose CV lists little more than two year in charge of Borussia Dormund's coach.
Farke keeps dropping the name Jurgen Klopp – another Dortmund alumnus - into the conversation, though the achievements of a third, David Wagner, are what Norwich covet.
They've even poached Huddersfield Town's head of operations, Stuart Webber, as sporting director. Germany's second and fourth tiers are where they've busiest this summer - buying four of their nine summer signings from there.
For 20 minutes or so you wondered why no one else had thought of all this. Though Sunderland were the ones with the bigger parachute payment - £47m at their disposal – Farke's players displayed signs that they were early adopters of the patient game he is trying to introduce.
They knocked the ball out with an excellent precision. It compounded the sense of gloom with which followers of Simon Grayson's new side had arrived.
Farke's English arrivals actually looked the brightest of all in that spell. Harrison Reed, on loan from Southampton, marshalled the back of midfield, waiting for the gaps to appear which Markey Watkins (from Barnsley: another good piece of business) exploited. It wasn't all intricacy.