Salut! Sunderland is in an irrational hurry to reach that third millionth hit. It will happen sooner or later but posting Guess the Score early in the week will hasten progress towards the milestone. Don’t forget there’s another competition, arising from our little statistical celebration, and that carries a prize worth £50 at https://safc.blog/2016/01/a-mighty-thank-you-as-salut-sunderland-reaches-three-million/. Now guess the score in Saturday’s FA Cup third round game at the Emirates …
It seems only five minutes since we were last in the hushed cloisters of north London’s principle football cathedral (sorry Spurs but your little ground is more of a chapel). There were encouraging signs in that Premier game and 3-1 was a scoreline to flatter Arsenal, though we cannot take credit for having silenced their fans since – on the admission of many of their own – they’re always like that.
Now the stakes are different. The FA Cup is a trophy Arsenal can actually win so Saturday probably means a lot more to them than it does to us, what with our rather pressing problems at the bottom of the Premier League. OK, that was unnecessarily cruel on the Gunners;’ present place in football’s pecking order; they look the only team capable of stopping Manchester City win the title and, on balance as decided by my preference for their manager, I’d like that to happen.
Back to the cup. The heart says “go for it” and even the head remembers we both reached a final and stayed up a couple of seasons ago. Plenty of fans, though not a majority I suspect, would settle for relegation if there was the glory of our first significant trophy in 42 years to ease the pain.
The reality is that Big Sam will send out a team commensurate with the more urgent demands that lie ahead in games at Swansea and, absurdly soon afterwards, Tottenham. Maybe that will give us a chance to see whether the young bloods Pete Sixsmith and other see at Under 21 level can press for first-team recognition.
Now is the time to Guess the Score. Our Arsenal “Who are You” interviewee, a man also called Sixsmith and a disloyal family member to boot, reckons it will be a home romp, 3-0.
Andy Sixsmith, the sports presenter for Made in Tyne and Wear TV, also believes Sunderland will go down and that Arsenal will win the cup again. Let’s hope he is wrong on at least the first two of those predictions; if not, he’ll have his Uncle Pete to answer to.
Come back later in the week to see his interview in full.
And for now, have a go at Saturday’s score. A mug from our generous Weardale-based sponsors, Personalised Football Gifts, awaits the supporter – who can be a fan of either club, or neither – who is the first to post the correct result. The design of the mug varies according to the winner’s allegiance. our version looks like this (with the name of your choice as No 12) …
As usual, Monsieur Salut’s decision shall be final. And yes, he wants Sunderland to win and go on to have a great run all the way to Wembley – and still survive in the league.
Ha’way the Lads.