Now that the players have presumably recovered from having supped far too many soft drinks on New Year’s Eve to be able to compete with Barnsley next day, there is that annual (for us) dilemma: do we really want to add an FA Cup run to a challenging fixtures list?
Monsieur Salut’s heart says yes, the head isn’t so sure.
Tuesday night’s result from Reading has, after all that ludicrous hope inspired by Sunderland’s win at Forest, dumped us at the bottom of the table.
Instead of being 19th, the prize had we beaten Barnsley, we look more likely to have to make do for another season without one of our favourite Who Are You? interviewees, Bernard Ramsdale, whose beloved Wigan will replace us in the Championship unless matters improve.
But on the basis that any Sunderland victory is better than any Sunderland defeat, we should perhaps err on the side of cup romance. Let’s go for it, have a great run and start winning enough Championship games, too, to ensure not just survival but respectability.
I thought of making the competition just for fun this week, but decided in the end to offer a prize again. There are still copies of Tales From the Red and Whites Vol II to dish out so one of them is what you will get if you are the first to predict the correct final score. A Boro fan winning the competition would receive a prize suited to his or her preference – and M Salut has so many Boro-supporting relatives that this cannot be ruled out.
It was through one such relative that we found a Who are You? candidate after the planned interviewee said at rather short notice that he was “too busy” after all.
The interview will appear here later this week. Here’s an extract:
Salut! Sunderland<strong? people can be blasé about the FA Cup and gates are usually low, especially in early rounds, How much does it matter to you as a supporter and how much should to mean to Pulis?
Alex Gunn: It’s always nice to see your team go on a cup run and helps to build confidence around the club. As a fan of a team without much major silverware it would be absolutely massive if we were to ever win it, although this season the focus should definitely be on the Championship and I can see Pulis using this as an opportunity to test out some more players who he hasn’t seen play and may well be thinking of moving on in the transfer window this month.
So the competition has begun. Have a go, have a UK delivery address if you win and Ha’wy the Lads …