It’s that time of the year again, the first fortnight of a new season when Sunderland supporters tell themselves the spirit of ’73 will be revived by the start of a new march all the way to a Wembley final.
We look at the draw for the first round in which SAFC are involved and, assuming progress, wonder who we’ll get next and at each subsequent stage before the Lads triumph in the final. Come January we are thinking similar thoughts about the FA Cup. This, we say, will be our year and not before time.
That’s the theory. Then along come Notts County or Bolton Wanderers or Middlesbrough or Brighton, or some other lowly opponent, and the dream is crushed.
Not tomorrow, I hear you say. MK Dons were beaten by us at their own place last season, even after Lee Cattermole had lived down to his reputation and been sent off, and will be beaten again at the Stadium of Light this year.
The attendance, we can safely predict, will be on the low side, despite the “small band” of MK Dons supporters based in Scotland who are said to be heading south for the game (see the MK Dons “Who are You?” interview at https://safc.blog/2013/08/sunderland-v-mk-dons-who-are-you-exorcising-the-wimbledon-ghosts/ .
And the team PDC puts out will not be the one that started at Southampton or starts at Palace. In keeping with this air of apathy, Salut! Sunderland offers a Guess the Score for fun.
No automatic prize for getting it right first, though Monsieur Salut is thinking of making an exception if someone correct predicts a handsome win for Sunderland. I leave it to entrants to gauge what constitutes handsome. The winner’s mug, in those circumstances, will bear a suitable design.
A supporter of MK Dons who is the first to offer a correct prediction of a thumping away win, at least as emphatic as the 4-2 they managed at QPR in the FA Cup in January, would receive a mug with suitably modified design.
M Salut will be the final judge of all such matters.
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