A competitive, but ultimately deserved win, settled by a fine goal from Craig Gardner, has put Sunderland into the FA Cup Quarter Finals – and one match from a rapid return to Wembley!
Regardless of whether Sunderland are still a Premiership side in May, Gus Poyet is guaranteed a busy summer. An incredible fourteen players are out of contract at the end of the season, five of whom are currently on loan deals at the Stadium of Light. Crucially however, six of the fourteen are first team regulars. So which players should be rewarded with a new contract, and who need to be looking for a new club?
After last night’s disappointing postponement thanks to ridiculous and dangerous high winds, I felt compelled to look back at how we faired in previous postponed and rescheduled games for the same reason. Note; I’m just including match postponements, rather than abandoned games such as that infamous home match against Fulham. Do you remember any of these? Have I missed any out?
Well, the less said about our Hull predictions the better. Let’s be fair – who saw that third minute sending off coming? There is an overwhelming swing to the home side for this one, unsurprisingly, with one or two optimists amongst us who are predicting an unprecedented point. If you are looking for something to stick a quid on…I highly recommend it not being Connor’s!
It seems apt that in the build up to Wembley we have a warm up match against our daunting opponents Manchester City. Points for both clubs would be invaluable, but nothing short of three would do for the home side as they seek to re-establish themselves as the Premier League front runners. For us, that defeat against Hull City has left us languishing precariously above the drop zone with arguably the three toughest away games you could ask for, on the trot, to come. A point here, however unlikely, would be a much welcomed bonus.
First off, I realise this is all based purely on what ifs. I also realise every team could do this and probably come to a similar conclusion. However, we do seem more susceptible than most to crazy moments leading to unnecessary red cards. Surely this has had an impact on our season and an impact on where we are in the table? Sunderland have received six Premier League red cards already this campaign, more than any other side. So, because I’m at a loose end this evening, allow me to recap them all and mull over how many, if any, points each cost us.
An overly frustrating fixture at the Stadium of Light, from which no-one will come away with rapturous credit. The collective below-par performance is here divided between the team.
Scores on the doors ladies and gents - we're a very confident bunch this weekend with everyone predicting a home win. I remain the only person to get all the results right...yet I am not top - who made these daft rules up! 1 point for the correct result, three for the correct score.
Optimism was flying around the Stadium of Light as if it was hugging us tightly and promising to never let us go. After beating Newcastle 3-0 again away from home it seemed as if nothing could stop us on our march to safety and what better way to top of the past couple of weeks than to stick it to Steve Bruce and his constant commentary on 10th place finishing. I predicted 3-1 for this and I predicted Jozy Altidore to score too. I predicted Altidore to score a couple...I need to stop predicting things.
If you were given a choice of two teams to remedy a relatively poor (league) home form, excluding the Mags and Manchester City of course, the smart answer would be Stoke City and tomorrow’s opponent’s Hull City. Like the Potters, they have managed just five points away from home out of a possible 36. So, this should be a walk in the park, right? Hmm...