Wise Men Say: Sunderland Fringe Players Throw Their Hats Into The Ring At A Pivotal Time.

Paul Thomas

There was lots to take from the FA Cup win against Southampton last week. Individual performances, a nice little intimate crowd and the fact we're one more game from another trip to Wembley rank as all being positives to take from it. What else can the podcast crew gan on about?

It's fair to say that we haven't paid too much attention to the FA Cup games on the pod so far this season. With respect to both, neither Carlisle and KIdderminster were exactly mouth watering opposition, though I'm pretty sure we had big midweek games following both and that was the reason for this. That sounds much nicer so I'm going with that.

On this occasion, however, there's a lot to take from Saturday's victory over Southampton. The opposition were closer to full strength in comparison to us and there was some fascinating developments that arose during the game. And I'm not just talking about my partner's waters breaking at the final whistle!

We all expected Giaccherini to really shine against KIdderminster, with his failure to do so resulting in a mass dismissal of the little Italian's future at the club. Luke Ball told us a while back that his Dad thinks he is an outstanding player when playing just off the striker, a role in the side that's unlikely to ever materialise for him under Gus Poyet. On Saturday he looked proactive, positive and motivated in a more central role, indeed we've questioned whether he can do the central midfield thing many times on the podcast. To state the obvious, we've a lot of games coming up and it would be foolish to write him off just yet.

The formation itself was interesting also, with the aforementioned Giaccherini, Craig Gardner and Fabio Borini all having interesting roles in the side. It's all yet more evidence of the adaptability that our lovely Uruguayan manager has in his proverbial locker. Or is he still our head coach? Regardless, it's all good and if Di Canio's car crash of a start to the season costs us our manager or Premier League status I'll knack him!

Ok, for the record I would never fight that crazy bastard.

So the theme of this week's pod is to discuss what options Gus now has when tackling this tough looking backlog of games. It's better to bring this into the open now, rather than after the anti-climax that is a good hiding off a rampant Man City side, which will effectively end our ridiculous collective optimism that we my actually win at Wembley, right? I'm just kidding man, I'm having a little joke. I'm not at all optimistic.

Our very own Chris Weatherspoon joins myself and Gareth Barker in the studio for sure, while we can confirm we're currently trying to get another signing over the line.

If you haven't already then subscribe on iTunes (HERE) or come back to Roker Report to stream it from Friday.

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