Cor blimey, guv'nor! We're off to Wembley! But not just yet. CALM DOWN! First there's the small matter of our second live podcast event. I'm sure, in spite of the Arsenal hammering, there'll be one major topic of discussion. No, not Alfred N'Diaye...
But seriously, it's really exciting. It's difficult to know how to feel in some respects. The nerves and tension that come with the big occasion get greater every day. There's a part of me that is already resigned to defeat. I think that's just because it's easier to think that way. Mentally prepare yourself for the worst. But at the same time, the cup run has presented me with the greatest moment of my Sunderland supporting life. So no matter what, I'll always have that. I think we all will.
After the weekend defeat, Gus Poyet intimated that a few players had played themselves out of the starting eleven for Sunday. I think he's just playing hard ball here. I think there'll be eight or nine nailed on starters from the weekend. But where do we change it? Larsson for Colback? Who starts up front? Has Emanuele Giaccherini won himself a place in the side on the back of two very good performances? Again, there should be some lively debate about this come Thursday night at the Isis.
Last time we did a live podcast, it was after our opening day defeat to Fulham. Everything was going relatively swimmingly. Then someone piped up, may have even been our own Craig Clark, with a question about Phil Bardsley. Well, let's just say the atmosphere turned somewhat. He wasn't the most popular chap. Now, when his name is mentioned tomorrow, it's hard to imagine it won't bring beaming smiles across every single person's face. The aforementioned "greatest moment" was as a result of the man many of us, including myself, never wanted to see again in a Sunderland shirt. Time is a healer. So is scoring a last minute goal against Manchester United against Old Trafford that keeps you in the cup at a vital stage. Thanks, Phil!
It's amazing how things have gone in the last year. It turns out that Thursday will be more or less our first birthday give or take a week. We've had four managers since then. It's crazy. We never envisaged ourselves in a cup final just 12 months later. I honestly couldn't think of a better way to christen the pod than with a pre-Wembley live event. We can't wait to see you there. If you didn't get tickets, what were you thinking!? LOSER!
Joining us at The isis are Chris Young from The Sunderland Echo, Martyn McFadden from A Love Supreme and former Black Cat, Gordon Armstrong. The podcast should be available come Friday morning this time, slightly later than usual.
If you haven't already then subscribe on iTunes (HERE) or come back to Roker Report to stream it from Friday.