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Quick Kicks: Thoughts On Sunderland's Semi Final Triumph

We've had a breather, and whilst we've attempted to sleep and it may not have happened, we do feel we have clear enough heads now to put or some Quick Kicks on the game.

Clive Mason

Value For Money

We all had quite the gripe with our hosts last night about the prices we had to pay by comparison to what we charged them, but I don't think anyone will be begrudging them quite so much now. Obviously nobody will defend them either, and with good right. In my own mind more than 50p a minute for a football match is ludicrous but it's done now.

What transpired however for the hardy-souls who stumped up the cash will however live long in the memory as one of the greatest nights in the long history of this club. Of course we've been to Wembley before, we've played in cup finals before but having stood through one of the best games I've ever seen, involving any two sides, just makes the moaning over price somewhat forgettable.

Perhaps the home side new their own foibles and part expected this. Either way, it was a quality game.

At Least 9021 Heroes

The team on the pitch will be lauded, and rightly so, but let's not forget 9000 Sunderland fans who made not only an expensive and long journey on a Wednesday night, they also out-sung the home side and created one hell of a racket for the entire 120+ minutes.

All eleven on the pitch, those who came off the bench, those who stayed on it, Gus, Mauricio, Charlie and the rest of the coaching staff, those who stood in the stands and yelled themselves hoarse. All deserve a huge credit. They did the club and the area proud.

Hurray For Us

This one's just short, but I'd urge you to stick to places like this, like Ready To Go, like Salut Sunderland and within the local press for the next few days. The nationals are not having a wonderful comeback by us, only Moyes and Manchester United lost a game. No mention of who won, only who lost and what a shambles they are for doing so.

I've been angry about this subject plenty of times and learned the only coping mechanism is to try and blank it out, and there's plenty of ways to do that.

An Annoying Habit

Okay, so we're done singing the praises for a little bit and have to head back to reality. That's one of the main purposes of the feature after all.

While we ourselves have been a threat from set-pieces this season, it's overlooked but coming more and more to the fore that we're terrible at defending them too. I believe that's four games in a row now we've conceded from a corner, and when you're fighting for your life that's a cheap goal to give away.

John O'Shea cannot be excused for his error which allowed Jonny Evans to open the scoring. I still cannot fathom what he was thinking either.

The attempted justification on TV was that he was anticipating everyone missing it. You simply cannot under any circumstances expect such an unlikely event to happen. It would have had to travel through at least three, maybe four players. And it wasn't hit like a bullet either.

Usually it's "inexcusable defending"... but we won, and it will likely be passed over in favour of "but we won, man"... Hopefully not however by Gus.

Sticktuitivness

That's an actual word. Whatever it is Gus is putting in their Lucozade, keep doing it. In the home of a team pundits are quick to praise for their "never say die" attitude, we beat them at their own game.

The amount of comebacks are fantastic this season, and you can never, EVER, count us out. Even 1-0 down at Hull with nine men on the pitch we had chances.

If late comebacks are a thing now with Sunderland, we should be pretty confident that as the Premier League enters it's final throngs we've got a trump card.

The Kid(d)s Will Be Alright

After such a pulsating and energy-sapping game, thank heavens that it's Kidderminister up next, at home. For me, every single player who started should be deserving of this coming Saturday off. We could put out a slightly-risky but decent enough team too -- Ustari, Vergini, Roberge, Celustka, Dossena, Gardner, Larsson, Ba, Giaccherini, Altidore, Mavrias/Watmore -- Give everyone a breather.

Not to belittle the visitors too much, but I'm sure that there's some very, very tired bodies around, and with a crucial home tie with Stoke City just days away, that has to take precedent and Gus has to make wholesale changes.

Transfer Boost

For any footballer who doesn't pay much attention to the English leagues, they could well hear of Sunderland's interest, look at the table and say "thanks but no thanks".

Show them not only a video of that game last night though, and also mention we're in a cup final where they could indeed cover themselves in glory and win a trophy, Sunderland become a bit of a proposition for any egocentric modern footballer.

With seven days left of the window, it's a significant shot in the arm for Gus Poyet's transfer plans.

Pelantys (Sic)

That shoot-out. It had everything, but let's just hope that we don't get a penalty for quite some time. Some of them were abysmal. The two which scored were magnificent examples of how to take a penalty. Those who missed matched the scorers in terms of badness.

The Boy's A Bit Special

And the final words go to the ultimate hero of the night, Don Vito Mannone. Ridiculed by many this summer as an unnecessary signing. Why do we need another 'keeper, Westwood's fine? Thankfully others knew better.

Mannone just grew and grew to the point you were confident he'd save penalties, and is quite arguably our signing of the summer.

A good young 'keeper? Let's just hope we can hang on to this one for a bit, because the boy's a bit special.