Q: Are you bothered that Sunderland are out of the League Cup, or not?
Craig Davies says...
Cup runs, like most temporary flights of fancy, are more orgasmic and exotic when the circumstances that surround them are ideally focused on pleasure and hedonism. Last season, we felt we were flirting with the less attractive, slightly dull and more needy desirables of League One’s Tinder list. They loved having us in town as our larger presence increased both pulse rates and Saturday evening excitement. We, like all narcissists felt the glow of their deference and enjoyed our feeling of supremacy over the lesser mortals we felt we graced with our very appearance. It was nice and we flirted back.
We weren’t going to be there long and it boosted our fragile egos to wave like the Queen as we passed the mesmerised opposition crowds. So our Wembley appearances felt like the popping of our season long cork. The jubilee to our short spell in the trenches with the other unwashed foot soldiers of lower league football. Sadly, what we realised was that we are more than equals with our League One rivals. Our corks may have popped at Wembley last season but the champagne was flat and left a bitter taste and that bitter taste still remains.
We can’t even begin to mount the inner-strength required for a full tilted cup run because we’re so anxious about our poor league position, our inconsistency, our star striker who has yet to prove he is either a star or a striker, our ongoing ownership tussle, the backdrop of reduced income and financial obstacles, the lack of club ethos, playing style, supporter unrest and everything else that consumes our mental strength. Do we really feel in the mood? For a few nights with a cup run mistress? Or should our footballing viagra be saved for shooting us up the league until we explode Into the championship?
For me, it seems this particular cup run was an unnecessary distraction to what really matters. The League. Come the FA Cup in January we may feel renewed and energised by a furious surge (which is about to take place... any second now, I’m certain) to the top end of this league table and a cup run will feel sexy again. But last night’s exit didn’t dent my emotions at all. We move on.
Chris Wynn says...
Cup runs have an element of ambition when you’re a Premier League club or running away with the Championship, but from League One it’s just a day out.
Don’t get me wrong, if we’d beat Oxford I would have been eager to find out who we’d get in the quarter-final draw, but as much as night game at Anfield would be a decent night out, I’m not a huge fan of seeing us get hammered.
The quarter-final ties are also due to be played the week beginning the 16th December which would be a couple of days after Blackpool at home on the 14th December, leading up to the busy Christmas period.
Without a cup tie we now have just short of two weeks to prepare for a schedule of four games in ten days beginning with Bolton Wanderers on Boxing Day.
When the games come thick and fast in the festive period it’s easy to make ground or lose sight of the target and hopefully the extended break will set us up nicely to approach a tough schedule.
Cup runs are great but I’m not going to lose sleep over getting knocked out. Looking at the team selection and experimenting with three at the back, it seems Parkinson had similar thoughts.
His remit is simple - get us promoted.
Tom Albrighton says...
Forgive me for not descending into a frenzy over failing to progress in the whatever second rate company is sponsoring this year’s edition Cup. Yes, we may have enjoyed a cup run in the heady days of top-flight football but when we’re desperate to get promoted from the tin-pot leagues, a gimmick of a cup is not high on the priority list.
With league form stuttering, confidence on a tight rope walk and fans getting more than a little agitated, I won't be losing sleep over the notion of being drawn against a Premier League side who have their eyes on the prize, ready to absolutely hump whatever lower league jobbers they happen to get drawn against.
All it will do is remind us of a love once lost. No thanks.
Whilst the lure of a cup run to Wembley may have enticed some, it brings nothing but dread and PTSD like symptoms back for me. The notion of even going to Wembley makes the stomach churn. After last season the desire to return to football’s most gentrified stadium is as high as my one to be repeated kicked and punched in the kidneys by Connor McGregor.
I’ve had enough hurt thanks, and avoiding cup runs like Boris Johnson avoids responsibility may ease that pain if it results in our promotion.
The only positive I can see from a cup run and a potential trip to the big smoke would be to see the progress made by the soulless construction of tower blocks and hotels that now obscure English football’s showpiece stadium.