Damian Brown wants... ARSENAL!
I want us to draw Arsenal for a few reasons.
First of all the bigger the better, and while they may not be storming the PL right now there’s no denying the global attraction of the poshest club in England. Big names means big coverage and as far as I’m concerned Sunderland deserve to be in such contests in spite of the division we currently reside in.
Their current struggles in the PL are another reason I want them - believe it or not we actually might beat them. They’ve got a ridiculous wealth of expensive talent to call upon but they aren’t exactly a well-oiled machine these days.
And finally I quite like Arsenal. Before I became a Sunderland fan I was an Arsenal fan as a young boy and I still take pleasure in watching them play, however well they do. There’s a strange sense of accomplishment that comes from beating a team you respect as opposed to one you dislike/couldn’t care less about.
Grit and team unity could plausibly be the difference between a win and a loss for us in that fixture. I’d rather face them before one of the other more on form teams get the chance to run through them to a comparatively easy semi-final spot. It’ll be a big day for the travelling fans with mucho cerveza and plenty of plaudits to be earned, and it may keep us in the competition long enough that I don’t have to see Moyes’ smug face when we succumb to a team he actually bothered to try and manage properly.
Phil West wants... LIVERPOOL!
I want Liverpool at home. I want to see a clash between the diminutive, impish Lee Johnson and the towering, charismatic Jurgen Klopp, and I want to see how, among other things, Callum Doyle embraces the challenge of trying to keep the Reds’ forward line quiet and whether Thorben Hoffmann can write himself into folklore, like Vito Mannone did.
If we were to draw them, it would be a total and utter free hit for us. We could go out with freedom, enjoy the occasion, and revel in the opportunity to play against a high-class opponent. How would our players adapt? How strong a challenge could they pose during a one-off game?
Let’s face it, after three years of trying to get excited about the likes of Portsmouth & Wigan visiting the SOL, a cup tie against a true heavyweight would be a welcome change, and would also represent a potential glimpse into the future, should KLD’s long-term plan bear fruit. We all want to see top-flight football back on Wearside, and this would be a great taste of what might lie ahead in the years to come.
Depending on our respective league positions when the game is played, team selection will be an obvious question, but our selection policy in the cups has been commendable so far, and I’d like to think that Klopp would field a strong XI as well, so it would be very intriguing.
Bring on the draw, and let’s hope it gives us another reason to get excited!
Tom Albrighton wants... SPURS!
I want Tottenham - a struggling side who’ll almost certainly put a skeleton squad out, a trip to the capital and to a new stadium would be a welcome treat for those who follow the lads away religiously. Spurs are very beatable and would represent a fantastic test for Lee Johnson and the lads, with Spurs possessing a range of quality academy players.
Plus, there’s a new rail company doing cheap trains to London, so it could be a trip that doesn’t have to break the bank.
Malc Dugdale wants... CHELSEA!
I’d be happy to have Chelsea, be that home or away to be honest. I was lucky enough to go to both legs in the last 16 of the 1992 FA cup run, a cup run which for me is the closest we have come to repeating our epic achievement of 1973.
If we play like we did across those two legs when I was in my early 20s, then we have nothing to fear. We should have won 1-0 in the away leg, and had the ref not awarded a corner for a high cross that he felt Tony Norman had tipped over the bar (which Chelsea then scored from) we would have won in the one game. We saw clearly from our end behind Norman’s goal he didn’t touch it. Even then, the officials didn’t give us a bean!
That didn’t matter in the end, as we took the Blues back to Roker Park for a replay and won 2-1, with a decent pitch invasion to celebrate making the quarters.
The modern day Chelsea have no Vinnie Jones walking the lines and winding up the home crowd in London, and I’d argue the modern day Sunderland have way more tactical nouse than the lads of 92, though they had grit and battle in abundance. We are in our ascendency right now and will take some beating whoever we are drawn against.
Let’s do that all again I say, and make more memories for the young lads who are our SAFC fans of today. That is what cup runs are all about, travelling up and down the land to follow our team and their dream, making life long friends and memories along the way. Let’s dare to dream we can do it again. Someone has to win it. Why not little old Sunlun?
Sean Brown wants... ARSENAL!
Give us Arsenal at the Stadium of Light. Pack the stadium with Lee Johnson’s Red and White Army and destroy what’s left of Mikel Arteta.
Why, you ask? Well because they’re shite, I have faith in our lads to beat anyone on the day... and I want to see SAFC FanTV and Arsenal FanTV in a pitched battle outside the SOL - reminiscent of that scene in Anchorman 2 - to follow up a wonderful win over the whinging daft bastards who wouldn’t know suffering if it kicked them repeatedly in the bollocks.
Martin Wanless wants... WEST HAM!
West Ham at home for me. Get the pathetic David Moyes back to the SoL for some long overdue, and well deserved, retribution. Regardless of everything else that was going on at the club during his tenure, his spell in charge was atrocious. He was abysmal.
His presence would give the game an extra edge in front of a bumper crowd, and I believe on our day we could beat West Ham, too.
Evening cup games can be magic, and this could have all the hallmarks of a very memorable SAFC cup tie.
Joseph Tulip wants... BRENTFORD!
I don’t really get the clamour for one of the big boys in the next round. I was hoping for a Preston or a Stoke to progress, so we had the best possible route to the semi finals and THEN playing one of the top sides.
The same principle applies for me. If Brentford are, on paper at least, the lowest ranked side besides us, then give us Brentford.
Get them beaten and then see what happens in the semis.
Andrew Smithson wants... WHOEVER IS IN POOR FORM!
Like some of the other lads have said, one or two potential ties are quite attractive - there are a couple of new grounds in London I wouldn’t mind visiting and given the way David Moyes seems to have got off scot free it would be good to get him back up here and let him know that we’ve not forgotten his part in our demise.
If I could have my way though I want as winnable a tie as possible and to take it from there, so a side low on confidence or with other priorities would be fantastic. I’m not daft enough to think we are favourites to win the thing, but it is nice to at least be able to dream and now we have got this far we have to give it a good go - it’s not like we reach this stage of the competition regularly after all and 1973 showed us that this club can be unstoppable when it gets on a roll. I know the game has changed a lot since then but there will always be the chance of something unexpected happening.
I have no real need to see a ‘big’ club at the Stadium of Light and I’m not sure it would attract that big a crowd anyway; in fact, I wouldn’t even say it needs to be a home tie at all because our away form in this competition has been excellent and the travelling support has done us proud so far. No matter who we get though, I reckon we should give them a good game.