Dear Roker Report,
To some, the Papa Johns Trophy is not only an unwanted distraction for our so called promotion push, and for some taking part in the competition in the first place just highlights how far our great club has fallen. We have had semi finals against Arsenal and Man Utd before in our proud history and here we are in a Micky Mouse cup against Lincoln. Not only that, but our last two recent trips to Wembley haven’t ended well, with many fans claiming to be sick of the the sight of the place.
So why, then, when Grant Leadbitter slotted home the winning penalty against Lincoln, did I feel so gutted I couldn’t go to the final?
Maybe it’s partially due to lockdown, and the fact I’m sick of being stuck in the house at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon when I love to go to the match. Part of it is that, but a large part of it is that I know no matter what trophy it is, the sight of Sunderland fans taking over Trafalgar Square again and 40,000 plus Sunderland fans singing their hearts out in Wembley stadium is a bit special, no matter what the occasion. The fans are what makes our club so special even in these bad times. I’m gutted we all aren’t going.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: Couldn’t agree more, I’m absolutely sick as a chip about it and if anything, it’s really brought home just how pissed off I am with being locked away. I just want to go to the match again. I’m sure that there’s an end in sight, but it’s wounding knowing we can’t be there to back the lads. After the shitty year we’ve all had, it would have been brilliant to go through that whole Wembley experience again.
Dear Roker Report,
At last, we have won a penalty shoot out! I’m over the moon.
Wrap up Charlie and Aiden in cotton wool. I know that we have got a lot of ground to make up on the top two, but just go for it and have a go - if we fail, there is always the play offs.
Maybe, just maybe our fortunes are turning. Fingers crossed.
I have been to seven disappointing journeys to Wembley - I’ll be delirious (as if I would have been there) if we manage to break the hoodoo, as will thousands of Sunderland folk.
I’m a happy old man and can’t wait for the final.
With all the problems (covid) around the world, it just shows you how football lifts your spirit. I know it’s not the FA Cup, but if we manage to win, it will be like winning the lottery - especially if we manage the double. Take care.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: Absolutely, Anthony. Lots of fans told themselves they didn’t care about this competition, but I guarantee we all celebrated Wyke’s goal as though we were in the stands, and that we all watched the penalties through our fingers. I’ve never been so bloody stressed - my heart was beating out of my chest, I was sweating... the tension was unbearable!