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Anyone who loves this city should be cheering for Wembley glory as Sunderland head to London

Some people love football. Some don’t. But whichever category you fall into, it’s naive to imagine it’s ‘only a game’.

Thursday, 19th May 2022, 4:55 am

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Some detractors of footy, the world’s greatest sport, imagine that disliking it constitutes some sort of achievement.

Very odd. I’m wholly uninterested in steam engines, but don’t expect a round of applause for this; and good luck to those who love them.

Football is particularly important in Sunderland; not only for it’s capacity to raise spirits amid the current global gloom. During the good, well, better times it raises the city’s profile and is economically advantageous.

Will Sunderland fans at Wembley see their team win there - at last? Picture by Kevin Brady.

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A sad catalogue of incompetence and charlatanism, by myriad people over many years, left SAFC in football’s third tier for at least four years. It’s wildly optimistic to think that their absence from the Premier League will be the minimum six.

But with the superb fan base, big history (alas, mainly before World War Two) and the finest stadium north of London, the Premier League where they need to be.

However, talk of the PL being “where we belong” is nonsense. Truly, every club plays in whichever league they belong.

Saturday sees a welcome chance of progress. Much is at stake when Sunderland play Wycombe Wanderers. Exciting or what?

It won’t be easy. Wycombe’s style of play has certainly raised my eyebrows from time to time, shall we say, and we had best leave it at that. Apparently we are supposed to admire them as they are a relatively small club.

Whatever. They aren’t mugs and are the team Sunderland must play on their virtually annual, usually miserable, trip to Wembley.

No certainties exist; although you might not realise this when listening to the usual dreary miseries who somehow know the results of matches which have yet to be played.

There is no such thing as a hoodoo or curse. Playing badly or being outclassed, as per a most SAFC Wembley fixtures since 1973, is not a curse.

Anyone who loves this city of ours, whether football lovers or not, should be willing a Sunderland victory; even if they won’t watch it. Ha’way the lads!

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