Sunderland boss Lee Johnson has aimed a subtle dig at Arsenal and Tottenham – suggesting they’re not among England’s “really big guns” ahead of the Carabao Cup quarter-final draw tomorrow.
A penalty shoot-out win over QPR last night has helped the Black Cats reach the last eight of the competition for the first time since they made the final in 2013/14.
It was an end-to-end game in west London and luck was on Sunderland’s side as the hosts had a goal ruled out in the last 10 minutes by a questionable offside decision.
Speaking to club media after the game, Johnson was pressed on who he’d like to draw in the next round of the competition and couldn’t resist taking aim at north London’s two Premier League clubs.
He said: “I’d love to have Arsenal away or Tottenham away, or someone like that.
“Then we will wait for the really big guns when it is two legs.”
The Gunners secured their place in the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Leeds United at the Emirates last night while Spurs travel to Turf Moor to face Burnley in their round of 16 clash this evening.
Did these 25 Sunderland transfers actually happen?
Sunderland fans will absolutely love this from Johnson, who judging from the smile on his face after he delivers the line knows exactly what he is doing.
There’s an argument to be made that neither Arsenal nor Spurs are currently one of England’s top, top clubs but such a suggestion would likely stir up some anger from fans of both clubs.
Drawing either now would make for a fantastic occasion and supporters may feel the stars are beginning to align for the Black Cats given the let-off given to them by the assistant late in last night’s game.
Johnson has a good record in this competition, having taken Bristol City to the semi-final during his Ashton Gate tenure.
That run included a famous victory over Manchester United and if he can recreate that, he would make himself a very popular figure on Wearside.
The draw for the next round of the competition is expected to be on Wednesday evening.