The tidal bore of excitement surging up the River Wear at present could be enough to help one of Sunderland’s new favourite sons join a former Black Cats star in the England squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Successive wins against Chelsea and Cardiff have followed their draw against Manchester City, a run in which the goals of Connor Neil Ralph Wickham have been conspicuous.
Wickham has bagged five goals in his last three outings for Sunderland, who are 11/5 to grab at least a point against Manchester United in their next outing.
His incendiary form runs in stark contrast to fellow would-be England big-man option Andy Carroll, who has struck just twice in the eight games since his return from injury.
Similarly Rickie Lambert, a man it seems so predictable will end up hard done by when Roy Hodgson compiles his final squad, has hit just three in his last ten outings.
With the aforementioned back to goal options’ scoring habits mired in their sides’ end of season inertia, Wickham’s starring role in Sunderland’s box office escapology act could propel him right into the reckoning.
The £8m former Ipswich man arrived on Wearside a mere 20 days after Jordan Henderson left the club where he learned his trade for Liverpool in a move worth in excess of £16m.
As recently as August 2012, the Sunderland born and bred star was told he would be allowed to join Fulham by newly arrived Anfield supremo Brendan Rodgers.
Yet since then he has changed his manager’s mind to such an extent that he played 42 successive Premier League games before suspension eventually busted his streak.
During that impressive run, particularly in the absence of the injured Lucas Leiva, he was often called upon to sit alongside England skipper Steven Gerrard at the base of the Liverpool midfield.
As such Henderson gives the Three Lions the intoxicating possibility of fielding a potentially league title-winning pairing in their World Cup engine room.