Venue: Stadium of Blight, Blunderland.
Date: Sun 27th Oct, 2013.
Kick off: 1.30pm.
Referee: Lee Probert.
UK TV: Sky Sports.
“They’re an odd lot let me tell you; ideas above their station yet supporting a team who are nothing more than a hindrance even when at their best under Peter Reid.”
Wrote Sir Alex Grumpyface on Sunderland fans. I think he is referring to the time when they once came seventh under their simian faced supremo, with Peter Reid winning a Manager of the Year award then bombing the next season in a style later emulated beautifully by our own silver supremo in the his last two seasons on Tyneside. But as most Newcastle United fans know, our old friend Sunderland is always there so we can say to ourselves “oh well, things could be worse!”
Meanwhile on Newcastle and it’s fans, old red nose had the following to say:
“If you bring success to those fans you will have achieved something that will write you into the folklore of a special city. To go so long without and whiff of success yet still retain that amount of passion is unique.”
Which is better than that stuff about “a wee club from the north-east.”
Previous results.Before I get on with this section, this is just a little plug for my other blog on metro.co.uk, where I also take a look forward to the Sunderland game.
As I point out in that piece, out a potential 18 points in their last six Premier League games, Sunderland have won NONE, and the Magpies aren’t doing too badly at all with 11 out of 18. Actually, they haven’t one ANY of their last 12 Premier League games (L9, D3). What is more, whilst that 0-3 defeat to them last time at St James Park might have smarted a little at the time, it is the only Tyne – Wear derby Sunderland have won out of the last eleven. Let us hope that normal service is resumed in this game!
On the Magpies’ side, we really could do with three points before we go into face Man City in the League Cup on Wednesday, before facing Chelsea and Tottenham in the Premier League. Once again you never know, but I don’t think I’ll put my life savings on those three games!
As for our games with Sunderland last season, we drew 1-1 at the Stadium of Blight. Then of course, there was that abovementioned game which will live in infamy to quote Roosevelt. Let’s move on.
This game could see the return of Wes Brown, the Ryan Taylor of the Sunderland squad as he has been out for over 18 months now with a knee injury, though it seems to be a more minor calf strain which might keep him out this time.
Doubtful: Wes Brown (calf).
As you can see below if you don’t know already (which you probably do), all the casualties in the Newcastle United squad (and a suspension for this game) are in the defensive area. If anything though, things have actually got better in the Newcastle backline amidst the carnage. With Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa being suspended for this game after being sent off against Liverpool, here’s hoping that young left back Paul Dummett is up to the task in the centre of defence once again if the doubtful Steven Taylor doesn’t make it. He certainly made an impression in his substitute appearence against Liverpool last weekend with a very well taken goal in the 56th minute of our valiant 2-2 draw against the Red menace.
Injured: Fabricio Coloccini (groin), Ryan Taylor (Anterior Cruciate Ligament).
Doubtful: Steven Taylor (hamstring)
Suspended: Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (one game).
What the managers have been saying…
The new Sunderland Supremo said what he was expected to say, waxing lyrical about the special nature of the Tyne-Wear derby:
“This is an opportunity to forget about any doubts and play a proper game.
“You don’t need any kind of special motivation at the pre-match meeting at all, they know.”
“I think it’s the perfect game to start winning. If we need to win one game at this football club it’s this Derby and we know that. We need a win, we need the three points. We’re desperate to go there and do well well (er, does he know he’s playing at home this time?) and if we can start doing that in this game, that is perfection.”
“They are always special and I don’t think you can analyse these games because when you are on the pitch it is a unique situation, a unique game. The decisions, the tension, the atmosphere, everything is different, so you cannot really think about what happened before, or what is going to happen after.”
“This is a game to win, so everything is set up to win this football game. Then we need to wait and see the result, but we are focussed completely on winning this football game.”
“We’re looking forward to it (the game with Sunderland). We’re off the back of two good performances and we want to get a third one under our belt.
“It will be Gus’s first home game as the manager of Sunderland, so there’ll be a special atmosphere there and we need to be prepared for that. Hopefully, we will. We’ve got a good side, an attacking side, and I think we’re good to watch when we’re in full flow, hopefully we can bring that to the surface on Sunday.”
Excerpts from Pardew’s pre-match press conference for the Sunderland game. In the second he speaks on the Pope’s recent endorsement of Sunderland, which shows that though a Mackem has still never been spotted in Milan, one has now been spotted in Rome! The Silver Fox explains how he has told the Pope’s bezzie mate and fellow San Lorenzo supporter, Fabricio Coloccini, to have a quiet word with the Pontiff.
Finally, here’s another view on the Papal endorsement from an unfortunate Cider drinking Mackem lunatic in a balaclava to make us all realise how fortunate we are really.
Well that’s just about it for now, except to remind you about our “Match banter” blog which will begin an hour or two before the game, and that I will also be posting match highlights and hopefully a full match video when the game is over.