true faith : MATCH PREVIEW (Sunderland (a))

by • October 24, 2013 • Match previewsComments Off on true faith : MATCH PREVIEW (Sunderland (a))977

Sunderland. Sunday 27th October 2013. The Stadium of Second Hand Names. 1:30 ko

Well, the War Drums can now be heard as preparations begin (amongst our support, not SeaburnCasualsthe team, their preparations should have begun immediately after Liverpool) for the first derby of the season.

Beneath all of the hyperbole about needing inoculations for the trip, Shantytown Slums, pitchforks and shared sets of teeth, the truth is, to the people who ‘Get it,’ the rivalry between these two clubs is like no other and these two fixtures are the only fixtures of the season, where the nerves start to fray, and the stomach starts to churn and every possible outcome dominates your thoughts for at least, four days before the game. Your mind is full of potential dread, then potential victory, then more dread, a shake of the head to snap out of it and then the inside voice throws up the compromise possibility of the draw. Briefly, inside voice is offering the ‘save face’ option and it’s a good one, publicly, I’ll even take it, but then you remember a painful defeat or just want victory over the foe and its’ “Fuck the draw, I want to win” – and before you know it, 20  minutes of your life has just passed by and you’ve done fuck all but think about the match, then you realise its only Thursday and you’ve got 4 more days of this torture to endure.

But then, when the day comes, fuck me, that’s even worse. If you’re lucky, you’ll be hold up in a Tyneside Speakeasy at an unprecedented hour of the day. Your thoughts are 100 mph, you can’t eat, fuck sleep, just drink. The beer doesn’t really help, but convince yourself that it does and plough on. Everyone wants to know what you think will happen but, A) There’s no way you want to jinx it and B) You haven’t got a clue….. I mean, you’ve taken care of all your ‘derby day superstitions’ but fuck… what if some slack bastard has got sloppy and put the wrong socks on? Fuck that, so you say nowt, drink more and wish it was over.

The actual 90 minutes….. Pure, mental anguish, you just want it finished, upon which, there are 3 possibilities….. !, win – Celebrate, acting in a mature manner is tossed to one side, and drinking goes through the roof , Class A drugs appear to readily accessible, the world is a fantastic place and you will probably buy a printed newspaper or two on the Monday. 2. Draw – not the end of the world, life goes on, everything is as it was, friendships remain intact. 3. United fucks up and it is the worst feeling in the world of sport. No drink! Fuck that, straight home, in a huff, won’t talk to anyone for two or three days. The world is still spinning, but so fuck if it stops? Everyone’s a bastard and the chance for revenge seems a long way away…..

But there is something of a togetherness, and a ‘tribal’ feeling when it’s the away game. Maybe it’s the fact that only a few thousand of us make the journey and of them there’s a small percentage opt for the metro/train option but during that journey from Central Station to Wearside , Newcastle songs fill the air, it’s us on their territory, they don’t want us here, we’re far from welcome, but we’re here, looking to for a victory on their turf and from now until full time, Newcastle United, it’s players and manager will be receiving our full, unwavering, support……

I can honestly say that there is no other individual set of opposition make me feel like this and I include Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, any other domestic club you want to name. There’s been some occasions which have had me on the edge, Portsmouth at home and Leicester away in 91/92 but this fixture is ‘the one’ as far as I’m concerned.

And what a build up this one has had…..

Firstly, Di Canio, who I must admit, was a bit of a radge, but he was given the green light to turnover their squad in the summer. Having seen that some of their ‘old guard’ went to the board to complain and get him the boot suggests he was on the right lines, but still, if he thought he needed 14 or 15 players then I’d say that’s fair enough. What was a bit odd, was only having 3 friendlies (2 of them were swimming galas in Hong Kong) to try and blend them all in and it appears, still experimenting on his preferred team in competitive fixtures and losing them, brought on too much pressure and ultimately, the axe…

So it’s Gustavo Poyet (who looks a little bit too much like Paully from the correct angle to me) who is next in the job, and he’s got a bit of a decent record against us.

He picks them up as they sit rank bottom of the table. Their home form in the league, looks like it’s awful, however, 3 of their 4 defeats have been to Man Utd  (2-1), Liverpool (3-1) and Arsenal (3-1). Which were probably expected, it’s the 1-0 defeat to Fulham which didn’t go down very well. They have negotiated 2 league ties on home turf however.

Their set up….. Well, who knows what Poyet will go for? I suspect, after their bashing in the papers last week, he’ll be asking a pool of mostly British lads to prove everybody wrong. I suspect he’ll keep faith with Westwood (Not the Ex Radio 1 hip hop DJ apparently) in between the sticks.

The back 4 could look like anything, but, I expect him to rely on O’Shea for his experience and I’d expect Cuellar to partner him. That would leave them susceptible to pace should any of our forwards feel particularly, lightening quick, that would be canny. At full back, I think they’re still experimenting. Dossena has had injury problems, but I think he might ask Colback to play on the left with Gardner on the right. Gardner has a decent free kick in him so we should be careful around our box. In midfield I expect him to go with Ki and Cattermole in the centre but I think Cattermole is someway short of a full 90 mins. I expect Johnson and Giaccherini to play wide, with Fletcher and Altidore up front. I think he’ll go with 2 up front and try to use Altidore’s physical presence to unsettle our centre backs.

Wes Brown seems to be permanently injured but everyone else appears to be fit. They’re free from any suspensions.

Team News

I don’t anticipate any change in the GK position with Krul possibly making a error of judgement for Sturrdige’s equaliser last weekend.

It’s the back four which has got me eyeing up the barbiturates and needing a lie down. The skipper is knackered and Yanga-Mbiwa got himself sent off last week, leaving Williamson and maybe Steven Taylor if he recovers from injury properly. If not, then it’s Paul Dummett. Now whilst I almost started a fan club for the kid last Saturday, I’m not sure if my blood pressure is good enough to deal with a LB playing CB in his first Premier League start……. Santon and Debuchy pick themselves (literally, I’m convinced of it, although both have shown improvements in their last couple of outings)

The midfield looks as though Pardew fancies Tiote, Cabaye and Sissoko and barring injuries in training, I cant see him changing it on Sunday.

Up front, I expect Remy to play. I don’t expect to see Ben Arfa playing CF ever again for the rest of my life, he is terrible at it, but, whilst I’d like to see him going at their full back, will Pardew be cautious and due to his defensive frailties, leave him on the bench? If so, then Id expect Cisse and Gouffran to complete the team.

Has anyone seen Sylvain Marveaux recently? He seems to have vanished since Leeds at home in the cup?


Ryan Taylor – Knee – not expected back this year

Fabricio Coloccini – Groin


Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – 1 game

Possible Team (4-2-1-2-1)

1.Krul: 2. Debuchy, 5. Steven Taylor, 6. Williamson, 3. Santon: 8. Cabaye, 4. Tiote  (Capt): 10. Sissoko: 7. Ben Arfa, 11. Remy: 9. Cisse:


Elliot, Dummett, Anita, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Shola Ameobi, Gouffran

Referee: Lee Probert

League History on Wearside

Our record at their place is actually canny since the 80s.

1984/85 Chris Turner somehow kept the score at 0-0 as Gascoigne made his debut. The highlight of the affair being Newcastle United’s presence in the Fulwell End.

1989/90 My first away derby, another 0-0, John Gallacher being substituted against my wishes!!  A 3rd place finish behind Leeds United and Sheffield United condemned us to the play offs where we faced the mackems, away leg first. Another 0-0, with Budgie the hero, although it was never a penalty.

1991/92 They had returned to the second tier immediately and we were conducting an experiment to see what would happen if we played the bairns every week. Daveport put them ahead but we’d draw 1-1 with a delightful Liam O’Brien chip. See it here after the 1990 pen save repeated

1992/93 2-1 Our promotion campaign, which included a win at Roker Park. Brock claimed the first and after mackem weirdo Armstrong equalised, Liam O’Brien curled in ‘that’ infamous free kick in front of the travelling Mags. See it here from 5 mins 40

1996/97 2-1 With away fans banned this season, a covert operation was required. After they went 1-0 up, Pedro equalised with a header before Les Ferdinand headed home a winner.

Pedro’s header is here at 2 mins 40

1999/00 2-2, having raced into a 2-0 lead in the first game at their new ground, through Domi and Helder, we were pegged back by a Phillips double, one of which looked offside, but they were fair game for a point having forced Harper into a handful of fantastic saves , one absolute blinder from Phillips.

2000/01 1-1. How we got a point with this XI is still a mystery, although Shay Given’s heroics helped. After Cateron put them 1-0 up, Andy O’Brien wrote his name into the history book with a close range equaliser. The 5:15 kick off has sadly, never been repeated.

2001/02 Nicos Dabizas with the winner as we fought for Champion’s League qualification and they fought relegation.–GxhQ&list=PLnPpizGMmlOcJ3osNvBsIDvCpV0v3lv1X

2002/03 1-0 again with Solano’s penalty winning the match. Kyle’s disallowed goal momentarily brought that heartsinking feeling, but that soon turned into relief. “We’ll meet again” being sang as they exited the Premier League for the second tier.

2005/06 “4-1 even Chopra scored”. A truly fantastic day. Their 15 point season and another relegation. Shearer signing off with his last goal for us as he smashed a penalty past Davis. See 1 hour 31 mins in

2007/08 Milner’s fluky equaliser cancelling out Higginbottom’s goal. Ashley in the away end. Allardyce’s days are best forgotten.

2008/09 Lost 2-1. JFK blur. The winner was a Richardson rocket which flew past Given before he could blink. Crisp packets everywhere!!

2010/11 Nolan’s back heel looked to have won it but for a last minute Gyan fluke.

2011/12 Ryan Taylor over The wall

2012/13 Last season’s 1-1 draw with cabaye giving us the lead

Ba’s late OG seeing them get a point.

Mackem Fanzines

A Love Supreme

Given that its probably not the best idea for a #MagsOnWearside but Newcastle pub opening times are all over twitter, if anyone is unsure of them I’ll put up a #DerbyDayOpeningTimes however, you might want to make note of the Central Station – St Peter’s direct metro times of 12:16 and 12:24


I always feel the pressure is on the home side in these games as you never want to be going away in the second derby looking to try to level things up.

They’re going to win a game at some point, just hope it’s not this one.. 1-1

Chris Betts



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