The Newcastle mauling: worldly advice for Steve Bruce

Since the Nightmare of St James’ Park, advice on what Bruce should do about Sunderland – or Short and Quinn should do about Bruce – has been flowing thick and fast. There’s been plenty from supporters based around the world as well as those enduring the reality of bragging rights being invoked closer to home. The inquest continues here with Bill Taylor offering Bruce tips from his Canadian exile on the identity of his next captain …

“Obeisant” isn’t a word you come across in everyday conversation. Not the kind of conversations I have, anyway.

My on-line dictionary defines it as “dutiful or submissive behaviour with respect to another person; bending the head or body or knee as a sign of reverence or submission or shame”.

Kind of like what Sunderland did at St. James’ Park on Sunday.

Normally, I would have said we were hammered; that we lay down and let them walk all over us. But “obeisant” sprang to mind after I read about the British Scrabble championship at the weekend. It was one of the words used in the final game by the winner, Mikki Nicholson.

The fact that Nicholson is a transsexual, who wore a pink wig and matching PVC frock, is irrelevant here. Like Sunday’s 5-1 result, it’s just another indicator that the world is a stranger place than most of us realize.

A world so strange that a Premier League manager can get the go-ahead to spend millions of pounds on top-flight players and then keep them on the bench at the outset of every game.

Is Steve Bruce afraid they’re going to wear out? Is that why he usually starts with a gaggle of loaners? And once they’ve shown they’re not quite up to the task, brings the likes of Gyan on to try to salvage a point?

As we recently saw demonstrated over and over in the World Cup, if you play simply to keep from losing, that’s often what you wind up doing. Or, at best, you scramble to a draw and then you try to pretend that it’s an honourable result.

It’s hard to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous Magpies (though if the boot were on the other foot, we’d be just as bad) but maybe it’s a good thing that it was Newcastle who pummeled us like this.

If it had been one of the top teams, it would have been far easier to shrug it off and move on. We DO have to move on – as I’ve said before, this was one game, not the whole season – but we can’t shrug it off. That’s made easier by the fact that we were beaten up by our most deadly rivals, a middle-of-the-road side (at best) but led by a manager who has very little to lose.

Chris Hughton has worked wonders at SJP but his job is still not 100-per-cent secure. You get the feeling that if Alan Shearer said, “Hey, I’ve changed my mind,” they’d be handing Hughton his hat and calling him a cab. He needs results; he can’t be complacent. It’s neck or nothing.

Steve Bruce, on the other hand, clearly feels he has security of tenure. Listen to his interview with the BBC – – as he piles platitude upon platitude: men against boys… couldn’t have gone more wrong… caught in the headlights… harsh lesson… can’t complain… dust ourselves down. He says last one several times but concedes that it’ll “take some recovering”.

Does that mean he doesn’t hold out much hope for against Stoke on Saturday, either?

“Maybe,” Bruce admits, “I could have played with a little more experience,” rather than the “young, naïve” players he chose to start the game.

But they’ve been playing well, he insists. Until yesterday, they’d only conceded seven goals. Yeah, but they hadn’t scored many more than that, either. And if Darren Bent, god forbid, had been injured at the start of the season the house of cards would have collapsed long before now. As it is, it’s wobbling perilously.

“You have to live with the decisions you made,” Bruce tells the BBC.

No, you have to learn from them. And he doesn’t. Every week is the same.

“All we can do is apologize to our loyal supporters,” he says.

No, you can make amends to your loyal supporters by changing your approach. You can start by taking the captaincy away from Cattermole and giving it to John Mensah.

I’d love to be a fly on the wall when Niall Quinn talks to Ellis Short. I’d love to know what it is that’s keeping Quinn from tearing a strip off Bruce. What’s happening with the team must be driving Quinn crazy. But there’s no sign that he’s doing anything to change that.

I’m all for having faith in your manager and adopting a hands-off approach. But not when the manager is squandering a formidable array of talent. I wonder how much faith THEY have in him any more.

On paper, Sunderland has a much stronger squad than Newcastle, who I still believe could be floundering close to the relegation zone come the end of the season.

The strongest man on their team is Chris Hughton. Unfortunately, Steve Bruce is looking more and more like the weakest man on ours. And the game’s not played on paper.

One of the other words Mikki Nicholson used to win the Scrabble championship was “inficete”. It means “not funny”. Being obeisant very seldom is. We shouldn’t need a guy in a pink wig and PVC frock to remind us of that.

* Later: always look on the bright side of a 5-1 drubbing

45 thoughts on “The Newcastle mauling: worldly advice for Steve Bruce”

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  2. sorry u need the code to see it-if u have a code click on 2 for one days out after u input it-it has a stadium of light tour and the address is Newcastle upon Tyne! tut tut….unbelievable

  3. Look this is a sunderland site and where all comparing our side against the Mags, The mags without doubt deserved the win, But the battering was there for all to see prior to the game, I sat in the terraces at Blackburn and against Villa and was concerned about what I saw. playing a 4-5-1 you have to ask where is Welbeck playing, he goes missing for most of the game and leaves the left back totally exposed.
    SB and the press have made such a big thing of safc being a one man show that no one plays Bent through anymore even though he is still getting in the positions, instead we have to witness Malbranque blasting balls into the stands from all over the pitch, Wellbeck failed to find Bent early on in the mags game when he was clean through and Bents head visibly dropped, this could have so changed the outcome of the game.
    I have to ask SB why we play 4-5-1 and yet during several corners against Blackburn both cattermoll and Henderson where outside the box as holding midfielders, this was against 10 men, Why!!. I have yet to see Onouha support Elmo on the right wing.
    Its time for a change and both Wellbeck and Malbranque should mke way. Come on SB why cant you see what all the fans are seeing.

  4. I for one am not convinced we’ll finish above Newcastle, but i’m sure we’ll have much better days than Sunday! I think the mags and celtic on here are almost right about our starting team on sunday but for me our better players weren’t involved. Campbell, Meyler, Mensah, Gyan and Gordon for starters are all better than players that started the game and that gives me the confidence for the rest of the season. I still think we have a stronger squad but i can eat humble pie and accept the mags full strength team is a lot better than we thought, and fair play to Hughton, he’s got them together and got them playing as a team. I can only hope steve bruce does something similiar for the rest of our season..

  5. Jonny D

    Have you ever tried watching Men’s field hockey , shirtless , with a season ticket up your arse . Not pleasant . I tell you , best not to watch from the seats !!!

  6. Well lets all just throw our shirts in the bin stick are season tickets up our arses and go and watch mens field hockey!!!!

    Haway for F’n hells sake, it is what it is. We’re never likely to be a regular European spot side, but as supporters we’ve made our choices, a mojoritiy of us still love our club and will turn out for them no matter what.

    We are an average team with a small contingent of very good players, these are the facts denying it only make the truth hurt more.

  7. Ifos – if my spectacles are rose tinted – yours are pooh tinted.

    Open your ears you fool. Take some smelling salts before the game. Everyone’s talking about how glorious the football has been. What about the second half against City? What about the opening 75 mins against Birmingham?? what about Man U?

    Elliot, Arnott – please!!!! We had Mel Holden (RIP) as centre forward and Bob Lee supporting him!! They got us relegated. The standard nowadays is way superior. This team now would muller that team then. Quinn and Philips were Gods though. If we had them in this team we’d be laughing.

    You think Bruce is an average manager. Contrary to the views of Harry Redknapp, Sir Alex, and even Mourhino. Maybe you should give it a go – either that or go buy some black and white stripes coz frankly we’d be better off without “supporters” like you!!

    We’re a bit impotent up front, but that will be sorted. Go on Brucie – prove this fool wrong – I’d love to see him eat his words!!!!!

  8. The best football in decades?!I think someone’s been watching Stoke not Sunderland. This team isn’t fit to share a pitch with the team of Schwarz, Summerbee, Rae, Quinn and Phillips; and if we’re talking pure football appreciation regardless of league, then the team that included most of the above with Clark and Johnston was even more fun to watch. Even the team of Arnott, Rowell and Elliott produced more exciting football than this team. Results against Man City? The first half was awful and only Tevez’s glorious miss gave us 3 points, a draw against the worst Liverpool team in a generation.
    Some perspective does need to be kept, and I think that the rose tinted spectacle you’re wearing would need to be removed to achieve that. Bruce has been average for his managerial career, so far I’ve seen nothing to change my mind. And some people were advocating changes for this match well before, not in hindsight. As for a comment about getting beat by Villa to give Bruce an ‘excuse’ to make changes; he’s the manager, paid to make decisions, he doesn’t need excuses, and if he does he definitely isn’t the man for the job.

  9. F**k it, I’m with Daveyb. I’m going with Gordon…. I will forget the other nomination he said though..

  10. Haha fair enough. He’s not really my first choice either but who else? Apart from Bent there isn’t anybody in the current squad who i can see holding down a place consistantly. I would probes agree on Mensah if was a full time Sunderland player and I mean that in more ways than one!!! Maybe Samson or Delilah isn’t a bad shout after all!!

  11. Good piece. Newcastle have a strong midfield in the form of Barton, Nolan, Tiote and Guttierez. This should not be overlooked. Nolan was a smart acquisition.

  12. I always prefer to see a player at the back as captain , I think its difficult for a forward , especially a player like Bent to captain the team .
    Mensah would be my choice too , when he’s playing – when he’s not then obviosly someone else takes over the armband . Excluding Mensah because he’s a loanee , and accepting that Catts isn’t the right man for the job , then the only 2 viable choices would be Gordon or Bramble .

  13. yes – let’s make one of the “gaggle of loaners” captain. He can captain the team once every 4 games at best. Good idea Bill. Personally I’d go with the guy we all rely on. Mr Bent.

  14. The exception that proves the rule, perhaps. And, among all this talk about having faith in the club (and SB), I have faith that Mensah will be a full member of the team eventually. Be that as it may, he’s still our best bet as captain.

  15. And differ we will Bill. The only common ground we have is our passion for the club, and the fact that Cattermole should not be captain.

    There is an element of hypocrisy though, considering your previous comments regarding loanees. If Steve Bruce ever made Mensah captain he would be chastised like never before.

  16. Bill – you’re also missing the fact that Mensah isn’t actually a Sunderland player. Mr Short will not release the funds to buy a player who undoubtedly has bags of talent, but cant string more than 3 appearances at a time together with out having a big lay off.

    I dont see a player in our team who posses technical ability, natural leadership and the fitness levels to play in 70% of our league games. Catts is not the right man, Mensah isnt our player, we need someone to step out of the shadows (maybe Turner) and take the armband and make their own.

    Sunderland Captains have historically enjoyed long stints at the club any player wanting to write their name into our clubs history should step up now, I just dont think its going to be Catts or Mensah

  17. We’re obviously gonna have to agree to differ, Martin. I’ll just say this about the captaincy — Mensah and Cattermole both have a history of injuries that have kept them off the field. Cattermole compounds this by getting also getting sent off fairly regularly and missing even more games. I’ll stick with John Mensah, thanks.

  18. Newcastle might be so buoyed up by this result and performance that they may step up a few gears. It’s right to say that their results have been patchy but the middle of the road in the context of the game the other day is a little harsh. Lets see what happens at the SOL.

    Carroll is a little rough round the edges but he’s streets ahead of Kevin Kyle!! He needs some finesse, but he’s got potential for sure. He’ll score goals at the top level – Kyle didn’t.

  19. I have to say that I agree with Bill that Newcastle are a middle of the road side. Look at their results prior to Sunday and there is absolutely no evidence that they are anything but. Sunday was a one off. They were more fired up and better than us on Sunday. Does that make them a better side than us over the course of the season? The answer to that may range from not necessarily to of course not. We will have to wait and see. Carroll had a blinder and got service that Bent didn’t get. He was a handful. However, I’ve seen Carroll a lot this season and invariably he’s looked considerably more like Kevin Kyle than Malcolm McDonald. That’s taking nothing away from him of NU’s performance. They played very well and applied themselves to the task. Our lot simply didn’t show up.

    It’s all too easy to make assumptions about the outcome of each club’s season following a derby, especially one where the home side stuffs the visitors, but the 6-0 drubbing that the Mags gave Villa was followed by home defeats at the hands of Stoke and Blackpool, and only a last minute equaliser prevented Wigan taking all three points. The facts are being washed away in an undertandable tide of Mackem emotion and angst, and what seems to be a diluted form of the customary Mag delusion which we might have expected. It’s ttime to take some perspective on this. One game does not make a season, regardless of the result. This case is no different.

  20. John Mensah – a fabulous player and good in the dressing room, would not be a sensible option for captain because he gets injured in almost every game he plays. I thought that would be as clear as day. He plays in less than half the games. How would he make a good captain when he can’t contribute on the pitch??!!

    I’m sorry – I know there’s a few problems but I will never be able to understand your impatience and intolerance, especially after the kind of performances we have been watching. It’s baffling to me.

    I’m not watching the game with blinkers on, I am just elated to be watching football, and witnessing results rarely seen before on Wearside. I am prepared for a few hiccups along the way. I was probably more damning of the performance against Newcastle than you were. We’ve lost twice this season – that’s all. But the point is, the football has been sexy. Great to watch. And you want to ditch the provider of it???

    You’re the guy with the blinkers Bill. He’s doing our fans justice by beating Man City, drawing at Anfield with Liverpool, and handsomely outplaying Man U. Jumping to the conclusion that he ain’t the man for the job after one hurtful result is typical of an angry fan, and it lacks foresight.

    I’m not saying for one minute that your knowledge of the game is shaky. I’m saying that your bitchiness is unhelpful, unjustified and unnecessary. If you think our team is playing badly I simply despair!! I just don’t get it. I think he’ll get it right. Give him some time man!! Let’s debate strategy, team selection, motivation, our attacking options etc. But let’s not focus on putting down a guy who’s supplied us the best football we’ve seen in decades, despite our offensive frailties. How is that helpful?? To say it is “deserved” after recent results is sublimely ignorant and unfair. He’s building slowly yet surely, and he’s far from finished!.

    If your “love of Sunderland” is unshakable get behind your club and your manager and give him at least a modicum of a chance to get it right. It’s moving in the right direction – and you can’t possibly deny that.

    In the past I have been as damning as you are regarding other shambles regimes, but after the diet we’ve survived football wise over the last few decades, I sit in amazement at your lack of gratitude. You love Sunderland, yet you pour scorn on a guy trying his best with some limitations to put together a skilfull, entertaining team for us.

    One of the biggest issues in football is how insecure the tenure of a managers position is, and sackings are often harsh and premature, mostly due to pressure on the club by impatient fans.

    Whenever he messes up, he has the integrity to man-up to it. He takes responsibility. Give him more time guys – all of you!! Let him continue with his plans. Embrace it – don’t reject it. His term is in it’s infancy. As a manager he is regarded amongst other respected managers as one of the best young managers in the game. How can Bill be right and they be wrong?? Let’s judge him at the end of the season and in the meantime, keep the faith.

    I wish I could be at the SOL every game but distance and a nauseating 10 hour flight keeps me away. But I take pride in watching our fans support our team and as long as the effort levels are there, we clap our team off the pitch – regardless of the result. That puts our fans above most others – trust me it does.

    But to call for SB’s head right now is premature and suicidal – unless of course M O’neill is interested!!! (joking!) Our fans are a class act – don’t jump on Bill’s bandwaggon because we got beat by the mags. Try to be a little more circumspect. Thank you!

  21. Slightly ridiculous, Martin? Perhaps. But that’s better than being bloody ridiculous (and no, I’m not pointing that finger at you). I don’t get your crack about Mensah and Sunderland General. He’s not in the orthopaedic ward, he’s on the roster for this Saturday’s game and, yes, he should be captaining the team.
    It’s not so much Bruce’s words in the interview, though he didn’t take the trouble to find anything new to say, it’s his tone of voice. I don’t need verbal tweezers, just a basic ability to read between the lines.
    Why do I keep slam-dunking him? Because he deserves it. He’s not doing team or its supporters justice.
    Yeah, I agree, with a derby match the form book goes out the window. But I think I dealt with that.
    You may think my knowledge of the game is shaky and you may be right. But my love of Sunderland is unshakeable. That doesn’t mean I’m not prepared to call a spade a spade. Watching the team with blinkers on does no one any favours.

  22. Daveyb

    Agreed there are talented players on the bench. My worry is the soft belly the team seems to have. We dont have the ability to get back into a game. Once a body blow is delivered we stumble and often fall flat on our faces and it takes a few games to get back up.

    Goals from midfield is another problem, we simply dont get enough of them. It’s not fair that Benty is expected to dig us out of the crap week in week out. Then there’s the defence, I would love to know how much time is spent on set pieces in training. Every time we concede a corner or dangerous looking freekick we either concede a goal or end up defending for 15 mins on our 18 yard line.

    We are at least 4 players short on being a good top 10 side and when you consider the funds the club have gone through in recent years that worries me.

  23. Bill – you are being slightly ridiculous my friend.

    Firstly, to have the gall to say we were beaten by a “middle of the road side at best” is galactically pompous!! From that performance they are miles above that label. They would have beaten Barcelona playing like that!!

    Sometimes you have to stand up in an “obeisant” kind of way and admit that the better team won on the day, and offer somewhat begrudged congratulations after a great showing. To label them as you did after pulling us limb from limb, making a previously hard to beat team look like they were playing on rollerskates, is a little naiive to say the least. You set yourself (and the rest of us) up for a clout on the chin!!

    In any event, at a derby game the form book goes out the window. Surely you must acknowledge that?

    Why do you always slam-dunk Steve Bruce? Strangely enough though, I didn’t see you do it after the Liverpool or Man City games. Does that make you somewhat “reactionary”. And by sheer coincidence the word “fickle” has been thrown at our neighbours, but you yourself do excellent justice to the definition.

    I get the need for dissection after such a gutless performance. I really do. It is patently obvious that we are far from the finished article, especially when it comes to goal contribution. But to lambast the manager in the way you have, especially after some excellent results, is nothing more than impatient petulance. I’m sure you’ll come back with an articulate rant but I will say for the record. You are not capable of looking at the bigger picture – and that Bill demonstrates a lack of intellegence.

    On the subject of captaincy, I think it’s a great idea to strip Lee of the captaincy and give it to John Mensah. You might want to consider buying him a 5 million watt sound rig though. Because that’s the only way his instruction to his mates will be heard from the Orthopedic ward at Sunderland General. Good shout Bill.

    The “young and naiive” players, previously a revelation, were dragged off as soon as it became obvious they weren’t cutting it. Hindsight is a wonderful thing – is it not? I’m interested to ask you what your response would have been if he’d left out Elmo after his recent perfprmances?

    Furthermore – it’s a bit of a cliche to use the word “platitude”. But how on Gods earth do you interpret Bruces comments as demonstrating “security of tenure”? Where in his words do you get that? Read them for yourself again. Are you using verbal tweezers?

    I can also settle one of your other issues. What’s happening with the team is NOT driving Niall Quinn crazy. He’s watching the same football I’m watching and salivating just like me. WITH OBVIOUS EXCEPTIONS!! The performance the other day was utterly dejecting and deserving of verbal punishment, but let’s get things into perspective. FACT – Steve Bruce has improved us immeasurably. We are growing and evolving – but there will be setbacks, and it takes longer than the time you are prepared to give him.

    So Bill – your words a somewhat unfair and at best ungrateful. We got slaughtered by you-know-who and your article sounds like bad beans. I think you should apply a little obeicancy to yourself and be a little thankful for what’s happening at our club after years of pure shite!!

  24. Newcastle gave us a torrid time of it on Sunday, not just the five goals (and it could have been more) but their complete dominance in midfield and up front and our relative meekness in attack.

    We do struggle to create scoring chances and at times our industrial approach to moving the ball around in midfield allows the oppositions defence to regroup and get behind the ball. We need some midfield flair and more movement up front, but if Bents there on his own this can lead to a lot of wastefull running without the support from midfield.

    As I have said before on these pages, Bruce is tactically limited and I think is beginning to run oput of favour with the support and time with the Board. there needs to be a fundamental shift in our style with a move towards more freeflowing football and a bit more of an attack minded approach. I’m just not sure that Bruce can supply this even with the correct resources.

    It was only one game, but it was one that this was the worst outcome for, congratulations have to go to NUFC who were deserving winners based upon desire and hunger. A gutless performance against the same opposition at the SOL saw the end of Peter Reid, Bruce should take heed form this.

  25. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and Im sure if Bruce had another chance of replaying Sunday’s game he would do things a lot differently; but to be honest I dont think the outcome would be much different. Im just pleased that we were not playing against a good “footballing” team, they would have probably got into double figures. We have flirted lately with a few good results against the top teams, putting in some good performances along the way and playing, dare I say it, some intelligent and attractive football.
    I get the feeling on Sunday the players were expecting that performance just to happen for them and to “football” the Mags off the pitch. Obviously that didnt happen and we couldnt cope with the phyisical, Stoke City Rugby Football Club type , aspect that the Mags brought to the game. I am predicting now that the outcome to the Stoke game at the weekend will be much the same, we simply cannot cope with the Blackburn’s, Stoke’s and Newcastle’s of this league.
    Lets face the truth, we were battered all over the pitch in the first half (cant comment on the second), individual battles were lost, we had little shape, Bent was starved of service and looked isolated, Elmo didnt look 100% from the the kick off and CH looked very dapper whilst Bruce looked shabby. The appearance of the managers reflecting in thier respective teams performances on the day.
    Lets be realistic though and put things into perspective. We get a good drubbing at least once a season, unfortunately this year it was off them but we needed our eyes to be opened. How dare we speak of the potential of reaching the dizzy heights of europe when we cant deal with the middle of the road teams. Theres nothing like a good kicking to make you realise how soft you actually are, and the word putty comes to mind.
    Im sure SB’s eyes have been pinned wide open after Sunday and he will start to see the light about a few of the players and the system he plays them in. We dont see enough of Zenden and Riveros on the pitch (I know, Riveros was ill) and far too much of others. Gyan is a long way from prooving he is 13 Squillion pounds worth but without the minutes on the pitch what can he do.
    As for the Mags, lap it up, have a good old gloat with a big fat face full of smug, I would be doing the same but its a long season with plenty of twists and turns still to come. The battle may have been won but the war is far from over, we will see who is the better middle of the road team in May.

  26. Jonny D

    Excellent comment , totally agree , though I can’t see why we can’t oush for a top 10 spot – from what I’ve seen so far – Sunday excepted of course .

    As far as strength of squads go , just look at then benches – Sunderland’s far superior – begs the question – what the hell are they doing on the bench ???

  27. I really dont see what the fuss is about. I’ve been a Sunderland supporter all my life, amongst my group of friends I’m the only one. I have to say Newcastle are a bigger club, it’s just the way it is.

    I will always support my club but worrying about who is the biggest is just crazy.

    What NUFC have to realise is they’re very much a flavour of the month Club. Sometime’s the nations 2nd club and in recent time the nations object of ridicule.

    As I have said for a long time there’s nothing I would like to see more than both clubs battling it out for a top 10 place. That would be proper rivalry that actually means something. As it is both clubs are deluded SAFC for thinking they’re a stable Prem club (becuase we’re not) and NUFC for allowing that “we deserve this, we deserve that mentallity to creep back in. NUFC are doing OK and I’m sure they will stay up, just dont expect either club to be regularly breaking into the top 10 any time soon.

    Enjoy your victory you derserve it, you just want to prey to god that the claims you’ve made on the back of it materialise or you’ll be right back to where you were 12 months ago. As for SAFC this is part and parcel of being Red & White it hurts like hell but you’ve just got to get on with it and not whinge about it.

  28. Celticcelticceltic

    I totally disagree with you and your point that newcastle have a better squad! I dont begrudge the result on sunday it was fully deserved!. And for the newcastle fans gloating i dont mind that either as we would do the same thing! You talk about sunderland fans being deluded but i and all sunderland fans would admit for years and years newcastle have been the better side, and i have always admitted that! But even when newcastle were relegated and in the championship, they still refused to admit we were better!! for me that is delusion! As for the teams, i would only take one newcastle player in my sunderland team and that is Jose Enrique.

  29. I feel sorry for Sunderland fans but you need some perspective. When Newcastle were relegated you were only a couple of points above them and they had gone through numerous crazy management changes. They had a better playing squad than you then and they have a better squad than you now. Bent aside none of your team would get into their first 11. I know Geordies get slated all the time for deluded comments but the reason this result hurt so much was because you had self proclaimed yourselves a bigger club, based upon your perceived idea that newcastle were finished following relegation. Pride comes before a fall!

  30. Paul

    Wouldn’t it now be two freak results?

    Anyway, I do believe we are a decent side, but just a bit inconsistent. We would be happy just to survive this season and then consolidate in the summer. We are not in denial of the fact we are a newly promoted team.

    However, when I read things like “NUFC are a middle of the road team (at best)” from Sunderland fans it makes me wonder, just how good do you guys actually think you are?

    I looked at your squad on Sunday and was very confident of winning 70% of the individual battles (surprisingly, we actually ended up winning 100%) Bent, Welbeck(I didn’t know he was rubbish) and Malbranque were the only question marks in my mind.

    I knew Cattermole and Henderson would struggle with the brute force, tenacity and technical ability of Tiote. I knew Barton would be able to spray passes your midfield/defence would struggle to cope with. I knew Carroll, Nolan and Ameobi would give your defence a nightmare. I knew Enrique would dominate Elmohamedy. These were all certainties in my mind prior to kick-off.

    So I am just wondering how Sunderland fans can consider their squad superior to ours? At best, the two sides are evenly matched. Your side excelling in the defensive side, ours the offensive.

  31. Newcastle will now give Houghton a well deserved new contract , they will then sack him at the first sign of trouble , or their fickle fans turning against him
    Come on mackems – we have a good manager , and excellent Chairman and owner , and fans sensible enough to know one result does not make a season , no matter who it is against .
    Lets get behind the lads – who have performed admirably prior to the derby , and move up the table .

  32. A belated note to point out what the above makes obvious: all comments from Sunderland and non-Sunderland fans alike are welcome, subject to ordinary rules of decency – and also subject to the simple anti-spam device of a short delay for moderation if you haven’t posted previously.
    No problem with Mags coming on to gloat – we’d have been as bad, as Bill points out in his piece, and were when Toon went Doon – but abusive content (from anyone) will be edited or rejected.

  33. Come on Paul, it wasn’t really a freak. They battered us and it pains to say but they honestly did. They were well up for it and we weren’t. If they can do it against us and Villa it just proves that they do have goals in their side. The other results i.e Blackpool, Stoke and the other home game they lost just proves inconsistency. Tell me a club who doesn’t suffer that at times? As I said, injuries will be the only thing to rock them as they have no real depth (in my opinion only!!)

  34. We were awful on sunday but it is a long season and we WILL get back on track. As for newcastle fans, you’s were all saying these same things after the aston villa game and look what happened! one freak result doesnt make you’s a good team!

  35. No chance of Newcastle flirting with relegation and I honestly don’t think there is a chance of them finishing above us. I have enjoyed watching the way CH has Newcastle playing at the moment. His midfielders defend well and press at the right moment, they don’t do anything silly and they give the ball to Carroll who is a right handful. They do lack a lot in their general build up play but they more than make up for it in there direct approach. I said to my Dad before the game that if we lose it will be down to set pieces and surely enough all the goals resulted from some form of set piece. It should be a good season for both of us so long as Newcastle can go the length to injuries to key players but that can be said for most teams really.

    The 4-5-1 formation we’ve been playing worked well against the big teams in the league but we never look like winning! It just shows that if we face a side who have the desire to actually go out and get a result we were found wanting. It is also a complete waste of talent with the players we have had on the bench of late. It probs would have done us a favour to lose the Aston Villa game so SB had an excuse to make the changes to tactics and personnel!

    I think we need to see how SB and the players react to hammering before we jump down his neck. I was never a fan of Bruce and my eyebrows raised when he was appointed manager BUT I have been impressed with all of his signings (what we have seen of them) and I like the look of the Sunderland side. Lets not be too hasty and just remember where we were not so long ago. Newcastle were shouting the same things a number of years ago when they wanted and got Sir Bobby Robson out the door and just look where that got them!

    Every football fan up and down the country has been in the same position as us and felt like this so lets stop feeling sorry for ourselves and get behind the lads against Stoke. All of this can be forgotten about after one game (sort of, anyway).


  36. How can we expect to beat the Mags with a Mag in charge?
    All those who left with 30 minutes to go should be ashamed, thanks to you leaving us on our own we then got a chased through newcastle by the baying mob, I was genuinely scared, for the first time in my adult life.
    It didn’t help that the Mags Team were so dominant, I’m embarressed to admit I support the lads now, I think if anyone asks I’ll just say I’m a Geordie.
    Bruce out, and take the board as well!

  37. Think you clutching at straws there m8 it was defo a pena but i agree it shouldnt have been a red card but im not sure if it would made much difference if titus was still on any way we still controlled the game and in all honesty it could have been worse for yas

    Definitely need to beat stoke for confidence more than anything but kenye might have summit to say about that cant believe bruce got rid of him

  38. All I can say is that I wouldnt swap one of our players for any of Sunderlands on that display. Even your best player bent was poor, without him you guys would be bottom your a one man team. We have talented youngsters up front and an awsome midfield that pushed you lot arond like kindergarden kids v’s highschool bad lads.

    You were just lucky we wernt around last year for more of the same, you just had it coming. Lets all laugh at Newcastle eh? well whos laughing now? ME LOLOLOLOLO

  39. “a middle-of-the-road side (at best)”

    And they say NUFC fans are deluded. If we are a “middle of he road at best”, I am intrigued to know what you consider Sunderland FC? Top 8?!

    As for having “the stronger squad on paper”, I beg your pardon? Aside from Darren Bent you have nobody we would even entertain signing.

    Gyan – 13million pounds worth of garbage
    Cattermole and Henderson – Overrated Englishmen/Both spent 90% of the game in Tiote’s pocket.

    The rest aren’t even worth mentioning and I would back our first 11 against yours everyday of the week.

  40. Just to have my tenpennorth , as I see things in the cold light of day .
    Newcastle were always going to be up for this one , having played second fiddle to Sunderland for the past 2 seasons . Having only conceded 7 goals prior to this match , and the defence playing well , Bruce obviously wasn’t going to change things – even for this derby.
    Now he has the chance to change as much personell as he wishes for the Stoke match ; that makes Mensah , Gordon and Gyan , sure starters in my book.
    Back to the match , and I watched it in a quiet pub in a village outside of Preston , so i wasn’t surrounded by loads of disgruntled Sunderland supporters or jubilant mad mags , so I was able to see things from a different perspective , in different surroundings . No doubt Newcastle deserved to win , but the first goal was always going to be crucial , and Sunderland had a couple of good chances to get that , just like Villa had when they were drubbed at SJP .
    First goal was poor marking , Sunderland had about 7 players in the 6 yard box , and still no one picked up Nolan , but I still think the keeper could have done better – although I attach no blame for this result on Mignolet , who has been excellent ever since the Brum match . 2nd goal was poor – I still think Shola was offside – he has to be interfering with play , although again – poor marking . To me it wasn’t a penalty – he didnt trip the guy his foot caught the back of his leg , which prompted a forward roll , double somersault and half pike from Guttierez ! They were never penalties , years ago – but now the slightest touch in the box and players fall over . Same with the sending off – a bit harsh – yes he mistimed it , but someone would have covered , and Carrol always slips over when he runs towards goal , yellow card for me
    Carrol perhaps shouldn’t even have been on the pitch at that point – to the letter of the law – after getting booked , he had a free kick given against him for handball – another bookable offence
    Alright I’m clutching at straws and trying to make as light as possible a 5 – 1 hammering . But our season is far from over – another week , another game – if we beat Stoke , and Newcastle fail again at Arsenal then we leapfrog them in the table .
    Let’s look on the bright side – i’m sitting at my desk surrounded by all sorts of match reports and pics from the game , put their by mag colleagues ; I’ll just leave them for the cleaner – our time will come again – hopefully a lot sooner than all of the doom and gloom merchants are predicting
    Rant over

  41. I think your wrong mate the Toon will finish above your lot. We are and always have been a much bigger club than you.

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