A tale of two cities, Sunderland and Newcastle, on league cup duty

Rob in dustier climes
Rob in dustier climes

Let Rob Hutchison explain for himself how he came to see us and the Mags on successive nights …

Two matches, I’ve been watching both North East clubs in 24 hours . . . .

Tuesday Night: three Mags staying with me in Kent for a few days blagged tickets for the Gillingham game on Tuesday night, offered me a free one in their end which I declined, preferring to buy one in the home Medway Stand for 20 sheets. I was hoping for an upset but nothing to be had.

The Key points – Mags were poor, Obertan and Aarons were lightening quick down the flanks and threw tons of crosses into row ZZ. They are sterile up front this year, toothless. It rained on the urchins in the open roofed away end. Cabella rolls over at the slightest contact. De Jong is their main man but still some way off the pace. They had an allocation of 1285 but returned two small blocks of tickets unsold (big club y’see).

They won of course, by an OG from Mackem Egan, who did OK on the whole. Gills huffed and puffed, worked Krul a couple of times but it wasn’t really enough. My Gills ST holder mate quoted “We did well against a Premiership side that looked slick but created very little in front of goal. To lose to an own goal was frustrating but The Gills didn’t come away embarrassed and can hold their heads high.”

Fast Forward
to Wednesday Night at St Andrews.

Cheaper tickets = better away following, 1500+ mackems by the look of it [did I see a figure of about 1,997?Ed]. Nice and vocal, heaven knows why. Unbeaten so far and with one eye on 3 points at QPR there was expectancy in the air. Five changes but still a strong team, should be OK. In truth, 3-0 flattered, and we were a mixture of turgid and insipid for over an hour.

The first half harked back to Cardiff and Norwich away last season. Bridcutt was a shadow of Cattermole, king of the sideway pass, Jones was well off the pace, Pants nervous with his indecisive distribution. The rest were just very average and bereft of ideas, no overlapping runs or creativity.

Poyet must have had a word at half time as the second half got better as it went on, with the breakthrough finally coming from a fine finish with Gomez shooting across the keeper. AJ netted from Jozy’s palmed out shot (he looked gutted when the keeper saved it, really gutted, to the depths of his soul), and Wickham capped off a decent second half with a tidy finish. He really needs to be played down the middle to get the best out of the lad.

The problem is his touch isn’t great and he lost possession when he had two great opportunities to strike. Giaccherini had a terrific little cameo when he appeared which was a nice bonus. So the three goals in 13 minutes made it looked comfortable when in reality it was anything but. Brum pressed and had a go, and it took a couple of tasty saves and blocks to stop them taking the lead. Once the ring-rustiness is worked through the squad will look in much better shape than last years, and we certainly have options now to change games. The future’s bright, the future’s Mackem.

Love this new banner from Jake
Love this new banner from Jake, featuring Aiden Golly Marsden and his grandson Luke..

Player ratings I hear you cry? Well think sixes across the board with O’Shea, Wesley, Wicks and Gomez sneaking a point above, and Jones and Bridcutt probably a point below. MOTM was the away support, who gave Lee Clark dogs’ abuse all night. I was going to scribble a rant about the Borini-free zone, and some of our clowns who still stand when all around them were seated, but I’ll save that for another day.

Going again? Wembley Way by Rob Hutchinson, back in March
Going again? Wembley Way by Rob Hutchinson, back in March

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14 thoughts on “A tale of two cities, Sunderland and Newcastle, on league cup duty”

    • Too many syllables in my narrative??…..can dumb down if preferred. Despite a council estate upbringing I was encouraged to challenge low brow comments. Maybe it’s coming from Peterlee where there were always a mix of fans for both clubs. I just can’t ‘do’ the crass bigotry … I simply don’t hate NUFC fans…..pity them?….perhaps….so near but so far

      • From Wingate, a mixed village in terms of Boro, Sunderland and Newcastle ( and the Pool). Let’s just agree that Steveo is, well, limited and hopefully not representative of the majority.

  1. Fair read, however factualy incorrect, the game was a sell out at both ends, not sure why blocks were left unocupied, possibly crowd control, I purchased one ticked, went back for more, one week before the game, to find they were sold out.

  2. Just another deluded SMB. Sad prick. We are a big club unlike the mackems but you already know that. Thanks for Jack. We have made into an international in no time. That’s what happens when you move to a big club and better fans.
    Enjoy your relegation fight. SMB

    • A little unsure of yourself. If you are so big why deign to mix it with minnows? The truth is both Newcastle and Sunderland are fighting over a meagre bone, top side in the North East, that’s all.

      • Whilst you’re obviously correct Paul, for me it has never been about the size of the ‘bone’, rather it has always been about how we conduct ourselves. Two examples, first the huge SAFC turnout for Jody Craddock’s testimonial; second, the way SAFC fans showed their class by raising a substantial sum of of money when two true NUFC fans died in the air crash this summer. These exemplars made me wonder if there had been a sea change. I don’t mind the banter as Geordieinberkshire has often raised a smile. But Steveo has demonstrated that no sea change has taken place….nor will it ever…..I am indeed saddened by this which will no doubt cheer up Steveo……though I neither represent a phallus nor am I illegitimate…..Ah! Well, I suspect Steveo isn’t bothered by such minutiae….

      • I agree with everything you write, I too hope that the sad events of this summer will improve the tone and conduct of the respective parties. The bone is not the issue, I agree, but for someone who begins his “contribution” with SMB a sense of perspective would not go amiss. I have lived abroad for almost forty years and the recent wins over the neighbours were delightful but when I read the Sunderland Echo and the readers’ comments regularly conclude with FTM, I despair. I want all North Eastern teams to do well, especially Sunderland, my team.

        I still hope that the derbies are better occasions thus season, in terms of mutual respect, but I do think that Pardew is not a man who can resist a dig at Sunderland. Poyet is a much bigger football man and he comes across as much more intelligent, I write this because I think there is an onus on the top men to set an example and to remind some of the supporters of the fraternity which we witnessed recently.

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