It’s hitting hard now. It’s been brewing for the past few days but the PMT is at fever pitch now.

Pre-Mackem Tension kicking in with the sense of trepidation that five straight Derby defeats will create.

Since that hideous first 0-3 thumping there’s been a peak in expectation four times, hope that this is the day we gain revenge, the moment the slide is arrested. But gutless showing after gutless showing has been delivered, seemingly symptomatic of the Pardew regime.

If this new era has designs on greater things, this is a definite area for improvement.

I’ve heard a lot of wild speculation from the variety of mad results this fixture can throw up.

Some people have said it’s set for 0-0, seemingly unaware that the chances of both these defences keeping a clean sheet are about as likely as one of next year’s derbies being the Community Shield. A score draw is maybe more likely, although it would be little good to anyone.

Of course, the most likely outcome according to the bookies is the hideous prospect of the mackems recording six in a row. Many will be convinced that the fates are conspiring against us again, as Sunderland repeat this ridiculous trick of shoving a new manager in just so they can win a derby.

The fact that the bloke in question is Fat Sam had me contemplating spending Sunday afternoon climbing the Cheviots, it seemed so written in the stars that he would delight in smearing misery round Tyneside once again.

This fear remains strong, as always on this occasion, regardless of the build up. However, there are shoots of optimism from the showing against Norwich.

I bet the mackems will be worried about the karma surrounding Wijnaldum, after they attempted to sign him, he went to Newcastle instead and they spent the next 3 months claiming they didn’t want him anyway, insisting M’Vila is a better option. His scoring four goals the week before will have put the shizzles right up them.

In my opinion, the momentum from the Norwich game could win us this, but it rests mainly with one man.  His performance (or lack thereof) will go a long way to deciding this one.


So, whatever will be, will be. In any event I hope we can approach the aftermath of this game appropriately. A win would be a massive relief, but it’s got to be underpinned by the understanding that we’ve been vastly inferior in the fixture for three years.

To go over the top rubbing it in would be reminiscent of the type of the behaviour we’ve found so laughable from the mackems when the boot was on the other foot. It would also smack a bit, as I’ve said in recent weeks, of two bald men fighting over a comb.

The thing that we need to be aware of is that this game is critically important, not because of geography, but because both teams find themselves in a right old state after a quarter of the season. A win is vital to try to climb away from this ominous position, far more so than because it gives us an opportunity to take the micky out of Adam Heslop when we get to work next week.

A good performance and result tomorrow should be celebrated in itself, but we need to look forward to trying for another one against Stoke, and not allowing delusions to set in that we’re out of the mess we’ve found ourselves in.

Conversely, if we have to deal with yet another defeat, unpalatable though this is, we need to move on without getting too hung up on it.

Sunderland’s ability to raise their game considerably for this fixture is annoying to us on the day, but it should be their fans that feel put out about it when they go back to serving up garbage for the rest of the year.

This will doubtless be exacerbated by gloating clown shoes on the internet singing daft songs and acting like they’ve won the league. Perhaps the points they take from us will keep them in the Premier League again this year, but it’s a trick that can’t last forever.

As it stands I hope the same goes for their poxy little ‘new boss to beat the Mags’ trick.

I hope if we are to get a result we can handle it in a more considered way, in the context of the whole season and put focus on getting out of the mire we’ve been in for the past three years. Meanwhile it will be back to Groundhog Day for the mackems.

Good luck everyone.

Follow Jamie on Twitter @Mr_Dolf