I was reasonably relaxed until I read the following by Luke Edwards on the Telegraph website and discovered the shocking news that we weren’t playing an average team of kickers who are currently joint 14th in the table.

Instead we are playing formidable opponents featuring a player with the combined talents of Ronaldo and Messi!

Facing us today....not!

It is the type of thing Pep Guardiola presumably says to Lionel Messi before the Argentine pulls the strings for Barcelona.

It is the sort of licence given to a player as effective as Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and it is also what Martin O’Neill will say to Sunderland’s Stephane Sessegnon ahead of today’s derby clash withNewcastle.

It is measure of the African’s talent that a manager renowned for his organisational skills and analytical mind is willing to let him play without fear of reprimand or hampered by restraint.

Small, but with a sprinter’s strength and a ballerina’s balance, Sessegnon is all twists and turns, feints and dummies. He is a footballer who makes things happen when the ball is at his feet, whether it is running at defenders or slotting the ball through them.

Surely it is only a matter of time before the mackems will lose him to La Liga for a new world record transfer fee.

This season Messi has 43 goals in 41 games and Ronaldo 37  in 36, obviously those statistics look pretty ridiculous next to Sessegnon’s…7 goals!

Obviously all players are capable of scoring/contributing on a derby day but surely you couldn’t have a better example of how the press go overboard on our neighbours.

Come on Newcastle let’s ram it down their throats.