Bottling It In Black & White
If there was anything left to play for this season, this was it for those in black & white.
The cups are gone, we’re a million miles away from challenging for the league and a serious crack at the European places went out the window when Newcastle failed to secure a permanent signing during the January transfer window.
With no real danger of being relegated all that was left to play for was pride and the Tyne-Wear derby, but unfortunately we were also robbed of that after receiving a thumping from our fiercest rivals on home turf.
It’s the most important day of the season for Newcastle fans, there aren’t many better feelings than beating Sunderland and gaining bragging rights until the next meeting. It has been a while since Geordies experienced that feeling of superiority as the Mackems came out on top during the last two meetings.
That alone should have been all the motivation that Alan Pardew and his side needed, a chance to restore pride and end this run of derby day defeats.
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His team talk needed no words, if any players in the dressing room didn’t understand the importance of the fixture, they don’t belong in the fixture and if you can’t motivate yourself for a fixture of this magnitude then you’re in the wrong business.
Unfortunately, Newcastle bottled it once again, too many in black and white looked lost in the heat of the battle and they were outfought and outclassed in every department by their Wearside opponents.
Sunderland played with pride, passion and heart, combining that with skill and control. Newcastle were without any of the key components required to win a derby and were second best all afternoon.
For so many years, Gus Poyet has proved to be a thorn in Newcastle’s side and this was the case once again as he completely out-thought Pardew. His tactics were spot on, few could argue with his team selection and his words of wisdom clearly got them up for the occasion and playing some wonderful football.
Meanwhile in the home dugout Pardew’s men lacked direction, motivation, and any hint of formation or game plan seemed to be missing, and that was before Newcastle went 2-0 down. When Newcastle did go two behind, things stayed the same and Newcastle continued to lack any creativity with all hope pinned on lumping it to Shola Ameobi (Something we may have to get used to without Cabaye).
A defeat on derby day is never easy to take but it was the manner of the defeat that gets the alarm bells ringing and something has to change. On their last two visits to St James’ Park, a struggling Sunderland side have come away with two 3-0 victories and the latter consigned Newcastle to their third derby day defeat in a row. In all three Newcastle have went down without an ounce of fight in them and Pardew has only one win in seven against Sunderland.
It’s not good enough, plain and simple, and under the current regime it will continue to happen without any real responsibility taken by those in charge.
At our club money has become more important than points or trophies and it is the fans that suffer as the best they can hope for is mid-table mediocrity.
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