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Would Newcastle Fans Swap Places With Sunderland?

8 years ago

There was a suggestion a couple of months ago that Newcastle fans would love to swap places with Sunderland and be in a cup final.

I don’t think a single one of us would have done so if it meant inheriting their league position or form. However, I can’t help but wish that we were playing some of the football they have been lately.

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I joined all Newcastle fans in having a good laugh at Sunderland as they threw away a lead to lose to Man City in the Capital One Cup final. That made us feel better about not being there. With the mackems a fairly comfortable bet for relegation, the Stadium of Light was becoming the most ironically named venue in world football.

However, having watched both teams on Match of the Day last weekend I couldn’t help but feel a little jealousy.

I know Sunderland are fighting for their lives, and we are sitting pretty, but our fans still have a right to be entertained. The mackems beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge whilst we slumped to defeat, having led, at our home ground.

On top of that, earlier in the week Sunderland came close to beating Man City at the Etihad and earned a well deserved draw. We haven’t been able to pick up any points against Southampton, Man Utd, Everton, Stoke or Swansea.

Finally, Sunderland climbed out of the relegation zone they’ve been nestled in so snugly all season with a 4-0 battering of Cardiff on Sunday. I doubt I’m the only one that believes we’ll struggle to replicate that result when the bluebirds come to St James’ next weekend.

Against Swansea, Ameobi scoring after a year was a minor positive and Chris Foy’s face getting dominated by a football was a particularly pleasing highlight last week.

Other than those two minor ‘victories’ the overall standard on display was woeful once again. On the other hand Sunderland fans must have been bouncing after their recent results.

Connor Wickham. CONNOR WICKHAM! Has now outscored Ameobi, Cisse and de Jong put together this season (in his last three games for that matter).

If I had a choice I would have Sunderland finish 17th every season. This makes them the worst team to not get relegated but still guarantees us two local derbies the following year. After losing three derbies on the bounce, though, I think I’d just prefer them to go down now. For the first time all season I can’t see this happening.

I made a £20 bet with a colleague at the beginning of the season that Newcastle would finish in the top 10 this year. In December I was laughing. Now I’m staring down the table in disbelief as Palace sneak to within three points of us. This is the same team that sat bottom on 7 points whilst we sat in fifth with 23 points at the beginning of December. If we’d followed their form since, we’d be in Champions League contention right now.

We fell to eighth during December but accumulated a further 10 points. This put us 12 points above eleventh place and 17 above Palace. 2014 has been a horror story and in the sixteen games played, we’ve picked up just 13 points of a possible 48.

When we beat Palace there was a tiny morsel of hope but since that game we’d lost five and Palace won five. This run only ended on Sunday for Palace with a loss against title chasing Man City.

Pardew keeps saying this season hasn’t been a failure.

Of course it has. No Newcastle fans are happy. Our best player has left. Our top scorer is a loanee that will move on next season. One of our most talented players can’t seem to be incorporated into a pitiful first team. Where’s the success in all this? Two exceptional months do not make up for the dour, frustrating and weekend destroying performances 2014 has brought us.

Does anyone expect Monday’s trip to a resurgent Arsenal to be any better? In fact our last three games see us face three teams battling desperately for something. Will there be any more points to celebrate this season? I would’ve regarded Cardiff as a definite three points until the other Welsh team snatched the points from St. James’.

Sunderland have scored as many goals as Newcastle at St. James’ Park in the Premier League this calendar year. What an embarrassing statistic. I wouldn’t even be surprised if this statistic remains intact over the summer.

I believe that only Adam Johnson and maybe Fabio Borini could get into our first eleven and yet as it stands it is the Black Cats that are producing the point-winning, fan pleasing performances in the north east currently.

You can follow Billy on Twitter @billymerlin


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