Newcastle v Sunderland – The game of the….zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Newcastle v Sunderland.
In Toon Today:
Sunderland. Not very interesting at all.
Who Manages Them?
Gus Poyet has been desperately trying to drum up some interest in a team who seem content to 0-0 their way to safety this season.
Ten draws, the least number of wins and the second worst goals scored in the league with the threat of relegation kept just about at arm’s length, has meant that Sunderland are usually so late on Match of the Day that Andrew Marr introduces their highlights.
A brief October goal-fest seems to have taught Poyet a valuable lesson, his tub-thumping “we’re on a roll now” speech around the 3-1 victory over Stoke was followed by a hilarious 8-0 drubbing at Southampton and has forced Poyet back to his drawing board, in more ways than one.
Despite Sunderland having a manager who looks like Lee Evans after too long at Stand And Tan, they are not very entertaining. Poyet said a couple of weeks ago that “I am not enjoying this,” which has subsequently been chosen as the promotional slogan by the Sunderland Tourist Board for its 2015 ‘Visit Sunderland if Newcastle is full’ campaign. Like predecessor Paulo Di Canio he’s had a pop at the recruitment policy at the club, which suggests that he is already looking for his next club:
“I am a head coach,” Poyet told reporters this week. “I am not going to be a head coach when it suits and a manager when it doesn’t. That side is down to recruitment. I want more quality. Do I think I’ll get it? I don’t know, that is down to recruitment. So, if you ever get the chance to speak to anyone on the recruitment side and ask them about it, you are lucky. If you don’t, don’t ask me.”
Who has Lee Congleton Bought?
£1.5million full back Patrick Van Aanholt will miss out through injury, he played seven times for us in a loan spell from Chelsea when we were in the Championship. Fit again free transfer full back Billy Jones should make the bench, along with £10million signing from Man City Jack Rodwell. Again hinting at differences in the clubs recruitment policy, last week Poyet said:
“In my dream teams the central midfielder is very important. With Liam Bridcutt and Lee Cattermole we are well served there and I am delighted.”
Funny sort of dream that one but reading between the lines, it looks like Rodwell is not very likely to see out his five year contract. Always a good player at Everton and City, teenage talent has turned to turkey twizzlers and injury has limited the chubby cheeked scouser to 116 appearances since 2007,a record Michael Owen would have frowned at. It can’t have helped the England international that Jozy ‘The Fridge’ Altidore’s Tuck Shop was open for business on the Sunderland bench but if Rodwell wants more minutes on the pitch, he may try eating less Maltesers off it.
Joining Plodwell on the bench will be £2.5million Will Buckley, Oldham born Toon fan and scorer of an FA Cup winner when we played Brighton back in 2012, also likely to be on the pitch is attacking midfielder Jordi Gomez who isn’t a real Geordie, and goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon, who is a real giant.
A Special Mention For:
At least there have been more interesting quotes coming out of Wearside than there has been goals. Earlier in the season Lee Cattermole put himself up to replace Steven Gerrard in the England team but his self-promotion seems to have fallen on the deaf ears of Roy Hodgson. As Cattermole said himself:
“Gus Poyet sides have a big role for the defensive midfielder. Since the manager has come in I have adapted my game to what he wants and that is pure and simple, a defensive midfielder.”
The trouble with that is that Poyet wants at least six defensive midfielders in his team and Hodgson only wants one. Not to be outdone, Jozy Altidore was recently spotted shouting “Oh my God!” when Sergio Aguero hit a fairly standard 20 yarder into the back of the Mackem net in a recent 1-4 at the S.O.S. It was perhaps unfair on Altidore to not show all of what he said: “Oh my God. That’s how you score a goal. Can I see that again? Did anybody tape that?”
Obviously no one did judging by Altidore’s four yard miss against West Ham two games later. Wes Brown also said in a recent YouTube interview that ex-Manyoo team mate Anderson was the thickest footballer he’d ever played alongside because “I honestly still don’t think he can speak English”, which was possibly a bit harsh on the Brazilian given that Brown also said: “(I’m) Not going to say anyone here (at Sunderland) because that will get back.”
As the interview was on YouTube, you would presume that Brown was aware that people out of earshot would be able to watch the interview as well, people in fact in Manchester. Or Brazil. If anyone was in the slightest bit interested. Unless of course “You Tube” is just what Jozy Altidore calls him. The last word should go to Adam Johnson who said in 2008: “I wanted to be a fireman but I wasn’t clever enough. I just fancied sliding down those poles.” Not much joy at Sunderland then, the closest thing would be Pantilimon. He’s Romanian.
Are We Going to Win?
Despite only winning two games this season, the Mackems haven’t lost many either, they are far too dull for that. Recent Mackem wins at SJP and Poyet’s overall record against both NUFC and Pardew as a player and Manager, should mean they come into the game full of confidence that they can get the 0-0 draw they are set up for.
For us, a good thrashing would give the Mackems something to think about as they drift towards a Christmas drinking Special Brew in Mowbray Park.
Tactics will probably play a bigger part in this derby than most though, it may be more a game of patience as one side who likes to counter attack plays another who doesn’t like to attack at all. It doesn’t make it any more interesting but we don’t need interesting in this game, we just need to win.
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