I want to start by putting my hands firmly up – I’m a massive Newcastle fan who is obsessed with Sunderland.
Yes obsessed. I’m obsessed with them going down to the championship.
Every year I, and I suspect others, go through the same cycle. They start poorly, change their manager, beat us in the derby and somehow contrive to stay up. Last time at our expense. I thought that this time (last season) they might finally be over that cycle but then… we all know what happened.
Though the circumstances may be a little different this time, I’m way back to square one. And maybe this time their number is up. I’m fully aware that what I’m about to write doesn’t necessarily reflect well on me as a football fan but I have an obsessive nature and in recent weeks it has come to a head, getting myself lost in a little stats project.
It all started on a September evening with the mackems playing host to Everton. They were in the game and for a while it could have gone either way when in an 11 minute period, they imploded to a 3-0 defeat at home. ‘Another’ home defeat I thought. A common occurrence for both our clubs in recent years but this triggered something in my brain.
I just had to look back through the years and look at how many times they have been defeated at home in the past. Then, how many times they’ve been defeated in all premier league games; how many points they’ve earned… it goes on. So the project expanded and before long I was writing figures into an ever expanding Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
If I still have your attention I’ll take you through some of the main points I’ve found, comparing the main stats for the mackems with the Toon.
These stats are correct at the time of writing (20/10/2016)
I’m going to sneak this one in… Newcastle have won a premier league game more recently than Sunderland despite our relegation and that we are now 3 months into the season.
For the stats below, bear in mind that Newcastle United have played 844 games to Sunderland’s 577. That’s 68% of Newcastle’s premier league time. This will be 72% at by the time the season ends.
Newcastle have earned 1183 points from the premier league games they have played. Sunderland’s total is 596.
Sunderland have less than half the total premier league wins recorded than Newcastle United (147 and 322 respectively).
Newcastle United have recorded more losses than Sunderland although Newcastle of course have played almost 300 more games (305 and 276 respectively).
Newcastle have drawn more premier league games than Newcastle (217 To 155).
Newcastle United have kept 221 premier league clean sheets in their history. Sunderland have kept 144.
Newcastle United have failed to score in 235 of their premier league games. Sunderland have failed to score in 213 of theirs.
Despite playing less premier league games, Sunderland’s total win percentage is 25%, considerably less than Newcastle who are on 38%.
The average premier league final position for Sunderland is 15th place. The average finishing position for Newcastle in their time in the premier league is 10th.
Goals: Newcastle United have scored 1168 goals in the premier league and conceded 1140. Sunderland have scored 584 and conceded 851 goals.
The combined goal difference in all of Sunderland’s premier league games is a massive minus 267. Our goal difference is positive 28.
And finally, to answer the question that got me started in the first place, in all the home games that Sunderland have played they have lost 95 home games. Newcastle have lost 101 games at home in the premier league. Again, remember we’ve played more games.
I went deeper into the stats and I’m still looking as far as I can until I finally get tired of it. I find that the website statto.com (which I’ve used to source my findings) is the best stats site out there for its layout and the ability to find the information that you want. It seems to have stats for the entire history of the premier league and English football.
To this end I was able to look back into all the results of the matches the mackems have played and compare their scores. Interestingly Sunderland have only scored 5 goals to win a game twice up to now. This was a 5-0 win against Derby County away from home. Their home win was a 5-2 scoreline to Wolves. They have never scored more than 5 in a premier league home game and I would be staggered if they did it any time soon.
I have yet to find a website that verifies this but other than being first place in the premier league for a brief period after beating Tottenham in the season’s first game in 2007, they have never been higher than second place at the end of a week’s premier league fixtures.
In their time in the premier league, Sunderland have secured league doubles against 15 different clubs. (Everton, Watford, Sheff Wed, Southampton, Charlton, Chelsea, Blackburn, Bolton x3, Hull, Villa, West Ham, QPR, Stoke, Wigan and Newcastle x2)
They have been Relegated three times as a premier league club. Relegation this season would mean they have been relegated more times than any other premier league club. Only West Bromwich Albion can spare them this this season.
The biggest home win and our biggest overall in the premier league is our famous 8-0 at Home to Sheffield Wednesday.
Coventry City 5-1 is our biggest away win to date.
Newcastle United have completed doubles over 27 different teams in the premier league (too many to list). However they do include 5 over Tottenham Hotspur and 4 over Middlesbrough & Aston Villa and 2 doubles over Sunderland.
Now again, as a Newcastle United fan, I accept that when I write the following points I do so from a certain position of bias – but for me it shows a massive gulf in class between the 2 clubs. We might not be in the premier league this season but we have made much more of a mark in that league than our neighbours, who barring two 7th place finishes at the turn of the century, have never done anything of note.
The mackems will rightly point to “6 in a row” but I’ll leave you with the following thoughts.
After all their games head to head, Newcastle have scored three more goals than Sunderland.
Sunderland have never scored more than three goals in the premier league derby. The last time they did this in any derby was in 1979.
Newcastle and Sunderland are locked at nine premier league wins each against each other.
However, if you count total wins (including in the second tier) against each other during the history of the premier league it’s 11 wins to 9 in Newcastle’s favour.
Finally, if any mackems very kindly remind you of the scoreline that happened some time in the early 20th century when they might have scored 9 past us in a Tyne Wear derby. Ask them who won the league that year?
You can follow the author on Twitter @jonniegrieve.