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Opinion

Newcastle United could have been playing for a final at Wembley tonight – Would have been bizarre

2 months ago
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I have only just realised, Sunderland are dreaming of Wembley tonight.

The Mackems playing at Bristol Rovers for a place in the Checkatrade final.

Only 10 days ago, Sunderland went to relegation strugglers Rovers and beat them 2-0.

The Checkatrade final is on Sunday 31 March and Portsmouth have already booked their place having beaten Bury 3-0 away from home last week.

I’m not quite sure how I would have felt if it had been Newcastle United?

Sunderland of course beat a Newcastle United schoolboy team and then a Manchester City one, to reach this stage.

After three visits to Wembley in three years, not sure how I would have reacted to Newcastle reaching the final of this tinpot competition.

Like the rest of you I dream of one day winning a trophy at Wembley.

However, going to the capital to watch our NUFC schoolboys take on some random League One team, isn’t quite the same as when we failed at the final hurdle against double winners Arsenal and treble winners Man Utd, twenty years ago.

I think like thousands of other Newcastle fans, I would have still gone down to Wembley, for various reasons, if the kids had reached this final.

To support the young NUFC players of course, but mainly because of the novelty factor and indeed why would anybody turn down the chance of a weekend on the drink in London?

Looking back at the live TV choices on Premier League games, whether by accident or design it is probably just as well the Arsenal game was moved to the Monday (1 April).

The police would have been less than impressed having both Sunderland and Newcastle both playing on a Sunday in the capital, if our game had been moved one day back for TV. Whilst even if left on the Saturday it wouldn’t have been great either, as no doubt if they get to the final, plenty Mackems will be heading down that day to make a weekend of it.

With the issues that came about by Newcastle’s kids being drawn against Sunderland, as well as the police insisting that they were kept apart in the earlier stages, the same with Portsmouth and Southampton’s kids. I can see them making some major changes to the format of the Checkatrade in time for next season.

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