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Opinion

Sunderland fans talking with increasing confidence of facing Newcastle in 2022/23 Championship

1 month ago
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Sunderland fans are growing increasingly confident that derbies are just around the corner and sadly, they are not talking about League Two Hartlepool United (currently doing very nicely, sixth in League Two).

Instead, the message from Sunderland fans is that they are now on an ‘upward trajectory’ and could very shortly be playing Newcastle United on a level footing.

As opposed to when Sunderland first team had to play a team of Newcastle United kids (Under 21s) in the Checkatrade Cup, in a first team SAFC game in January 2019.

Currently joint top of League One with Wigan, the two clubs met on Tuesday night in the League Cup, with the Mackems winning 2-0 away from home to go into the fourth round.

Not surprisingly, Sunderland fans enjoying the fact that this contrasts sharply with Newcastle United’s start to the season.

Steve Bruce has overseen a start of four defeats and two draws in the opening six matches (all competitions), Newcastle exiting the League Cup in the second round and currently in the relegation zone with only two points from a possible fifteen, two tough away matches up next.

For Sunderland, it is dreams of League One and League Cup glory, eight wins, one draw and just the one defeat in their ten matches (all competitions) so far.

After falling off a cliff and finishing rock bottom of the Premier League and Championship in successive seasons, Sunderland fans have seen their team play 145 third tier matches (not including play-off matches) in a row.

Some Sunderland fans (see below) say that they haven’t seen anything so positive since Steve Bruce and Sam Allardyce were managing the Mackems.

Not sure Newcastle fans can find many positives in connection with that pair…

Whatever happens with Sunderland this season, no Newcastle fan will be confident that Mike Ashley won’t ‘succeed’ with a third relegation in this, his thirteenth Premier League season.

For an unbiased view of what is likely to happen this season, a look at the bookies shows that they currently rate Newcastle United as a 1/1 (even money, toss of a coin) to go down in Bruce’s third season.

As for Sunderland, they are also generally a 1/1 shot, though in their case that is a toss of a coin from the bookies as to whether they will finally find a way to get promoted out of the third tier this season.

As for the chances of Newcastle United v Sunderland in the Championship next season, that is a 3/1 chance if you put on the double of the two clubs going up and down.

No doubt more than a few Sunderland fans will be eyeing this bet as we speak.

As for Newcastle fans, they are left wondering as to exactly how Mike Ashley has put us once again in such a position, despite he and Steve Bruce between them deciding where some £160m (the figure Mike Ashley quoted in his 3 September 2021 statement) has been committed on signing new players since Brucey’s arrival 26 months ago.

Sunderland fans commenting via their Ready To Go message board:

‘Just think, we could be playing the mags next season on an upward trajectory.’

‘Of that I think you will be right.’

‘You can just feel it at all the home and away matches.

Looking forward to getting out early for pre-match tankards with you mates.

Our kids actually watching the match!

It’s obviously early days, but on the playing and recruitment side of things, the club deserve massive credit for finally putting together team/club it’s looking like we can be proud of, and get behind.

I’ve a feeling this season is gonna be a good one.

HA’WAY ME BONNY LADS. FTM’

‘First time in a long, long time I’m buzzing for the match and looking forward to it all week.

I don’t think I’ve felt like that since the early days under Bruce and then the latter days of Allardyce.’

‘Our problem will be keeping the team/squad together, if we do have success. The same as it was in 73.’

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