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Cauldron of hostility is all that awaits Newcastle United

By Lee Ryder on Oct 23, 08 09:21 PM

Newcastle United's mammoth clash with Sunderland has never needed extra spice to hot things up.

But whether you like it or not several factors going into the 140th Tyne-Wear derby could make it one of the most brutal battles in history.

Sunderland fans must surely feel they will never have a better chance of beating United due to the current situation on Barrack Road, and slight concerns on Wearside about Roy Keane's contract are nothing compared to the turbulent season suffered by Newcastle supporters so far.

In all honesty, the whole country has enjoyed a good laugh at Newcastle's expense but the loudest laughs of all have come from Wearside.

Newcastle United fans will hope their side have the bottle to do overcome it all come Saturday.

From Newcastle's point of view recent politics at the club already lobs in a bucketload of spice.
But with Joey Barton making his comeback, Newcastle in the relegation zone and the club up for sale, there is a ridiculous amount of ammo for Sunderland fans to go with along with just pure hatred.

Indeed a cauldron of hostility awaits United in a fixture that many people who aren't from the area will never fully understand.

The atmosphere in the tunnel at the Stadium of Light last season after the game was as if Newcastle had beaten Sunderland again on Wearside - even though the game ended 1-1.

Back then the talk was that Sunderland had missed their greatest chance to beat United, who were terrible on the day under Sam Allardyce.

James Milner's spawny equaliser was welcome, but everybody behind the goal including Mike Ashley knew that it was a total fluke.

Ashley was with the fans for the first time that day after Sunderland had refused him entry into the directors' box due to his intention to wear his black-and-white shirt.

This time he won't be in the away end either, how times have changed.

But one thing that hasn't changed is the need on Tyneside for Newcastle United to avoid defeat.

Some Toon fans weren't even born the last time that happened in 1980, nor were the likes of Steven Taylor, Sebastien Bassong, Fabricio Coloccini or Danny Guthrie.

And players like Xisco, Nile Ranger and Jonás Gutiérrez had probably never even heard of Sunderland before they signed here in the summer!

Their lives could all change for better or worse come Saturday afternoon.

Form books and windows are always mentioned in the run-up to derbies, and for United that's probably a good thing given they haven't won since the end of August.

To win this time they will need to raise the bar high above the levels reached so far this season.

On a more positive note, Joe Kinnear remains unbeaten, with two 2-2 draws against Everton and Man City, and against Mark Hughes' side with 10 men there were signs that he can put together a battling unit that could be perfect for a derby.

His motivational skills on a match day are his strong point and, boy, are Newcastle United going to need them in those changing rooms at the Stadium of Light.

Certainly, if the fear factor does exist it must be slapped out of the players ahead of kick-off by Joe Kinnear who can write his name into Geordie folklore in just 90 minutes.

A nation is praying for exactly that.

HOW DO YOU FEEL GOING INTO THE DERBY?

11 Comments

harpo said:

We need to remind ourselves that they've got Craig Gordon in goal, the Frank Spencer of British Goalkeepers.

28 years will becom 29.

DAVE ROBSON said:

IF WE PLAY WITH THE PASSION AND DETERMINATION SHOWN IN THE LAST ONE AND AHALF, I HONESTLY BELIEVE WE WILL WIN COMFORTABLY, FOR ALL OUR TROUBLES SUNDERLAND ARE NOT PULLING ANY TREES UP AND THEY HAVE SPENT HEAVILY, YEAH IT'S A DERBY, BUT I STILL THINK WE HAVE BETTER PLAYERS THAN THE MACKEMS IF YOU GO THROUGH THE STARTING 11 MAN FOR MAN. GORDON NOT EVEN IN SHAYS CLASS, MARTINS BETTER THAN ANYTHING SUNDERLAND HAVE TO OFFER, COLLOCINI FAR BETTER THAN ANYONE IN SUNDERLANDS CENTRAL DEFENCE, ETC.
IF AND YES IT'S A BIG IF, BUT JOE WILL HAVE US FIRED UP NOT THAT HE SHOULD FOR THIS GAME, AND LIKE I SAID BEFORE IF WE PLAY LIKE THE LAST ONE AND HALF GAMES WE WILL RUNOUT 3-1 WINNERS.I JUST DONT SEE US GETTING BEAT.
NO PROBLEM

ronnie lambert said:

Two weeks ago I was worried about this fixture, not now though. What I witnessed on Monday night with our resolute defending and everyone fighting for each other was like a timeslip to the Bobby Moncur-led defence, which has since then been our biggest problem. Goals have never been, so if Owen or Gutierrez, or both are back, and Beye plays, we'll win, simple as. As Dave Robinson said, Sunderland aren't pulling up trees this season. Mind you, they'll feel this is their biggest chance to put one over on us amidst our turmoil, but deep down, if they watched our 10 men against City on Monday, sphincters will be a-tweaking. 2-1 to us.

chris said:

Looks like a nervous nights sleep on friday but i have, like the others have said, been given hope after mondays game. We played as an excellent unit. Particularly noticable in the defence, holding the line very well with more than one leader out there. If collocini plays like that again and martins causes havoc like he can we should get something. I'd take a draw, although i have just shook on a bet for us to win..C'mon!!!

Dave Mac said:

Bring them on, God I love being a Geordie !!

Topher said:

Lee, Nile Ranger's from London. I would have thought even a cockney would have heard of Sunderland.

Although I admire your optimism, it is after all, just a small town in Durham.

Gotta be said, the kid has goals in him.

steve said:

Time has come? If that really is the case then how come you only have 3 more points than us and we know we are bad! Take this well known phrase, "30 years of hurt" If the game goes to form or lack of it then a draw will do for me.

Tad Caster said:

If we weather the inevitable 30 minutes of industrial football without anyone getting sent off for retaliating or giving away a silly goal and we manage to stay alert to whoever the two frontmen are, we should win this - maybe 3-1.

If I was JFK, I'd probably hold back Charlie and/or Jonas until the second half when the Mackems will be knackered and their thoughts'll be on joining the queue for sausage rolls at Greggs.

M. Sebastian T. said:

Seems to me that there is more hope than belief in the comments so far. However it is truly amazing how a couple of mistakes by a wobbly Dunne have got Toon fans daring to hope again.

Where I would diagree with Lee is in that as far as I can tell disliking (not hating) NUFC has become a national sport rather than a Wearside passtime. Toon owners, players and fans have spouted on about being a big club for so long, with little reason, that they have now annoyed just about everybody else. Don't expect sympathy on any travels any time soon!

If Sunderland get ahead in the first 20 minuted it could become a battering.

DAVE WATSON said:

I was worried about losing my job and having my housing re-possessed but now I realise there are much more important things in life. Like the Tyne - Wear derby - where 2 teams of poor quality bore us to tears. Apparently the whole North East is talking about???

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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