By Lee Ryder on Oct 25, 08 05:56 PM

If some Toon fans were too young to know what losing a derby was like before the game they certainly know now after it all went pear shaped on Wearside for Newcastle United.

It certainly can't come near to being battered 4-1 on your own ground on your way to the Championship but the reality now is that Newcastle are now in the relegation zone with just six points with November just round the corner.

In a typical derby Sunderland fans partied at the final whistle after Nicky Butt's blunder cost Newcastle dearly.

This defeat though was in the post for Newcastle and nobody can say they didn't see it coming.

The club is still in a total mess with for sale signs still hanging over St James's Park.

And the mess caused in black September is still making relegation a genuine possibility.

Having clawed themselves back into the game today United could have pushed on and won it and had the chances to do so.

But in the end this could have been a more comfortable scoreline for Sunderland.

Yet if Newcastle were a bit unorganised on the field, Sunderland as a football club were all over the place off it.

Without doubt, Wearsiders will deem some of the following views as sour grapes.

But what we are talking about here is the safety of genuine people who support both clubs.

How is it so easy for fans to get on to the pitch at Sunderland?

To allow fans to run at the away section is simply unacceptable and if the FA don't act on it (with similar occurences in the past having gone unpunished) then there something seriously wrong with the game.

Youngsters in both ends of the ground were at huge risk as both sets of fans were allowed to charge at each other.

The stewards and police were quick enough to act when Joey Barton had the audacity to warm up as sub.

Barton was also spat at and pelted with bottles and coins, all of which should have no place in a football ground, this is 2008 and not 1962.

Why was a supporter from the Sunderland end allowed to get dangerously close to Shay Given?

Whoever is in charge of security at Sunderland should hang their head in shame.

Most Newcastle fans have the tag as best supporters in the country because they are so civilised when it comes to visitors arriving on Tyneside.

But it was far from civilised at the Stadium of Light with people who are supposed to be looking after the crowd more interested in what was happening on the pitch and whether their side could win for the first time in 28 years.

And at the end of the game, with Newcastle fans as usual kept back in the stadium, how come Sunderland fans were allowed to also remain in the stadium to put more people in danger while stewards laughed and smiled along with them?

So many questions, and all of the answers lie with the FA.

And if they were as efficient as they were when they banned Barton and Joe Kinnear for their misdemeanors in the game, they should also come down on Sunderland like a ton of bricks.

I won't be holding my breath though.



ginkoh said:

Everyone who's Newcastle supporter will be the same mood. Sad, so sad like I'm falling down to the hell and never know when it's over.

Andrew said:

How many times has Nicky Butt to screw up before he's dropped? He cost us the game today, pure and simple. A few weeks ago he gave away a penalty against Everton and he's given away the ball a hundred times since in dangerous situations. Just because he used to be a decent player doesn't help us anymore, he's now a liability. He should have been replaced in the first half when he went off for treatment; I think we'd have seen a different game.
All (well almost all) the lads played well considering the terrible conditions. For someone to give away a cheap free kick near the end like Butt did, is definately a sickener.

Ian said:

You made 2 good points it's a shame we got the three...........

jointer said:

sounds like sour grapes to me mate but at least we were not trying to get the game abandoned and dont say that was a long time ago, you are the one banging on about 28years.

Carl said:

Sickening defeat which jogged my memory of what its like to lose a derby game, when the final whistle went I was speachless for about half an hour and it fealt like my whole world was crashing down around me. But now ive had a day to reflect on it ive realised we have to forgot about this and put it in the past, we have a big game on tuesday from which 3 points is a must. We are without a doubt in a relegation battle for the rest of the season and we cant spend time moping around and complaining that we lost to Sunderland, if we allow ourselves to do that we could be down by christmas. 3 points on tuesday and the derby defeat will be a distant memory, only used for sky sports video clips when we meet them again at St James' next year.

Michael said:

Poor result aside, does anyone one else feel Nicky Butt is now a complete liability? I have lost track of the mistakes, poor tackles and needless free kicks and penalties he has cost us in the last two years! It always results in lost points and therefore confidence. Now is the time to bring in youth, who atleast have pace and a hunger to prove their ability. Why do we never bring our youth through like other teams? Caroll, N'Zogbia, Jonas (Returning from injury or not), Barton (Returning from suspension or not) and Xisco and far better players than some of those on show yesterday! And whatever happened to 'Nacho Gonzaalez!?? Rant over

keith said:

99.9% percent of supporters on both sides didnt go on to the pitch, 29 arrests out of 49000 people is a minority an unfortunit minority and you are correct the north east is lucky nothing life threatening happened.
Throwing coins or spitting is a gisgrace and people should be banned for life.
The fans taunting given should not be there and were both taken away by the police and should also be bannned.

As in most grounds these days because of safety regulations fans can access the pitch quite easily by jumping barriers and bill boards. (As the 2 newcastle fans did when they fell 20 foot out of there seats when they ran to shearer juring the warm up at the Sunderland a few seasons ago)

As for the police not doing that much they were struggling to get through the newcastle fans to get to the trouble. we cant realy blame the police for thugs on both sides. The fans should of been segregated better which means that fewer tickets would be available for away fans.(which will be the case anyway next season by the looks of things)

Wrongly People were celebrating on the pitch they shouldnt be there i agree but out of those celebrating only a few were actually fighting. Go to the stadium of light today and see where the ripped out seats come from and ban all those on CCTV throwing them as well as those fighting.

You remark on sunderland fans (thugs in my book) running at the away end, away fans(thugs) were quick enough to get to the pitch themselves to fight.
i Agree with most of what you written but as you say we may see it as sour grapes when it is written through black and white eyes.

Come down on Sunderland like a ton of bricks is a Harsh ban the idiots totally agree. cheers for the 3 points.

p.s. I hope the police lady on the horse is ok as well as her horse.

BIG DAVE said:

I have just lost my job and had my house re-possessed because of the credit crunch. Plus wor lass has run off with the milkman - I am gutted. But nothing feels worse than losing to the Mackems. The biggest derby game in the world has resulted in defeat for the Toon (i.e. one of the best run football clubs in the world)

Ian said:

Pitch invasions are hardly unique to the SOL, and while I wouldn't defend the fans who did that, this in no way excuses the large number of NUFC fans who surged 40 yards at the SAFC fans. And who exactly has ever said your fans are the best? Another self-proclaimed title? Tell that to the SAFC fans who get spat at when we play at SJP. And as for Barton, could you explain what muscles he was stretching when he blew kisses at and goaded the SAFC fans? If that's his idea of Role Model behaviour then it perfectly sums up everything that's wrong with him.

James 09 said:

Why is Nicky Butt so highly rated by every mug up here? He's kack, an integral part of a woefully stale and defensively weak midfield.
He's directly cost us 3 goals now.

We might win a match in the Championship - we've well and truly had our nine lives in the PL over the last 11 odd seasons.

bob harvey said:

It's time to forget a few local difficulties and get on with the real business of winning a few proper football matches with teams that include Jonas, Joey [captain next season?] and Michael Owen.

Al Jardine said:

Rally around JFK boys. He'll keep us safe. Really? This was a tactically inept display. Why on earth were Jonas and Charlie on the bench? I'm no fan of Barton, but he's way better than Butt or Guthrie. Why leave him on the bench for so long? Moaning about appalling behaviour of a section of their fans shouldn't stop you from analysing what we did wrong.

This may have been their first home win against us for 28 years, but those 28 years mean nothing now, because we lost and we need to start pondering why.

Brock said:

Agree. The three best midfielders in the park spent most of he game on the bench - except for Nzogbia who didn't leave it. The fourth one, unfortunately, was Richardson. Then again, we had the best central defender on the pitch in Coloccini and the best goalkeeper. I wouldn't mind having Cisse and Jones instead of Martins and Amoebi. Martins is as good as Cisse but nowhere near as consistent. And Shola? Well, a good performance and a fluky goal against Man City and a good goal yesterday, but you can't rely on a forward who, let's be blunt, can't shoot and gets in the way. He'll never be a Fashanu.

M. Sebastian T. said:

Whatever Lee intended his comments do seem like sour grapes.

The result was certainly one that was not surprising. Sunderland won fare and square and the score line should have been a lot worse from a Toon perspective. Another referee would probably have give three penalties for fouls against home players, and probably sent players off. Had the Sunderland stand in goalkeeper not committed the howler that let in the equalizer the battering could have been awful.

From now on it is going to be a long slog and the next Toon game is certainly a serious relegation battle. It is to be hoped that Big Joe will get his players fired up for it, because if not feeling sad and blue will soon become a permanent state of mind for the fans.

Right now not too many people except for blind fanatics would bet against Toon, Stoke and West Brom being the three going down next spring.

JimH said:

I've heard it all now. How dare you criticise our supporters. As a Sunderland supporter who has lived in Newcastle for several years I've witnessed first hand those perfect Geordie supporters threatening and abusing awy supporters, smashing up the bigg market (on more than one occassion) and lets not forget the 1990 play offs. Your biased comments make me sick.

Living with a superiority complex makes most Geordies bad losers. Last night I was enjoying a quiet meal in Durham with my girlfriend and was verbally abused by Geordies on the next table who, overhearing our private conversation, couldnt face the prospect of sitting within 10 feet of a mackem.

Looking forward to another 3 easy points at St James Park!

julio said:

no coincidence that the first time there is any big trouble is the time the mags lose!!! come on just accept both fans were up for it and accept it could have been 3 or 4

Stephen said:

It would have been a bigger disappointment to lose to Sunderland if we were a settled club, had a decent team and a top manager. However, we are at a very low ebb and will probably be relegated. I think the silly over reaction on Wearside tells you everything you need to know about their small town, inferiority complex. Also, before Quinn offers Keane a bumper new contract, he should invest in some proper bins so that the home fans can dispose of their empty crisp packets properly...

Lee Adams said:

What utter nonsense!

No recriminations for the seats that were ripped up by Newcastle fans?

You're known for being welcoming fans are you? Well remember this, SAFC was voted the most enjoyable away day in the UK only a year ago, and in my visits to SJP I have been spat at, punched and been on a coach that has had it's windows smashed.

What about 1990 pulling up your own pitch just because you were losing?

Then there's the countless incidents in the Bigg Market.

Glass houses and all that.

Oh, and to infer that Sunderland were disorganised off the pitch is a bit of a stretch considering how utterly abominable Newcastle's administrative and organisational skills are!

Which club is the laughing stock of the UK? I think we all know the answer, and it aint SAFC any more!


David said:

Apologies if the below is seriously longwinded but I had to make my point in response to the comments about the the behaviour of fans, please do not single out the sunderland fans - firstly I am a Sunderland fan & on the whole it was a good atmosphere in the ground - I was disappointed at the behaviour of a few of the idiots especially the two who had a go at Given - that said, I witnessed first hand so called Newcastle fans (again I would say this would be a minority and not a general comment on all NUFC fans as there are genuinely good natured fans on both sides who end up talking sensibly after the game) on the Metro when I was making my trip to ground going to the ground with my father who is in his mid 60s - when the Metro was pulling into the east boldon station, we got warned by the driver that any Sunderland fans should get on the front carriage. Unfortunately for one man, the warning came too late as when he attempted to get on the rear carriage, he was set upon and hit by at least 3 people who were singing Newcastle songs. Firstly why were over 1000 NUFC fans travelling by metro (a figure estimated by the police) when you had the free buses on - also I want to question the police planning of not having any police on the metro carriages and also not letting anybody off at the S.O.L stop and instead insisted on everybody getting off at St.Peters, which is practically made of glass, has one set of stairs and also leads directly into the route of thousands of Sunderland fans crossing the main bridge - it was mostly down to the decision by NUFC fans to use the metro and police closing the S.O.L station that trouble happened around St. Peters and I did see some NUFC fans getting arested at the point

Hal Foster said:

One thing you mackems will never be better than us at: the laughing stock of the Premier League (although for how much longer...?)

Hey, we got beaten by Sunderland. They're not the worst team in the League but it's time to take stock and stop kidding ourselves with back-page hyperbole. We've got a rubbish central midfield, a talented defence who can't play together and several forwards who are either sick (Viduka and Owen), inconsistent (Martins), not good enough (step forward Mr Ameobi), or bigged up out of all proportion to their talent (Carroll).

And, considering the formation and choice of first eleven on Saturday, a manager who is tactically naive and who ahs also been bigged up out of all proportion simply because he had a go at the media.

Anon said:

Whilst I don't condone the objects thrown at Barton. After hearing him midweek on the radio saying how he is a changed man etc, he then goes and in my view, to taunt the fans who at first were booing him, kissing the badge on his shirt, stretching right in front of said fans. I realy think he is a fool to himself and will become a liability to Newcastle.

As for the trouble at the end. Again not condoning it but some fans ran on the pitch to celebrate Sunderlands win (it has been 28 years)not to run at Newcastle fans. Newcastle fans then tried to get at these fans. Some I might add running from half way down the away end. But to be honest it was all a bit handbags and is being blown out of proportion.

Staying at the ground after the game for a (celebrately) pint, looking at the end where the Newcastle fans were seated I noticed several seats had been ripped out. Although I must admit to not seeing these used as missiles, I don't think they were taken home as soveniers.

Anyone care to contradict me ?

mr Smith said:

. Sebastian T....what planet are you on 3 penalties for what ? You are another diluded makum pretending to a black n white Why ?.....its very sad really ? lets get it straight we are maybe the poorest team in the league and are really struggling ...SAFC were at home and after £80m worth of investement they really were expecting to give us a good hiding ...didnt really happen ..YES I will admit SAFC were the better team but it wasnt 4-1 or even 2-0 ...As for the Barton thing you will find there was extreme provication from some safc in response to bartons over the top warming up ...he did some running and streching ...What an animal...and then to respond to bottles coins and lighters...with a heartless kiss did he not know there were kids there...ITS typical sunderland I am afraid total overreaction to the result and the barton both cases the honest,sensible view is both sides were to blame but in both cases it was cleary started by SAFC supporters either running on the pitch (its Illegal) or throwing objects at JB

Derek said:

Stephen: Crisp packets on the stadium pitch arn't likely to have come from the stadium itself. due to the pitch being lower than the surrounding area a it any wind pressure first sucks things in( lower pressure) and then keeps it there. therefore the crisp packets you mention could have been from anywhere that the wind had blown from.

on top of this i take it next time you beat sunderland you wont be celebrating for very long as you dont care about it. if this is the case stop kidding yourself, you're not a newcastle fan as anyone that is will tell you that it is the biggest match of the season before the start and the one they look forward to

dave said:

Sorry, but the article does read as sour grapes and a poor attempt to direct attention away from the mess that Newcastle are. Undoubtedly, there were mistakes in either the stewarding or the policing, but to use the word shambles in relation to the hierarchy at Sunderland is ludicrous in the extreme.
The article makes no mention of the 1,000 idiots who chose not to use the buses, provided by the club and carefully policed, to make their way to the ground, instead choosing to cause trouble on the Metro before the game. This trouble directly influenced the atmosphere in the ground and yet nobody connected with Newcastle has discussed it.
There is also no mention of the appalling stewarding at St James Park, preventing people from even going to the toilet after the game and then funnelling away fans through a hate-filled tunnel under the ground, feet away from neanderthals throwing abuse and spit in equal measure.
Trouble has been brewing for a few games now and yet you make no mention of the Sunderland fans being kept on the buses until about 90 minutes after the last game at Newcastle, while police cleared thugs from the route the buses were to take (and did I miss a mention of Central Station having to be closed?).
There are idiots on both sides and there can be no excuses for any of them. The 2 who confronted Shay Given bring Sunderland AFC into disrepute and should be banned. Anyone throwing coins, at other fans or even at Joey Barton, should also be banned.
It also needs to be made clear, before the return game at St James Park, that spitting is an incitement to cause trouble and therefore a criminal offence and that the police will arrest anyone spotted.

Mick said:

'It certainly can't come near to being battered 4-1 on your own ground on your way to the Championship'

Ha Ha Don't speak too soon Lee!

h said:

How the viewpoints of the self righteous can change in a week. On the weekend last gone, a linesman is hit and injured by a coin thrown from the crowd. Cue instant condemnation by every half a***ed hack, ex pro, politician and talk show compare, each readily fighting for airtime to express their anger and total contempt at the actions of ‘so called supporters’ and calling for coins to be banned from football grounds along with the loons that are inclined to throw them. Fast forward a week and the scene is the home of our erstwhile rivals. A professional footballer is warming up on the touchline when he is subjected to a hail of coins, stones and foul abuse. Does he launch himself into the crowd and drag one of these inbred culprits to the attention of the authorities? Does he fly through the air, Cantona style and land foot first in the face of his foul mouthed aggressor? No, much worse it would appear. He kisses his badge! Cue media hysteria, threats of a further FA ban and by the sounds of it, castration! To make matters even worse, this individual has the gall to try and make light of a nasty situation whilst confronted by persons with faces so contorted with rage and hatred, it’s hard to determine whether they are in fact human (they are not of course). The law as I see it makes it an offence for a person at a football match to throw anything at or towards the playing area. Clearly the law has been broken here by several individuals so presumably all efforts will be concentrated on identifying and prosecuting the culprits? However, it would appear that this law only applies if said missiles are aimed at any person other than professional footballers named Joey Barton in which case it is thoroughly acceptable to throw anything you want. In fact, why don’t we go the whole hog and make him the villain of the piece? Firstly, I will not & cannot condone any misdemeanour that Barton has committed in the past. Secondly, he knows & we know that he is going to get immense stick from opposing fans wherever he goes from now on but that’s his penance and to his credit, he accepts it. But does that in any way excuse or justify these plebeians using the whole issue as an excuse to behave in a manner not too far removed from that which caused Barton himself to get banged up? Last week Aston Villa quite rightly condemned the behaviour of the fan(s) that threw the coin(s). Forgive me if I’m wrong but I have heard no such condemnation coming from Sunderland AFC. I think that speaks volumes.

Dave B said:

I'm hurting as much as anyone but the need to blame is ridiculous. Blame Nicky Butt (our man of last and this season), blame the stewards (they're just bollards like at SJP), blame the FA (everyone else does), and my personal favorite, blame the crisp packets.

For sanity sake just swallow the hurt like big boys and girls and count the days until we get that lot back to SJP and dish out a right old fashioned hammering

Connor said:

Newcastle were well beaten by a better side, the goal would have come whether Butt made the tackle or not..

In fact he saved you lot from El-Hadji's revenge for the awful treatment he's been given by newcastle fans in the past, incluing being attacked and abused in restaurants etc.

stop being so bitter, it's just sad

and the crowd trouble has been blown out of proportion by the newcastle biased media, which is in a hilrious position at the moment.

Look North yesterday was hilarious, sounded like they were reporting the queens funeral.

ronnie lambert said:

This whole " Outrage " is really handbags. I remember being at a Roker derby circa 1966 where sharpened old pennies ( just bigger in diameter than a modern fifty pence piece ) hit us like hailstones. Then the pointed tops of old iron railings on the terraces, easily snapped off cos of age and metal fatigue, were hurled at us, causing quite a few split heads and faces. Back in 1923, I read, Toon scored first and virtually the whole of the Roker end invaded the pitch to attack away supporters. Pitch battles ensued and police horses had to separate the mobs fighting, and a police horse was stabbed by a Sunderland supporter. Like I said, handbags.

halfmanhalfkeebab said:

I'm sure the steward who lost an eye as a result of a missle being thrown from the crowd at Ninian Park, Cardiff last season would agree whole heartedly with the comments of Ronnie Lambert.

Ned of the Fleet said:

Sunderland deserved to win. End of story as far as the football is concerned.

However, Barton's badge kissing didn't inspire the fans to chuck coins at him. They could've taken out his eye, or Jonas'. That wouldn't have been too clever. I can't believe people are, de facto, defending this kind of behaviour.

To be hionest, I couldn't give a toss about 1966, Stop living in the past.


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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