Boro game may not be a derby - but losing it feels like one

By Lee Ryder on Dec 16, 09 08:11 AM

Newcastle United's encounters with Middlesbrough do not represent a local derby in the eyes of the majority of Toon fans.

But one thing is for certain when it comes to taking on Boro and that is that you don't lose a Tyne-Tees derby.

I might be wrong but playing Newcastle clearly means more to Middlesbrough fans then it will ever mean to us.

Evidence of that has been provided in abundance down the years, not least amidst Boro's brightest hour when they won their one and only piece of silverware for the first time in 128 years of trying.

The stage was set in Cardiff for Boro to lift the Carling Cup but instead of applauding their own team a cry of "Are you watching Newcastle" boomed around the Millennium Stadium.

As far as Newcastle fans are concerned, even at their lowest ebb, let alone the highest in the Champions League - chants about Middlesbrough simply don't occur unless the two teams are playing each other.

True, I do recall chants of "There's only one Gordon Strachan" back in May 1997 around the Bigg Market, but that only erupted as Boro and Sunderland were relegated on the same day as the current Teessiders boss Strachan sent the two clubs down as Coventry City manager.

So moving swiftly on, is the Tyne-Tees clash a derby in my opinion.

No it's not.

It might be to Boro fans but it certainly will never be here on Tyneside.

Let's hope we aren't the losers on Sunday night though.


Paddy said:

I think that there has been a disparity throughout the history of the game in the North east. This diparity is touched on and held quite vehemently in terms of the socio-economical disparity caused by successive govenments throughout the last and present governments. The beliefs of the North east people fall into two catergories, and naturally the closest poorest relation to Newcastle is of course Sunderland. The second is Middlesbrough/Teesside. These belifs transcend any arena and encapsulate every morsel of North east life in affect the social and the political become intertwined. The History of the North east is one of struggle, and some areas feel and will always feel as though they struggle within that area more so than their nieghbours.

Yarmouth toon said:

You took the words right out of my mouth!!
You must be phsycic !!!

Paddy said:

It seems to me he's living in the teen world of low level drama sports day shocks from fourth grade sports day. Not many stories to last a whole year but a glut of historical voodoo pins and the same old dolly!!!

I'll be running this blog myself when i pack in the snouts and get off my lonesome.

Jinky G said:

Teeside is still part of the 'North East' last time I looked, with Boro one of the three teams up here, and since Boro managed the last bit of meaningful domestic silverware their supporters deserve the bragging rights. There's a wee bit of denial going on here by Lee (and others) by excluding Boro, this way NUFC supporters needn't feel quite so inferior in the (recent) trophy room department. So if Sunderland win the FA Cup this season that fixture could also cease to be a derby game too in Lee's mind, and the (still hypothetical but ever closer) Gateshead game will then become THE only truly meaningful derby clash..

Until the the 54 year old albatross is lifted such blogs as this will continue to be staple fare. Thank goodness for Chris Hughton's pragmatism.

Paddy said:

Jinky G,

You took the words right out of my mouth!!
You must be phsycic !!!

Lee is as see through as plastic glass. it's the mentality and the need to feel part of something that sets them apart. "projecting" ones own bad vibes on to another is another technique in which they then feel superior.

George Hamilton said:

For my sins I am a middlesbrough fan, and this obsession with newcastle is embarrassing.

We barely sing at games because there is noone where, and the team are playing that bad no one cars. but when we do sing its terrible, 9 times out of 10 the song is about newcastle.

josh said:

Newcastle fan - yes its a local derby both sides are in the NORTH EAST, true it's not on the level of Sunderland and i'd probably say Middlesbrough game with Sunderland is bigger aswell, i've noticed ever since boro won a trophy this talk about weather it's a derby or not comes along, our players and management treat it as a derby, the media do, most* Newcastle fans do, when we play at the riverside the tickets never get on general sale, were expecting 49,000 on sunday for a championship game ? wouldn't happend for a regular fixture like plymouth ? Norwhich/Ipswich..ManUTD/l'pool..Cardiff/Swansea..Leeds/ManUTD all derbies with distances over 34 miles ? they are massive derbies aswell! FACTS.

toongonebad said:

of course its a derby, they're only down the road. its a bit small minded to think they're that far away its not a derby. ok sunderland are closer but its similar to ManU/ ManC playing Bolton. they're local games therefore derby games... anyone thinking that the smoggies are that far away we might as well be playing leeds needs to get out more often! agree its a strange one as we all know someone from sunderland that works in newcastle so theres always someone to take the mick out of or a bit banta but who ever leaves boro apart from chris rea?

ijjc said:

"Until the the 54 year old albatross is lifted"

Perhaps you should have a look at pages 14 and 49 of your UEFA Cup Final program so you can get your facts straight in the future, Mr Smog.

Your selective memory is astounding as is your small club small town mentality. LOL!!!!

Tad Caster said:

Good to see Guthrie having a good game today. Colo was outstanding. Let's hope we can hang on to Harewood. I know he comes in for some stick (and I'm one of those responsible at times!) but his goal per game ratio is excellent after watching Owen and Viduka last season!


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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