October 2010 Archives
As derbies go, this one will be right up there with the best of them.
The same pages of Geordie folklore that contain chapters for stars like Liam O'Brien, Emre, Scott Sellars, David Kelly, Andy O'Brien, Alan Shearer and Peter Beardsley to name but a few, Shola Ameobi updated his own section and was joined by super Kevin Nolan in a 5-1 win that well and truly put Sunderland in their place.
Chris Hughton's position had been put under the spotlight this week as questions and stick have not been in short supply.
As if the Tyne-Wear derby wasn't big enough - Chris Hughton now goes into the clash with Sunderland on the back of a round speculation surrounding his position at St James' Park.
It's Judgement Day at St James' Park this Sunday as far as local pride is concerned but if a manager ever needed a win so much, it's Hughton.
Victory would change the entire mood of the city on Sunday after the Carling Cup defeat against Arsenal proved to be far from ideal in the build-up to the big one.
He was almost forgotten about in the devastation of the horrific loss of Hatem Ben Arfa but Cheik Tiote's instant impact at Newcastle United gives reason to believe that this season can be regarded as a success when it comes to staying in this division.
Of course, many expect and want much more than just survival but if Newcastle are going to continue to pluck results out the bag like West Ham and Everton then the Ivory Coast international is going to be key.
He looked in full control of the engine room on Saturday night at Upton Park as he dominated both Scott Parker and Mark Noble in the middle of park and his range of passing was there for all to see.
With the week we've had on Tyneside, perhaps it's quite ironic that we'll end it in the East End with the black and white soap opera not letting anybody down after an emotional seven days in Toonland.
But while the off the field distractions will iron themselves out in the fullness of time, come 5.30pm at Upton Park, many of us will just be glad that the emphasis will finally be on football again.
Nobody needs to be reminded of the importance of this game from a black and white point of view.
He arrived here as some bloke who used to play for Tottenham and Aston Villa and left as a figure that helped write an important chapter in the history of Newcastle United.
Colin Calderwood left the club's Benton base with his head held high after playing a crucial if under-stated role with United in the last 18 months.
For a bloke who has been the big chief of both Nottingham Forest and Northampton, Calderwood somehow managed to perform his duty as first team coach without treading on Chris Hughton's toes and maintaining the respect of United's senior players.
The mere suggestion that Chris Hughton should go as manager of Newcastle United is nothing short of football madness.
Talk that it's time to go for Hughton leaves me cold, as the former Republic of Ireland international is THE reason Newcastle United have not imploded in the last 12 months
Against all odds Hughton brought the United players together at a time when it could all have gone pear shaped in the Championship.