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Judgement Day imminent on Tyneside

By Lee Ryder on Oct 28, 10 10:18 AM

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.

With Newcastle sitting in a ninth place in the Premier League victory would take them over Sunderland and possibly into seventh.

That has to be considered good progress by the man who won the Championship on style for the Mags.

This season has been like football's version of snakes and ladders though, and defeat could see United plunge back towards the relegation zone.

Defeat is of course unthinkable in this fixture and it's been a decade since Sunderland managed to win on Tyneside, a 2-1 victory in 2000 on a day when Alan Shearer missed a penalty.

We all know what happened in the rain when Ruud Gullit lost the plot and dropped Shearer and Duncan Ferguson.

But we also remember Scott Sellars' free-kick in 1993, Alan Shearer's crisply struck free-kick in 2002, Shola Ameobi's double blast in 2005 (well sort of until he had one taken off him), and Michael Owen's finest moment in a black and white shirt in 2008.

This year's derby could well be about a new number 9 in Andy Carroll.

Ever since United were promoted, Carroll has been looking forward to this one.

That gives me much more than hope.

And i couldn't think of a better way to see Newcastle win a derby than Carroll bagging a goal or two in this huge fixture.

If he does, he'll be doing it for the whole of Tyneside and his manager - while writing himself into Geordie folklore.

History could be in the making.

How do you see this weekend's big derby clash?

10 Comments

Relton said:

At this rate - I have to agree with terry. I would feel happier if we were playing them at the SoS given our home form. Bruce will really be up for this one - given that we have the yips at home. Could have really done without last night.
I win would turn everything around though - prayer mats out.

toonagain said:

Firstly all this talk about CH is mental, I hope he sticks around for a long time yet or we'll be a laughing stock again.

Secondly the Sunderland game is a big one, we're not winning much at home but this would wipe the slate clean however it has a 1-1 written all over it.

On last night, in all honestly i believe you should play your strongest team at home no matter what, symbolically it still means a lot even if we didn't want it or don't need it, but maybe that why i'm not manager. theres a long season a head.

M. Sebastian T. said:

NUFC avoiding relegation will be like achieving mission impossible. Chris Hughton has actually done a great job so far of getting good away results. It could easily have been a case of having about 5 or 6 points now instead of the 11 they have in the bag. There can be little doubt that totally unrealistic expectations of fans and press are putting too much pressure on, and the skid under, the Toon when they play at home. Bad tactics are also a factor, but Hughton can be excused for that because he does not have many options within his limited playing staff. That the boy thug Carroll is the main hope that should be telling fans something!

The situation is very fragile. As the game last night confirmed, the truth is that there is still no real pace and no strength in depth in the squad. A couple of key injuries could well see Newcastle going on a run like they did two years ago. Let’s not forget that they went 1/3 of the entire season without winning, and then we know what happened after that.

Too much focus on the next result is silly because the truth is that the important games in NUFC's season are those against clubs like Wolves, Blackpool, Wigan and West Ham. The correct attitude on Sunday would be to regard getting anything out of the game as a bonus and to celebrate wildly in the event of an unlikely draw.

I don't think Chris Hughton will deserve the sack after Sunday, but it will not surprise me if that happens. Sunderland strikers will undoubtedly exploit the huge gaps left at the back that Newcastle defenders are always far too slow to close when teammates try to go forward. Bent and friends will run wild as happened last night against the Arsenal kindergarten children. It probably will not be 1-9 as in 1908, but it could be pretty bad!

Toon fans need to remember that at the moment they are not in the position of clubs like Boro, but soon could be. They support a newly promoted club that mainly has Championship level players, has a novice manager and that made no serious investment after promotion. Supporting Chris Hughton and getting behind his team is probably the only alternative to a miserable slump and even greater anguish.

Prediction: 1-4 with Barton and Carroll sent off.

LN2Mag said:

Obviously a Mackem gatecrashing our site and spouting the usual drivel. Firstly there is no way the score will be 4 - 1 to the Mackems and we will not have two players sent off. It is going to be a close game between two fairly evenly matched teams and I am not going to predict an NUFC win, due to our poor home form to date, but I am reasonable confident that we will win. Speaking of thugs, I think you will find a certain Mr Bramble of Sunderland has had more than his fair share of run-ins with the law as have several other SAFC players. This has nothing to do with the game whatsoever, neither is the result against Arsenal, which featured a team totally different to the one that will start on Saturday. Win, lose or draw, I will be back on this site with my thoughts and feelings on Monday, but I bet unless SAFC steal an unlikely win that you won't!

Lambic peach said:

Where is this bollocks about the manager coming from. Ok? We have lost some matches, but my honest assessment is that for the first time in many years I feel that we are organised at the back, and committed if not brilliant in the middle. Let's keep moving in the right direction and the futures good. Some of the players coming through like tiote and arfa are unpolished gems. I TRUST the current boss. let's give him wor full support. Howay the lads, and 2- nil this weekend.

belter99 said:

this nonsense about hughton has to win or he's out is a load of drivel. It wont happen and most toon fans know that hughton is doing a good job. I believe that ashley knows he's doing a good job. I do understand why the media run with these none stories it's because it sells papers and at the end of the day they are making money from it so we can't be angry at them. As long as us fans know he is doing a good job and the chairman also realises this then we are in safe hands with hughton.

In Hughton we trust!!!

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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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