In the two games today, two sides who were beneath Newcastle in the league were defeated, and those two were Blackpool and Sunderland.
Steve Bruce – big challenge for the Sunderland manager
Fulham easily beat a poor looking Blackpool side 3-0 at Craven Cottage, and it looked all too easy.
And manager Mark Hughes seems to have done in his first season at Fulham, what he did when he took over at Blackburn, back in September, 2004, after Graeme Souness left to become became the Newcastle manager.
Mark has steadied the ship, after a faltering start to his Fulham career, and the Craven Cottage side are now looking a decent side, and picking up the points too, and they are now just one point behind Newcastle after 31 games played.
But a frightening story is starting to develop at Sunderland, as they were hammered 5-0 at Manchester City this afternoon, and looked woeful, and that’s being polite.
The Wearsiders have taken just a single point – a creditable 0-0 draw at the Emirates Stadium against Arsenal – in their last 7 games – that’s just one point from the last 21 on offer.
And this is not the time to go into that kind of slump, with lower positioned sides starting to pick up some points.
The disturbing thing that manager Steve Bruce has to fix, and fix quickly, is that when the going gets tough in a game, a number of Sunderland players seem to disappear.
That’s exactly what it was like at Newcastle during the relegation season, and as soon as Newcastle went behind in a game, a number of our players just became invisible – usually the ones who were getting the most money. 😀
Newcastle are 9th top on 39 points and a goal difference of +2, and Sunderland are now in 12th place on 38 points, just one point less than the Magpies, but now have a goal difference of -9.
With 7 games to go it will still be a very close thing as to which of the three teams are relegated.
But it could be that both Wigan and Blackpool don’t have enough good players of sufficient class to stay up, but who the third team will be who make the drop, is anybody’s guess right now.