We’ve heard about the derby an awful lot over the last couple of days, and what some players, on both sides, are gong to do in the game.
Yohan Cabaye - big game for Frenchman today
But the only thing that really matters is not the talk before the game, because that’s usually cheap, but Newcastle fans will get a look at their team today, and find out if they are as gutsy as the team over the last couple of seasons.
That team got the club promoted easily from the Championship, and then went through their return to the Premier League last season, with hardly a scare about relegation.
But of course we have lost the leader of that side, Kevin Nolan, and it will be interesting to see who, if anybody, steps into the breach today
Alan Pardew talked about that today:
“Every time a derby comes along a vacancy is there for somebody,”
“My experience of a derby is that you need to match the ferocity that is on the pitch, but usually the team that is calm and gets the ball down and plays are going to be the victors.”
“I think both Steve Bruce and myself will be looking for the team that settles first and manages to get a grip of the game – that’s something that I’ll focus the team on.”
“Me and John Carver had a conversation on Thursday about experience. Obviously he’s been at Newcastle under Sir Bobby Robson and he reminds me every minute of the responsibilities of this club and what it has to hold.”
“We spoke about whether we had enough experience in the dressing room for this game and we think we have plenty, so we don’t see an issue of it.”
This week has not been one of the best for Newcastle fans as the club were charged by the FA for failing to control their players in the Arsenal game, and Charlton Athletic reported Newcastle to the Premier League over the club’s move for goalkeeper Rob Elliot.
And the Tyneside club’s efforts in the transfer market this week have managed to produce – absolutely nothing.
There are several ways to look at the week, but one is that it has hardly been a good week for Newcastle fans, and therefore the lads need to go out today and get that win for the fans.
It’s an important game but hardly an all or nothing game so early in the season.
Pardew talked about the importence of the game:
“Possibly it will shape the season, I wouldn’t say definitely because it could kick-start your season if you got beat,”
“It’s one of those games that is almost like, ‘Wow, we’ve got beaten by our rivals here we go,’ or it could be you’ve won and you kick on to the next game and you win and then draw and suddenly you’re six games unbeaten.”
“It will be a key game, either way for both clubs regardless of the managers of the clubs.”
The keys to the game are whether Newcastle can defend as well as they did against Arsenal, and especially captain Coloccini and Steven Taylor in central defense.
Joey Barton has the experience to make the difference today too, and we look for a good and controlled game from the Liverpudlian.
Whether Newcastle can score some goals is a good question, but Shola Ameobi is usually the player who produces his very best displays in these games for the Magpies.
And it’s a big chance for the new boys like Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Sylvain Marveaux, to show they have skills that can turn a game, and if there was ever a game in which they needed to show those skills, it’s today at Sunderland.
But that’s the big question today, just how good are our new players, when push comes to shove in a vital game like today’s?
We are looking for a win, and would be fairly pleased with a draw, and we’re not even thinking about a defeat.
Howay The Lads!!