There will not be any Tyne Wear derby next season as the best Sunderland can now look forward to is playing Middlesbrough, but let’s face it – beating the Smoggies is not quite like beating Newcastle United.
But at least under Rafa Benitez, we managed to break the win streak so we stopped it at six – which was painful enough.
As we reported earlier today Newcastle are the hottest favorites ever to win the Championship next season, although we cannot be over-confident and we simply must get promoted – that’s job one for next season.
41 year-old former Sunderland left-back Michael Gray
And even former Sunderland full back Michael Gray seemed impressed with both Rafa Benitez and even the Newcastle side that finished the season with a good 12 points from the final six games.
And of course we took Spurs apart 5-1 in the last game of the season – and the last 3 goals were when we were down to 10 men.
But it was all too late and in truth we deserved to be relegated simply because of the complete incompetence shown by those running the club.
Michael seems upbeat on Newcastle under Rafa Benitez – and he had this to say today in an exclusive in The Star:
“”Newcastle’s downfall was not replacing Steve McClaren a little bit earlier.”
“If you look at Rafa Benitez throughout his entire career he’s been a successful manager.”
“I saw the performances against Manchester City and Tottenham and they were breathtaking.”
“He’s the right man – the Newcastle public took to him straight away.”
“Every man, woman and child was singing ‘Rafa we want you to stay’ and I think that’s great.”
“They’ve not had that for a long time, and he’s got the affiliation with the football club straight away.”
“They’ve certainly got the right man in charge and the Premier League will be a better place with Sunderland and Newcastle in it.”
“And I know people might read this and think that I don’t mean it, but I really do hope that they get back in the Premier League.”
We agree with Michael that it’s best that Newcastle and Sunderland are both in the Premier League and not only that but both do well – it’s what the north-east needs.
There will be a worry be could pass Sunderland next May as they come down and are relegated and we hopefully go up.
But big Sam is a very experienced manager and good at avoiding relegation, so we think he’ll have Sunderland safe next season.
So all being well we will meet Sunderland again the season after next and who knows we could even win the game for a change.
What do you think?