We were relegated from the Premier League when Sunderland hammered Everton 3-0 rather easily on May 11th at the Stadium of Light and that was it – even Rafa Benitez couldn’t save us after the woeful Steve McClaren had dug a hole too deep to get out of.
Steve McClaren got just 24 points from 28 games and although Rafa got 13 points in the remaining 10 games and 12 of those points in the final 6 games – even if he couldn’t save us.
And Sunderland fans certainly rubbed it in just as much as they could – in every way imaginable – and proved the adage that Newcastle and Sunderland fans have one thing in common – they are both obsessed with Newcastle.
Rafa Benitez – Newcastle’s world-class manager
In less than 6 months Newcastle are top of the Championship – clear by 3 points – and have won 13 of our last 15 games after surprisingly losing the first two.
Our goal difference of +19 is the best in the football league and we have 10 clean sheets in 17 games.
As a contrast, Sunderland have yet to win in the Premier League and have only two draws after 9 games.
They are fighting relegation for the umpteenth time in a row and maybe this season they will finally take the drop they have avoided so many times in the recent past.
Former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore has a great article out in the Mirror today (we have a link to it at the bottom ) and he has brilliantly reviewed the current ironic situation.
Here’s some of what Stan has said in the his column in the Mirror;
“Newcastle took their medicine and now look invigorated, hungry and bound for promotion. Little wonder no-one on Wearside is laughing at Newcastle now.”
“In Rafa Benitez Newcastle have a manager who has taken control of their destiny in a way Sunderland can only dream about.”
“Rafa loves control and in Mike Ashley and Newcastle he’s found the perfect combination – a club and owner desperate to be led out of the wilderness.”
“Having won the Champions League with Liverpool and just managed Real Madrid, Benitez offered a powerful argument of why Ashley should break with tradition and give him the working conditions he demanded.”
“Rafa knew only at a place desperate for success like Newcastle could he get the kind of control a top six Premier league club just wouldn’t sanction.”
“Now he’s revelling in that autonomy – and with his team on top of the Championship and facing an EFL Cup quarter-final at Hull, no wonder there’s a buzz on Tyneside.”
“Summer signings Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie, Ciaran Clark and Grant Hanley have all been early successes – especially Gayle who has scored 11 in 13 games so far.”
“But Newcastle need a lot more quality than they’ve got if they want to make a splash when they get back in the Premier League.”
“But Rafa will have a plan for that and his first priority is to manage the crazy Championship schedule which he appears to be doing just nicely.”
“A few miles down the road and the contrast couldn’t be more stark.”
“Moyes looks a beaten man already and listening to him he sounds like he’s not had his finger on the pulse of today’s football for a while.”
“But whatever it is he sounds like, he’s out of today’s football loop and needs a refresher course in management to remind him of what he was and where he came from.”
“During the summer Rafa went into Newcastle and swept away the stench of failure with a cleverly executed shake-down.”
“But Moyes is still carrying deadwood, has-been players and right now you can’t see it turning around.”
“Newcastle finally look to have got it right Sunderland are a million miles away.”
Here’s a link to Stan’s full article in the Mirror – it’s very long and worth a read.
Maybe a chance for Sunderland is to get big Sam Allardyce in again to try to save them – he did simply great for the Black Cats last season – but maybe it’s a long shot this time around?
What do you think?