Tag Archives: Sunderland

WHICH PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM SHOULD YOU SUPPORT – PART 4

Lets conclude our review of the Premier League teams.  I hope these 4 posts have helped you decide which team you would like to support, and if not, well I hope you have had fun reading about the twenty teams that provide so much entertainment every week.

Premier League teams S – W

Sunderland: The Black Cats
Like their Tyne and Wear neighbors in Newcastle, Sunderland fans are one passionate group of supporters. Sunderland have enjoyed a lot of success, sadly they last won the Championship in 1936, and they did enjoy a trip to the FA Cup final in 1992, losing to Liverpool.

Since then they have suffered relegation, enjoyed promotion, fired several managers, and since their return to the Premier League are annual contenders for relegation. Last season they survived, but only just thanks to a miracle from their manager Gus Poyet in turning things around with four games to go. If you are a passionate supporter and like to wear red and white stripes Sunderland is the team for you!

Swansea City: The Swans
Swansea City, the only non-English team to play in the Premier League. Since their arrival back in the top flight in 2011-12 the team from Wales has been punching well above its weight. So much so, they won the League Cup in 2013…a remarkable achievement given The Swans narrowly avoided relegation to the Conference (the fifth tier of English football) on the final day of the 2002-03 season.

Swansea play fast flowing, attacking football and can be a handful for anyone. I would say they are a favorite ‘second team’ of many supporters and watching them just makes you smile. If you are new to the game and want to watch a team that just loves to play football and has fun, try the Swans.

Continue reading WHICH PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM SHOULD YOU SUPPORT – PART 4

2013/14 Premier League Season – the story so far (part 2)

The battle at the bottom - Jan 24th
The battle at the bottom – Jan 24th

With the FA Cup taking center stage this weekend, its time to look at part 2 of the Premier League Season, the story so far –

Manchester City:
Having scored 63 goals this season, you would think Manchester City would be flying high at the top of the table, but they are currently one point behind Arsenal in second place. City are by far the best team in the league, their new manager looks like he has been at the club for years (as opposed to just 7 months), the players are in phenomenal form and yet they struggle away from home and have been prone to the occasional slip up. If they can start winning all their games, and handle the pressure of being in 3 cup competitions they will soon open up a sizable gap between them and the rest of the league, and their route to becoming champions turn into a walk in the park.

Newcastle:
One of the surprise teams this season. Before the season started, this team had disaster written all over it. The manager had fallen out with the chairman, the technical director is a relic from the Stone Age, and half the team can’t even speak English. And yet they have defied all the odds to play some wonderful football and will be fighting for a top five finish.

Continue reading 2013/14 Premier League Season – the story so far (part 2)

Newcastle Utd v Sunderland: Squad sheets

Newcastle Utd v Sunderland

The game of stripes – the black and white stripes of Newcastle take on the red and white stripes of Sunderland in the northeast derby. As derby matches go this is a big one. The fans of both clubs are as passionate as they come, and both clubs need to win.

While Newcastle Utd managed a top ten finish last season, this season they have failed to replicate the same level of play and are in the bottom half of the table. A run of loss’s could see them being pulled into the relegation dogfight. They have a decent squad and even made it to the Quarter final of the Europa league, but were knocked out of the competition this week by Benfica. A truly incredible run but will their efforts leave their energy running on empty?

As for Sunderland, well, where do you start? They have just sacked their manager Martin O’Neil, they have no form what-so-ever, fourth from bottom in the league and having taken on controversial manager Paolo Di Canio to try and keep them up. It is going to be an interesting run to the end of the season.

Sunderland has been in free fall since October and a loss against Newcastle would leave them in the bottom three. The question(s) is, do the players have the desire to win, does Di Canio have the knowhow to keep them up, what will the implications of a loss to their closest rivals be?

Match Facts:

Venue: St James Park, Newcastle, Sunday, April 14th

Last season’s result: Newcastle Utd 1 Sunderland 1

Newcastle Utd form guide: WLLWLW

Sunderland form guide: LLDLDL

Newcastle Utd leading scorer: Cissé – 8

Sunderland leading scorer: Fletcher – 11

Possible team line-ups:

Newcastle Utd 4-5-1: Krul, S Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Debuchy, Haidara, Cabaye, Tiote, Sissoko, Gouffran, Gutierrez, Cisse

Manager: Alan Pardew

Sunderland 4-4-2: Mignolet, Kilgallon, O’Shea, Rose, Bardsley, Colback, N’Diaye, Johnson, Larsson, Wickham, Sessegnon

Manager: Paol Di Canio

Newcastle Utd subs from: Elliot, Perch, Simpson, Williamson, Ben Arfa, Anita, Marveaux, Bigirimana, Ameobi, Obertan, Campbell

Newcastle Utd injuries: R Taylor (knee, 20 Apr), Vuckic (knee, Aug), Santon (hamstring, unknown), Coloccini (back, unknown)

Sunderland subs from: Westwood, Cuéllar, Mangane, Bramble, McClean, Graham, Mandron, Laidler, Vaughan

Sunderland injuries: Fletcher (ankle, Aug), Cattermole (knee, Aug), Brown (knee, unknown)

Additional Information:

• Sunderland average 0.87 points per game on a Sunday in the Premier League, the worst record of any side to have played 50 or more matches on this day

• Newcastle have scored a 90th-minute winner in three of the past four home games in the Premier League

• Sunderland have not kept a clean sheet at Newcastle in a top-flight match since their 3-0 win in October 1966

• Shola Ameobi has scored seven goals in 13 league games against Sunderland – he has not found the net more than three times against any other side

• There have been five red cards in the past five league matches between these sides and four of them have been shown to Sunderland players (source:Guardiannews.com)

Prediction: Newcastle Utd 2 Sunderland 0

Image: www.chroniclelive.co.uk

Sunderland sack Martin O’Neil

Ex Sunderland manager Martin O'Neil
Ex Sunderland manager Martin O’Neil

 

As I was watching Sunderland struggle against Manchester Utd yesterday (March 30th, 2013), I thought Martin O’Neil is a lucky man, yes his side are struggling, but he knows what he is doing and there isn’t a chairman in the land that would fire him.

And then several hours later, the axe fell and for the first time in his 26-year managerial career the sixty year-old manager was fired and out of a job.

For a man who was once short listed for the England job and thought to be in the running to take over at Manchester Utd (when Alex Ferguson retires) something has gone horribly wrong and the days of glory seem to have deserted him.

Seemingly, gone are the days where we used to witness O’Neil bouncing around on the touchline as he shared every minute of the game with his team. Gone are the days where his positive words of encouragement and excellent tactical knowledge got the best from his players. Gone are the days where he was considered one of the best managers in the country. Gone are the days when he had the ability to energize an entire club, and gone are the days when firing O’Neil would seem like the craziest idea in the world.

The writing was on the wall earlier in the season. Since the end of last season (2012) and into the start of the present one the Black Cats experienced an eleven match winless streak.  The team picked up temporarily over the Christmas period, but their current run, no wins in eight games, has seen them fall to sixteenth and now the distinct possibility of relegation now looms, but that is somebody else’s problem now.

For O’Neil, once described as football’s equivalent of the Duracell bunny, lets hope the blip on his impressive record is a temporary one, for he is too good to experience a permanent fall from grace.

Photograph: 1000goals.com