Green Shoots of Recovery?

I'll begin with some of my pre-match thoughts. I'll admit that I wasn't expecting a win, although I don't think I've ever done so for a derby match anyway. A win seemed too much to ask for. What I was wanting, more than anything else, was a performance to remind the fans why they've been turning up after hearing the dismay which was beginning to border on apathy. [More]

2-1 We Beat the Scum 2-1...Match Analysis & Player Ratings

Was it through divine intervention after Pope Francis was gifted with a Sunderland shirt? Or the meal bonding exercise paid for by Guy Poyet to build up team spirit? Whatever it was, the controversial team selection made by the Uruguayan head coach certainly paid off to put the club back onto the road of recovery with a 2-1 win against the arch-enemies that was about much more than bragging rights. [More]

We Must Win - But Can We?

It’s that time again, the sickening yet inspiring experience of the Tyne Wear Derby. I would hope I am not alone in saying that this is a surreal day in the football calendar. The dread and excitement build up in tandem. I remember everything, even tiniest details of the day and match but each memory seems like it was a lifetime ago. Even last season’s infamous 0-3 seems as long ago as Super Kev’s winner in ’99 like they have been bundled into their own memory bank separate from the rest of football. Precious memories that they are. [More]

Derby Build-up: Six years on...

As we begin to contemplate the proposition of Sunderland departing the familiar habitat of the Premier League on the eve of the derby, it'd probably be best to reflect on our ventures against the mags over the course of our current residence. Since the Keano-inspired promotion in 2007, our fortunes against the rivals against whom we crave victory most have been very mixed. [More]

Does League Position Matter Before A Derby?

It's one of football's oldest clichés; when it comes to derby games, the form book goes out the window. So how true is it? Well, looking at one of English football's fiercest derbies - Sunderland against Newcastle - suggests that, like all good clichés, there is an element of truth in it but it doesn't tell the full story. [More]