That time has come again, Sunderland.

Remember it Mackems?
That time has come around again, it’s that week, the week where the Sunderland fans pipe up out of their holes and claim they’re going to smash us all over St James’ Park. Yes, its Derby week, but we’ve heard it all before boys, It didn’t happen last year, did it?

They were quite this season, barely heard a peep out of them after Ryan Taylor bent a beautiful free kick over the wall at the Stadium of Light, but since their resurgence under Martin O’Neill they’re out in force.

Normally I’d be quite nervous, and there’s people left, right and centre telling me to be nervous, “they’ve improved under O’Neill, they’re a good team now, they’ll be a hard game”. Most Derby games are hard, but really, they’re not in much better form than us, actually, in the last 6 league games they’re in worse form than us.

In the last 6 games Newcastle have picked up 10 points to Sunderland’s 9, and although our result at the weekend wasn’t a good one, they’re on the back of a 4-0 mauling to West Brom, a team who have been struggling to win at home of late.

They went into the West Brom game with no centre forward, they played Stephane Sessengon up front alone something Steve Bruce was slaughtered for doing, They lack class up front, which is something which we have an abundance of at this current time.

There’s no doubt that O’Neill will have them up for it, but Pardew has shown time and time again that he can inspire the players, and they’re normally ready for the big games. Look at the Man Utd game, the atmosphere was rocking and we played them off the park, we’re a stronger team now with the introduction of Papiss Cisse.

The players know that they’ve got the chance of going out there and doing the double over the team’s biggest rivals, and if that’s not motivation enough, we’ve got Liverpool on our tails and they’ll be looking to stay ahead of them. We’ve not done the double over Sunderland since the 2005/2006 season and Sunday is a great chance to change that.

Sunderland have not won at St James Park’ in over 10 years, Saturday 18th November 2000 to be exact, so they’re hardly coming into this game with recent record on their side. Some of their players like Simon Mignolet will not be able to forget the carnage of last year, and hopefully we’ll see the same this year.

I’m sure my Derby Day nerves will start to hit me on the Saturday when I’m travelling up to Newcastle, but for now I’m pretty content. I don’t for one second think we’re going to destroy them, and beat them 5-1 again, but they are nothing to fear, just another average mid table Premier League side, a team with a bad record against us, who we should be beating at home.

I’ve not wrote for a while, so I’ve not been able to air my views, so it’ll be interesting to see who people want to start in the Derby on Sunday, my team may be different to a few others but I’ll explain below, I’d play:

My team for Sunderland: Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon, Gabriel Obertan, Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse.

It was a massively tough decision to leave out Ryan Taylor, but I feel it has to be done at home. On Saturday we were very one paced in midfield, having Gabriel Obertan there will offer pace and something different down the wings, I know his end product isn’t great but he brings a lot more to the table than a lot think.

Away from home I’d still pick Ryan Taylor because he makes us more compact, but I don’t feel we have anything different on the right with him in the team, and at home we need to express ourselves a bit more.

I was desperate to find a place for Hatem Ben Arfa in that team too, but I couldn’t. I’m not a typical Ben Arfa fan, I like him, but sometimes I can’t see how he’d fit into our team. He offers so much going forward and he really is talented, but I couldn’t trust him to do the tracking back against the rampant James McClean, so I couldn’t include him.

Mike Williamson is also there because we don’t really have any other choice, which is a shame. I really miss having Steven Taylor back there, with Steven Taylor still in the team I’d be a lot more confident about pushing for the top 5.

So that’s my team, what would be yours? And why?

PS: Let the Mackems shout their mouths off, let them claim they’re going to beat us, and if it doesn’t go to plan for them on Sunday, we can be smug once again.


37 thoughts on “That time has come again, Sunderland.

  1. It think its quite clear Sunderland are going to pack their midfield.

    Which which means unless Tiote and Cabaye have a good game, we will again be dominated possession wise.

    I would be tempted to go ALL OUT attack in order to get MON to change his thinking.

    In order to do this I would play three up front…



    ————–Cisse———Ba———–Ben Arfa————–

    It would force Sunderland to keep one on the defensive and not allow their five/six man midfield to push to far up the pitch.
    Jonas, Tiote and Cabaye are all capable of getting back to defend and while Tiote sits deep to cover Sessengon, Jonas and Cabaye can get up to support the three forwards.

    Ben Arfa can play a free role, while Cisse runs the channels and Ba holds the ball up and is our target man in the centre…

    I fear if we go 4-4-2, the Scum will over run us in numbers and dominate the game.


  2. Jobey good read mate.
    TBH im worried about this one, but maybe the players can raise their game for this one, and it is about time we have seen a good game.
    As for teams I think we’ll see the same one as the wolves game.


  3. JJ I agree with you. The only change I would make is to bring Raylor in for Simpson and play as wingbacks allowing our mid 3 to play tighter. Ain’t no midfield going to overun those 3


  4. Derby day is weird isn’t it? As soon as the fixtures come out you look for it and you can’t wait for it. But once the day comes… ooooo… cold sweats and clenched bum time! 😆

    If the lads keep switched on and don’t become lax and think we’ve won it if we go ahead then we should absolutley trounce them as they’ve got no class on the field.

    Is the honeymoon period now over for Martin O’Neill? Let’s hope so.

    I don’t care what formation we play for this one as long as James Mclean is numbed out of the game and Tiote goes in hard on Cattermole to show him who’s boss early on then I’ll be happy. 😈


    Wheese keeeeys are theeeeese.


  5. No nerves yet although they will come, its justba matter of when 😆

    Surprised we have a better points return than them over the last six games mind. Either shows we’ve not been recognising what our team has done or its been overstated what Sunderland are doing 😕


  6. I agree with JJ.

    We stick Arfa up front in a free role behind the front 2 making the magic happen, while we pack the midfield with our 3 hardest working mid-fielders who will be able to get back and cover the defence.

    We need to change it up from 4-4-2 cos it ain’t working and I will be bitterly disappointed with Pardew if he doesn’t try something different to get us out of this slump.

    Look how well we did against Fulham playing this system in the first half, ignore the 2nd cos Pardew didn’t have a clue.


  7. premandup
    I’d go along with Raylor for Simpson too…
    In fact, because of my concerns about the lack of pace at the back, I’d be more tempted to play Fergie on the left and Santon on the right.


  8. @toonsy

    That stat surprised me. More points than the Mackems in the last 6 games.

    I hope the honeymoon period has worn off for MON after their drubbing at the weekend.


  9. Id be looking to sabotage the Mackems dugout.

    A trap door in their technical area would go down a treat with the fans. Just as MON starts jumping round trying to inspire his team, the trap door opens and he’s gone! 😆


  10. @PIG

    You were my source pre January and you were crap then so I won’t use you again.

    Your Bro hates you anyway . 😉


  11. No nerves this time im as confident of twatting these fuckwits as ever, Ive seen enough of them since O’neil took over to see that a hammering was around the corner and west brom handed it to them.

    The flat back ten without the ball can only work so many times, An early goal would kill their game plan make them open up and play into our hands, Also cannot wait to see how turner “deals” with Ba and Cisse after his showing against Carroll and Shola last season…


  12. @CC

    I posted last night about Micky Horse Swill from the 3 Legends stating he hadnt liked MON tactics for a while, particularly playing Segnesson up front alone.

    He said its been on the cards for a while.


  13. troy

    Last season was the same they came into the 5-1 on the back of a pretty long unbeaten run, The played similar with bent up and five across the middle, When we went ahead brooocie made changes and opened up we then took advantage and crushed them, I honestly think something similar will happen and i can see the dembas having a field day against turner…


  14. @CC

    Chris has just posted this team on the other thread;


    I would like to see it tried at some stage. We aren’t getting much change from the 4-4-2

    Could be exciting. It covers Barfa’s back if he loses the ball.

    What do you think?


  15. Nice to see Cisse has been pulled from Senegal’s friendly…but Tiote has been called up for Ivory Coast! 👿


  16. Nowt wrong with 4-4-2 in my view. You can pick any fancy formation you like but if the players switch off they’ll switch off regardless, like they admitted themselves to doing against Fulham.

    End of the day 4-4-2 has got us to 6th after 2/3 of the season and a couple of poor performances (where the players and Captain Mute escape any blame again) shouldn’t change that.

    Not saying we shouldn’t explore, and we have done in the past. It worked at Stoke and failed at Fulham for example. However wholesale changes to a system aren’t needed just before the derby.

    I mean we smashed Man U using 4-4-2 😕


  17. Toonsy – I agree don’t fix what ain’t broken but I honestly think we are being found out now.

    The Man Utd match was 9 games ago now, we have had some shocking results since then. The first 2/3rds of the season we played good 4-4-2 football on the ground and frustrated our opponents by keeping the ball.

    We have long since reverted to Houghton style hoofball with no CF capable of holding the ball up the way Carroll can…


  18. 4-4-2 works against some teams with some formations, an not against others.

    It would be interesting if an article was produced that analysed the games this season with tactics used and tactics faced. See if there is a reccuring pattern?


  19. EF – True, but then we’ve also been missing Tiote for five of those games, Cabaye for three, Ba and Cisse for three. We’ve not had the team available that we could have had.

    Besides, if we are to change formation we need to revert to one that helps the defensive side of things more than anything. We are scoring goals, that’s not the problem. Conceding them is.


  20. If we’re playing fantasy football I’d go with a 4-2-3-1 kind of system.

    ——————– Krul ——————-

    Simpson —- Willo —— Colo ——- Santon

    ———— Tiote —— Cabaye ————

    —— Benny —– Ba —– Jonas ———–

    —————– Cisse ———————

    Protection for the defence and a solid base for the attacking quartet to work ahead of. Cabaye can pick a pass from distance so he can spread the ball from deep, Tiote will just hold position. That will also snuff out Sausages, who is by far Sunderland’s most dangerous player. The pair could also help out Simpson/Santon when needed.

    In attack we’d have Benny creating havoc with Jonas carrying the ball on the other side, Ba playing the deeper role that we’ve seen him play excellently this season, just behind a striker who is renowned for finishing moves off.

    Easy 😉


  21. Toonsy – Yeah you have a point about the missing players, big players too.

    Agree also about the defensive point scoring isn’t an issue and I don’t believe Sunderland will keep us out for the full 90 mins, but I think the formation posted above would actually help us defensively but also pose a very potent attacking threat. Cabaye is neither a full out and out AM nor an out and out DM, he has a bit of both in his locker. I also think this with Jonas, although he is a bit more attacking. So we still have attacking ability from the middle but also the assurance that they can get back and stuck in when under a counter attack or helping out the FB’s…

    What’s your thoughts?


  22. EF – I’d love to see my formation, but I can completely understand why were sticking to 4-4-2.

    Ideally we’d switch as per opponent, but we haven’t got the players to do that just yet.

    Any formation needs to be built on a solid base and ar the moment ww just haven’t got that, especially with Simpson who we can’t afford to leave isolated as he just isn’t a good enough right back for that.

    We drew on Saturday thanks to our right wing. Raylor doesn’t have the pace to play there and Simpson just backs off runners, so when you have a player with pace who will run at you, like Jarvis, you’re asking for problems. This is how they got that first goal back.

    Its also why Obertan, who isn’t everyones cup of tea, is more useful than people think.


  23. The problem with the 4-4-2 is that it make your team too predictable especially with the player we have in our wings and the 2 dembas who has almost the same style of play. With our formation we never have some change of position some players who play in the hole, between the midfield and defense which destabilize most of the teams. It’s why most of the big teams play now with a guy in the hole and even more players just interchange their position very often( look to Man city), but during a match or during some match you can play a 4-4-2 but I think the 4-4-2 with our players, we have no chance to dominate adverse teams, because too much space between players so very difficult to keep the ball and we score only from half chances because demba ba was on fire.
    I would like to see to 1 or 2 game 4-3-1-2, because at the moment i think our wings are useless, I don’t promise it will work and we will be genius with but maybe.


  24. Completely off topic, but I’ve just been watching Pards being interviewed on Aussie tv by a guy called Daniel Garb, and I noticed this intriguing comment on his twitter:

    Daniel Garb ‏ @DanielGarb 15 Feb
    Classic chat with the cabbie on way to Newcastles training ground. Fair to say Geordie Shore cast arent likely to get the keys to the city.

    I’ve got to admit I’ve never heard of Geordie Shore 😳

    Is it really as bad as it sounds ?? 😯


  25. Chris G – Yes. Its an embarrassment to the area. Its like the only way is Essex but a geordie version, full of wannabe wags and shit like that.

    Problem is everyone thinks all Geordies are like that when in reality its just a twatty few of them being vacuous airheads 👿


  26. Toonsy – OMG it sounds even worse than I was imagining 😯
    Bugger the Pardew interview – I want to hear what the cabbie was saying 😆


  27. Seems strange that a Newcastle cabbie was chatting anyway. Usually I get a few grunts out out of them, but then again im usually pissed as a fart 😆


  28. Looking forward to The derby game:-)
    But in Denmark you can’t really feel the passion… I’ve only met one Sunderland fan!!!

    Good game from DT to you All 🙂
    I usually write Sunderland on my toiletpaper when a derby is near.. Why stop a tradition!!!


  29. I believe Alan Pardew has done wonderful things but I think the team has gone up a gear in attack and we have to adjust and play a more attacking quick paced passing formation such as the 4-1-2-1-2….
    ….And bring on the likes of Raylor for the defence, Guthrie to hold the midfield, and obertan for some attacking threat!
    I believe this is the only way we are going to see this team play football and most importantly get goals! We have amazing attacking players in ben arfa cisse and ba so I think we should be using all 3 and I believe this is the only way he could play them.
    He has done the right thing in defending his way up the league table because our depth in squad has been affected due to injuries bands etc.
    I now think he should concentrate on attacking the second half of the season and get our new signing some goals and I hope that the wolves game has told AP that it is time for change! What not better to do it against our rivals next week and show the other teams we mean business! I believe if we do that, then teams will fear us more and play more defensive with us rather than the other way round! Wolves attacked us and got there goals because we dropped deep and defended our lead but when we attacked they couldn’t get near us us. Its a no brainer! Come on you magpies!!!!


  30. @ chris stavers
    if u read the other thread u will find that it is my formation and yes its the only we will get goals!


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