The Mackems – Heart v Head

Bendtner does the damage against Liverpool
With our boys not in action until this evening, many of us will have spent the weekend looking for something to fill that Newcastle United shaped hole.

I’ve always hated Monday night fixtures – until Monday rolls around, and then I usually have a change of heart and decide that I actually love them. It’s the wait that kills me.

As a neutral, Saturday’s fixture list made for pretty grim reading. The one match that did catch my eye, however, was Sunderland at home to Liverpool.

The Mackems managed a dogged (or lucky, depending on your persuasion) 1-0 win, courtesy of a goal from derby penalty scorer and China Town vandal Nicklas Bendtner. The big Dane side footed home from close range when the ball fell kindly to him after striking a combination of the post and Pepe Reina’s shiny bonce.

I decided to listen to the match on the radio (for reasons entirely Toon related, you’ll understand) and was surprised at my own reaction to their goal. The bile that would usually rise in my throat when hearing the unwashed celebrate was conspicuous by its absence. Of course I didn’t jump for joy, far from it, but I realised then that I actually wanted them to win.

Folly, you might be thinking. But it turned out I wasn’t alone – reaction from Newcastle fans across Twitter and right here on was mixed.

Now, let me tell you that my dislike for Liverpool often rivals the way I feel about our loathsome neighbours, but this wasn’t a case of Scum vs Scummier. This was a case of league positioning, of European football, of NUFC mattering above all else. The fact is that Liverpool are breathing down our necks from 7th place, and any points they fail to pick up – regardless of who has taken them instead – is good news.

So the Mackems picked up three points. Are they going to catch us up as a result? Probably not. Is it going to help them finish the season strongly? Maybe. But do we really care? None of us want to see them doing well, but in reality they’ve done the Geordies a favour by keeping the gap between us and our nearest top 6 rival at 5 points.

This is something that will always divide opinion, but let me ask you this – which is more important to you; Sunderland’s lack of success, or Newcastle achieving it?

Remember, they’re the ones obsessed with us, not the other way around!

About ArchieMag

26 years young. Bachelors Degree in Politics and Media Studies. Aspiring author and journo. Lived in Newcastle all my life and will live here for the rest of it. HWTL.

38 thoughts on “The Mackems – Heart v Head

  1. I had a dream last night that a scored a screamer against arsenal last night.
    It was from a cheeky lay-off from Ba.

    It was also played on astro turf.

    Good point Archie… if i’m honest i too wanted the mackems to win (well actually a draw would have sufficed).

    But no matter…. Thank you sunderland, from the bottom of my heart xx 😉


  2. Completely agree Archie lad. Effectively it gives us a free game tonight. Not saying we shouldn’t try or anything like that, but even if we lose we’ve given no ground to Liverpool behind us.

    On Mackems, I don’t really find myself bothered about them unless it’s a derby day. I’m not like them and would prefer my own team to win regardless of their result while they would prefer us not to win at any cost.


  3. Nice one Archie . First reaction is not happy to see Scum get the win but on refection it does help us , though it feels like having vomit permanently rising in my throat to admit it. Of course it also means they are that bit closer to us too ,oh dear feel sick again .


  4. No no NO!

    I’ve thought really hard about at this, we’ve all got it completely wrong, Liverpool are now irrelevant to us, okay here it goes:

    Initially: top 5 get Europe
    After League Cup: If winners already qualified for Europe it goes to 6th, otherwise it goes to winners.
    After FA Cup: If winners & runners up have BOTH qualified to Europe it goes to 7th (if League cup winners have resulted in it being moved to 6th), otherwise it goes to winners/runners up

    Okay so basically (this is assuming the FA cup winners/runners up already qualify:
    5th Chelsea
    6th Liverpool
    7th Newcastle
    8th Sunderland
    = We qualify for Europe

    5th Chelsea
    6th Sunderland
    7th Newcastle
    8th Liverpool
    = We DON’T qualify for Europe, remember that it ONLY goes down to 7th if Liverpool (cup winners) have already qualified for Europe, Liverpool are basically an invisible team to us, if they finish above us extra European place opens up in the league, if they don’t it doesn’t.

    Liverpool aren’t a concern now, what is a concern are the spread of vultures waiting to capitalise on any slip ups to overtake us, so Sunderland winning is a bad, bad thing, as was Everton winning.


  5. ST – I think Archie was discounting Sundelrand and Everton catching us up.

    They have it all to do. If we pick up three wins from now until the end of the season they’ll have to win six and draw one of their last ten.


  6. I’m with the toonmeister on this one… we’d have to have a monumental f*ck-up (knock on wood) to finish below 7th now. 😉


  7. I watched the game, a draw would have suited me but watching Liverpool going sideways and backwards was a throw back to when King Kenny ballsed the Toon job up and if im honest, they didnt deserve anything from the game.
    Andy Carroll came on for the last 15 mins and what a waste of a player, who else would pay 35m for a player who thrives on the diagonal ball on the move only to have him static for most of the game?
    And if we stole 35m from them, what about 20m for Jawden Enderson? CAMEL?


  8. ST i was considering posting something similar about where liverpool finishing in relation to us being largely irrelevant re Europe. Unless we overtake arsenal/chelsea, we’re relying on that fa cup final being two of pool/arse/spuds anyway. To be honest, if sunderland or everton catch us up, we’ve fu*ked up and they deserve it.


  9. They worry me under O’Neill. They keep winning games that they should be losing and our form isn’t great at the moment.


  10. Archie good read mate, I would they drew as it is the mackems are 3 pts closer to us now. Yeah it will monumental fuk up for us not to finish in the top 7 but call me 👿 greedy I want the top 6 and if we lossed Colo to injury 👿 that would = monumental fuk up


  11. My prefered finish would be

    6th NUFC
    7th Sunderland
    8th Liverpool

    There’s just something about the arrogance of Liverpool that winds me up. And the amount of money they’ve wasted is criminal!! 😯


  12. I would be more worried about everton they are in a bit of form.
    A draw would be a fantastic result tonight 😉
    4-4 anyone????


  13. I can see them catching up…as Stuart says it’s more of a worry now they have o’neill

    I think we’ll finish above but only just


  14. Kim, The vandalism has been erased from mackem memories already in the same way as the pitch invasion and assault on Stevie Harper after they scored an equaliser has been.


  15. Anyone else beginning to really worry about tonight? I can see RvP doing unspeakable things to Williamson…


  16. I’m worried about both of them tbh, they are both on terrific form.
    Christ how much could those last two home games come back to haunt us.

    Can’t believe 6th might not even be enough for Europe, big weekend for us coming then, desperately need Chelsea/Tottenham/Liverpool to win and hope that they beat the winner of Sunderland/Everton in the semis.


  17. If we lose tonight at Arsenal say 0-2, it would mean in our last 17 games, we would only have picked up 19 points conceding 30 goals and scoring 22.
    Just shows you how incredible a start it was that we are still clear in sixth. But the last ten games we really need to be more convincing and prove we can challenge there on a regular basis.


  18. Solano…

    If we just hadn’t bottled it against Wolves and scored the penalty against the Scum we would be NINE points clear in sixth and still very much in the Champions League race.

    Really is has been a golden opportunity this season to make a big jump.
    A win against Arsenal would put us right back in it. However a loss and we are basically in the middle zone. Looking behind us rather than above us.


  19. Yeah that isn’t pretty reading is it JJ.

    To be fair I feel this season is a terrific indication of us at the minute, start of the season, with our first XI we showed we are a match for anyone, the past 17 games we’ve been without Saylor and Tiote for most of them, Cabaye/Ba for a chunk,
    Basically non-existant squad depth in key areas.


  20. All set for Benny at RW – Raylor’s injured!

    Ryan Taylor ‏ @TaylorR1984
    Absolutely gutted to be missing tonights game. I’ll let you know what the extent of my injury is after my scan tomorrow. Such bad luck…


  21. Im more concerned with us than O’Spiel and his cloggers kicking and boring their way up the league and with us currently sitting in 6th with a top half finish looking like a worst case scenario im absolutely delighted, If we win the majority of our easier home games (Norwich, Bolton and Stoke) and potentially a couple of away matches (west brom and wigan) then top 6 is on we are heading in the right direction…


  22. I think to be fair, it’s clear that we are a couple of players short in our starting 11, and lacking in depth. We are 6th on merit, and hopefully next season we can be closer to the top tems.

    Will miss Raylor tonight. Hope HBA shows his worth. Think pardew right. Win tonight we chasing 4th. Lose or draw we tring to consolidate 6th.


  23. win = can challenge for 4th
    draw = consolidate 6th
    loss = looking over our shoulder at a load of teams (incidentally we play most of em in the coming weeks)

    Norwich (h) 18/3
    WBA (a) 25/3
    Liverpool (h) 1/4
    Swansea (a) 6/4


  24. Woo-hoo…. I’m going to the match!! :mrgreen: 😎

    Roll on 5pm, pub time! 😀

    I want to see us attack and not sit back!!!


  25. Gaby and Benny can both cause problems for them…

    It’s no good that Raylor’s injured of course, but I’m not gutted if he doesn’t play tonight. I want to see pace and trckery, and Cabaye is just as good as Raylor at set pieces IMO (though neither one of them sets the world alight)

    I hope they are all well up for it tonight !!!


  26. Aye like Toonsy said, at the point of writing this I wasn’t even considering the possibility of the mackems catching us… not that I think it’s impossible. It just doesn’t bear thinking about 😐

    Tonight is huge for us in terms of euro ambition. Snap hands clean off for a point personally.



    Liverpool maybe irrelevent as you put it. I don’t think like that, I would like to see us finish above Carroll and Enrique as petty as that sounds. And while were at it, Nolan and Barton. The only way is down, as a wise man once said.


  28. If we wanna get into Europe we need to start playing better anyway and get there of our own accord, it’s no good hoping that there won’t be a mid table team go on a run of good results at some points because that probably will happen and if we continue our recent form they will rightly catch us. Tonight will be hard to get anything so thats another game gone. That means the next two games are starting to look important. With a defense to put out thins time we should be able to beat Norwich at home. I watched spells of the Man U game yesterday and West Brom were poor apart from the odd break away. But we can bet our lives they won’t be against us, they always seem to up their game that little bit against us. I can see us getting 4 points from these 3 games and that isn’t enough really if people are thinking about Europe.


  29. It’s almost sure that Benny will start, maybe in the right maybe in the hole but he will start. Because if he starts Gabby instead of Benny, Pardew knows that Benny will take that as an injustice.
    I just hope we can made a better start than in Tottenham, and if after 30 minutes we are still in the game, after it’s ok we have all our chances.


  30. What the hell do those weirdos who don’t follow football do on a weekend?!
    I work with a scum fan and a bin dipper who have been banging on about the game all weekend. It’s amazing hearing them talking up such a shit game. Hate having to sit and listen to their bollocks about how both are gonna finish above us.

    I would have sooner seen a draw between them, to keep them both from making too much ground.
    I dont really like this getting into Europe through the back door, but those places have to be allocated one way or another and I suppose it’s the fairest way. I suppose I just don’t want any favours from Liverpool.
    Ideal scenario would be qualification for Europe by finishing 5th – above Liverpool and the scum.

    Starting with 3 points tonight please boys.


  31. Haha DJG, agree. Irrelevant in terms of Europe, but if there’s one team i want to finish above, after the mackems, it’s the scousers.


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