In their 10th season of struggle in the Premier League, Sunderland were finally relegated at the end of the 2016-17 season.
The Black Cats had finished in the bottom half for nine of those 10 seasons, with the one exception being when they finished 10th in 2010-11. They also finished in the bottom five on five occasions.
In the process they tied Everton’s record for most bottom half finishes in Premier League history, with 13.
Whilst Sunderland were busy picking up 24 points throughout the entire campaign and a run of 364 days without a win at the Stadium of Light, we were busy picking up some silverware as we won the Championship with 94 points.
Although a planned takeover appears to be distracting Rafa Benitez and his players, there is much reason for us to be optimistic. Provided the backstage saga gets sorted out soon, preferably before the January transfer window, we have a perfectly capable manager of taking us up to mid-table during the second half of the season.
Whereas Sunderland only moved out of the relegation zone over the weekend for the first time in months. Though there is signs of resurgence under new manager Chris Coleman, they still need to be weary of the likes of Bolton Wanderers, Burton Albion and Birmingham City down there at the bottom 😉
Perhaps the only chance we’ve got of playing the Black Cats anytime soon will be the cup. And there’s slim chance that will happen this season as they’ve drawn Middlesbrough away in the third round.
We’ve got to get past the highest scorers in England in the third round – Luton Town. Football odds from Betfair have us as long shots to win this season’s FA Cup at 55/1. Sunderland don’t even make the radar.
It would be nice to play Sunderland again soon as right now it would be as near guaranteed victory as we can get. The likes of Bryan Oviedo, Paddy McNair, Lee Cattermole, Didier N’Dong and James Vaughan hardly scare Championship sides – they certainly wouldn’t scare us.
Historically, we have their number. Though it’s closer than many would imagine, with 51 victories for the Magpies and only 47 for Sunderland. We also have 10 major trophies to their 8.
Betfair have produced this graphic which breaks down the top derbies in England, featuring the Tyne-Wear: