It is my intent to try to stay positive this week. Sure we've lost 4 consecutive derbies, right? Surely we can't lose them forever! And what a time to be meeting up with the makems! The Wearsiders have chased off yet another coach and have looked poor for most of the season. We should feel extremely good about the matchup... except for the little matter of this being the same situation prior to Gus Poyet taking the reins and leading a triumph over Newcastle. Just as Paolo di Canio had done the year before. What could go wrong?
There is a big difference, however. We have Working Class John Carver™, the hero of the Geordie people! One of our own! He has got to be better than erstwhile Newcastle manager Alan Pardew who led United to 1 win, 3 draws and 4 losses in the most important fixtures of the season when you have nothing else to play for. The last time we had Not Alan Pardew in charge of our squad, we took Sunderland to the woodshed, defeating them 5-1 at St. James' Park behind a brace from the Makem-slayer (now warming the bench at Crystal Palace) and a hat trick from Kevin Nolan (now patrolling the midfield at the Boleyn Ground.
Ultimately, every individual match happens in a vacuum of sorts. We don't start from behind just because they have won 4 matches in a row. There may be some pressure, for sure. Perhaps it is true that the players don't know *this* derby, but they know derbies. Every one of them has played in derbies, cheered during derbies. Surely they don't want to be known as the squad who "allowed Sunderland to equal the consecutive victories record of the Tyne-Wear Derby. So - In attempt to build up good feeling and Positivityad! ahead of this fixture, let's remember the last four Newcastle victories in the Tyne-Wear Derby!
20 Aug 2011 - Sunderland 0 - 1 (Ameobi) Newcastle United
Was it a shot? Was it a cross? It's immaterial. Whether or not Ryan Taylor heard the "You're gonna miss!" that rang out through a silent Stadium of Light, he sent a shross to the far post from a free kick. Makemslayer Shola Ameobi bundled the ball across the line for a late derby victory.
31 October 2010 - Newcastle United 5 (Ameobi 2, Nolan 3) - 1 Sunderland
The famous 5under1and victory. It sure feels like we may never see the likes of this again. While it seems unlikely that such fireworks are on the cards for this weekend, it sure would be cathartic to see the club end their record-tying bid in such emphatic manner.
20 April 2008 - Newcastle United 2 (Owen 2) - 0 Sunderland
This Zapruder-style grainy cell-phone video is the only video evidence that Michael Owen scored a derby brace for us in 2008. It could be considered as NSFW as there is a rousing rendition of "You're s^#$ and you know you are!" which feels somewhat prominently.
Alternately, you could watch this clip which has no actual footage of the match, but is AWESOME. SkySports used to have a feature called Fanzone in which they would have fans from rival clubs provide commentary for matches. This is probably one of the greatest of that idea.
17 April 2006 - Newcastle United 4 (Chopra, Shearer, N'Zogbia, Albert Luque) - 1 Sunderland
1 nil down, 4 -1 up! Albert Luque wrapped it up!
OR, if you prefer: 4 - 1 even Chopra scored!