Sunderland 1 – 1 Newcastle United
Predictable derby day result
It’s been a while since I wrote seriously about football, but seriously, as a Sunderland fan I thought we were lucky to get that point today. I never attempt to predict a win on derby day, the most predictable outcome generally is a hard fought draw.
The Toon came to The Stadium of Light well organised tight and compact at the back and Gutierrez and Barton generalled the midfield for them, up front Amoebi had a couple of chances and Best was at best totally anonymous. As for Sunderland, our midfield had no bite at all, El Mohamady’s crosses mostly went to waste, and once again we failed to rise to the occasion, both strikers Bent and Gyan looked ineffective and wasted chances.
Newcastle certainly took the game to Sunderland in the first ten minutes, but then the football came to an end and we were fed a diet of long ball stuff from both teams, and passing was at a premium in the middle of the park where very few playmakers were on display. Newcastle’s goal was hardly a joy to behold, although Ameobi always seems to be a major threat to us, his headed knock down would probably have sneaked in on its own without Nolan’s deft back heel. It was always going to be an uphill battle after that, and we can count ourselves fortunate that the Lads can at least battle on these days beyond the standard ninety minutes.
Gyan, probably knew little about his equaliser after it bounced in on the rebound from his chest, and whilst the point for the draw is always welcome I don’t think in honesty that Toon fans will be happy with a point away from home. It must have felt like a loss for them, we never really tested Harper’s goal, there was never a feeling that we might threaten a goal or two, and this was simply because when Newcastle had the ball we had nobody capable of winning it back, and only one player in the right frame of mind to put it into the box.
So, a point gained for Sunderland, a get out of jail moment.
At any rate that’s the end of derby days for this season, and putting my libertarian hat on for a moment, I find it sad that the police are having to resort to treating people like animals again (all in the name of public safety you know). Kettling is bad enough for crowds, but now they have the more formidable solid metal walls to constrain and funnel people with, rather like goading sheep, pigs, or cattle into the lorries that take them to the abattoir. Treat people like animals and they sometimes end up behaving that way, sadly the only contact between fans was inside the stadium where chairs were being ripped up and hurled at each other.
There were still a handful of arrests both inside and outside of the ground, but at least the metal “walls” will have reduced the amount of potential manpower needed to police the match. It is all a bit sad to think that the only visible contact between the fans and the police on their way to the buses would have been at the end of a metal tunnel to be greeted by a big policeman on horseback with a big stick.
It’s an intimidating thought, but perhaps that was the intention.