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Derby disaster: Can Paolo Di Canio turn Sunderland’s fortunes around against Newcastle

by Josh Powell | April 12, 2013
POINTING THE WAY: Hopefully for Sunderland fans,  towards another season in the Premier League

POINTING THE WAY: Hopefully for Sunderland fans, towards another season in the Premier League

By Josh Powell | Newcastle v Sunderland

Eight Premier League matches without a win was enough to get Martin O’Neill the boot from Sunderland and with seven games to go they were in a relegation dog-fight. Enter controversial manger Paolo Di Canio who had to dodge numerous accusations of fascism, opinions that he wasn’t cut out to mange in the top-flight and prepare his lads for a fiery Tyne-Wear Derby.

Di Canio has one hell of a job on his hands trying to keep John O’Shea and co in the Premier League and if dealing with inadequate defenders wasn’t enough, he has history to contend with as well.

The Paddy Power Blog team have stopped cheering on Dustin Johnson in the Masters long enough to discover Sunderland managers spectacularly crap record in their first Premier League derby games.

  • Debut Black Cat managers have a record of drawn three, lost three, against their local rivals which makes for happy reading if you’re a fan of elaborate Alan Pardew celebrations.

The Magpies are the 10/11 favourites at St James’ with Sunderland at 3/1. The form, the stats and the history book are all pointing towards a Newcastle win but can Di Canio’s influence spark a Sunderland revival?

Here are how previous Sunderland managers have fared on their first Premier League derby’s against Newcastle.

SATURDAY NIGHT TAKE-AWAY: O'Neill can spend his Saturday evenings watching Ant and Dec rather than worrying about derby games

SATURDAY NIGHT TAKE-AWAY: O’Neill can spend his Saturday evenings watching Ant and Dec rather than worrying about derby games

Martin O’Neill, March 4, 2012

Newcastle 1-1 Sunderland

Two red cards and a flurry of yellows tells its own story in a fiery derby. O’Neill obviously had his lads up for the fight and he clearly made sure Nicklas Bendtnar had his Paddy Power Lucky Pants on again. How else could you explain the way he buried his penalty to put Sunderland 1-0 up? Demba Ba ‘Adebayored’ his penalty before Mackem Slayer Shola Ameobi equalised in injury time. Lee Cattermole saw red which was about as surprising as the Pope heading to mass.

Steve Bruce, October 31, 2010

Newcastle 5-1 Sunderland

Shola Ameobi was up to his Sunderland-thumping tricks again as he hammered a brace in Steve Bruce’s first Tyne-Weir derby. Kevin Nolan bagged the match ball after a hat-trick, which included an over-the-head-flick that would have had pundits purring if it had been Lionel Messi and not a 27-year-old bloke playing as a good old-fashioned English centre-forward. Current Aston Villa-reject Darren Bent got Sunderland’s consolation in injury time.

Ricky Sbragia, February 1, 2009

Newcastle 1-1 Sunderland 

Ricky described this one in his post-match press conference as a ‘fair result’ and he was probably spot on. Either team could have won it but the Scot’s first derby game ended all square. Once again it was Shola Ameobi with the Newcastle goal, a penalty which cancelled out Djibril Cisse’s opener. The man with the silliest barnet in football missed his initial attempt when he was through on goal, but buried the rebound.

Shola game of thrones

Roy Keane, November 10, 2007

Sunderland 1-1 Newcastle

Football journey man Danny Higginbotham managed to give Roy Keane’s side the lead before a fresh-faced James Milner spanked in a cross/shot that beat Craig Gordan. In a completely predictable turn of events part-time thug, part-time philosopher Joey Barton managed to start a number of fights and attempted to snap Dickson Etuhu.

Mick McCarthy, April 22 2003

Sunderland 0-1 Newcastle

The Black Cats were on a win-less streak in the league that stretched back four months and Mick McCarthy was still pointless as manager. Pointless as in he hadn’t won a point in the league, rather than pointless as in going to McDonalds for a salad. Nobby Solano did the damage with a penalty and Sunderland lost their 13th game on the spin. Woeful.

Peter Reid, September 4 1996

Sunderland 1-2 Newcastle

Peter Reid has the best win percentage for a Sunderland manager in the last 30 years (45 per cent) but his first derby game ended in defeat. Current Barnsley manager Martin Scott managed to put the Black Cats in front before goals from Peter Beardsley and Les Ferdinand competed a second half comeback for Newcastle. I am reliably informed that Martin Scott is no relation to Barry Scott from the Cillit Bang adverts.

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