Don't look back in anger


John Phelan

POUR yourself a stiff drink as we go back ten years to 2010 and look at the performances and league positions of the top three soccer clubs in the North-East.

Newcastle United

2010: P47 W24 D11 L12 F91 A61

Biggest Victory: August 22: Premier League, 6-0 v Aston Villa

Biggest Defeat: October 27: Carling Cup, 0-4 v Arsenal; and November 20, Premier League, 1-5 v Bolton

League Position on January 1, 2011: 13th in Premier League

League Position on December 31, 2020: 14th in Premier League.

NEWCASTLE'S 2010 started brightly as the club sat on top of the Championship under manager Chris Hughton, but it ended in sour fashion as Hughton was sacked in December 2010 despite having won promotion. There was widespread condemnation of the sacking from people like Sir Alan Sugar, Alan Shearer, Newcastle player Sol Campbell and former player and commentator John Anderson who said that he was "devastated and angry". Alan Pardew was appointed in his place.

Flop of the year was striker Leon Best who was signed for around £1m in February but failed to score in 13 senior appearances. Hit of the year though was Andy Carroll who showed strength and power in the air to score 26 goals in 2010.


2010: P42 W13 D15 L14 F48 A50

Biggest Victory: March 9: Premier League, 4-0 v Bolton

Biggest Defeat: January 16: Premier League, 2-7 v Chelsea

League Position on January 1, 2011: 7th in Premier League

League Position on December 31, 2020: 11th in League 1

STEVE BRUCE was the Sunderland manager and, after a win over Bolton just before Christmas, the Cats were up to sixth in the Premiership which had aided their charge to the Europa League places. Asamoah Gyan (£13m) and Danny Welbeck (loan) were also signed to take the pressure off Darren Bent when it came to goals. At the back solid defenders Nedum Onuoha and Titus Bramble were signed as well as keeper Simon Mignolet. There were also repeated rumours that the club was interested in making a bid for Adam Johnson, the Man City winger. It was thought that Johnson would be a feather in the cap of the Black Cats. The flop of the year was Paulo Da Silva, and his days at the club looked numbered. Bent, however, hit 22 of his 35 Sunderland goals in 2010. It's still a huge drop though from seventh in the Premiership to 11th in League 1. We wish the Cats better luck in 2021.


2010: P48 W15 D12 L21 F51 A57

Biggest Victory: January 26: Championship, 4-1 v Doncaster

Biggest Defeat: September 11: Championship, 0-3 v QPR

League Position January 1, 2011: 21st in Championship.

League Position on December 31, 2020: 9th in Championship.

TEN years ago Boro manager Gordon Strachan was preparing for an exciting January, hoping to revitalise the crop of players he had inherited from Gareth Southgate in October 2009. It never happened, Strachan didn't deliver, neither did some of his signings from Scotland. Scott McDonald arrived injured from Celtic for £3.5m, Lee Miller joined from Aberdeen for £500,000, but only made six starts before heading to Notts County on loan. Kris Boyd never resembled the sort of player that earned the tag of the most prolific scorer in Scottish Premier League history. Kevin Thompson spent most of his time injured since his £2.5m switch from Rangers. The outcome was that Strachan, who hardly made himself popular with some local football journalists, was sacked in October 2010. To be fair to him, he tore his contract up, and left, not asking for, or taking, any compensation. The two positives were that former club skipper Tony Mowbray returned as manager, while Jason Steele had emerged through the junior ranks as a young goalkeeper who at least ensured Boro had a long term candidate to play between the posts.