THE match reports were grudging in praise for Newcastle United after their latest “must win” victory.
It was almost as if some writers wanted Alan Pardew sacked so that they would have something to write about during the quiet international fortnight ahead.
At least Sunderland kept them gainfully employed for a short while by appointing their fourth manager in less than two years.
More, however, about Mr Poyet later.
Returning to Pardew, I doubt he would have been fired even had Cardiff City won on Saturday.
For all owner Mike Ashley’s silence and other faults, I just don’t think jeopardising the club’s Premier League status by installing Joe Kinnear as caretaker boss is part of his supposed masterplan.
You certainly do not get as much television exposure for your retail empire’s adverts if you are dossing down in the Championship.
As it was, Newcastle won 2-1 and deservedly so.
Yes, they made an easy triumph difficult by letting their hosts back into the game after the interval.
But they still had as many chances of their own in the second half and managed to succeed where the likes of Manchester City and Everton have already failed this season.
Ten points from 21 after seven matches and a place in the last 16 of the Capital One Cup is also a reasonable return come the international break.
Not forgetting the ongoing woes endured by the neighbours.
So can Gus Poyet prove their latest saviour?
Much has been made of both his playing and managerial record against Newcastle United.
Well Shola Ameobi has scored more against Sunderland than Poyet did against Newcastle and yet even his magnificence could not prevent a deserved derby defeat in April.
Poyet’s Tottenham also lost four games in a row against Sir Bobby Robson’s Mapgies after he left Chelsea.
Let’s see if he mentions those defeats as the October 27 showdown looms closer.
Never mind the 45 year old’s tactical nous, I’d be more worried if he registered as a player and brought himself on for the last 10 minutes.
He surely could not do any worse than Gone Wrong or Ni Win or whatever he’s called.
– GAVIN LEDWITH