ONSIDE: Can Newcastle United play the right Toon against Southampton?


I HAVE witnessed some ballistic rows between Newcastle United and Sunderland fans over the merits of their respective clubs.

You can probably heard the most common script yourselves.

Newcastle fan: “We’ve played 100 more games in Europe than you.”

Sunderland fan: “Yes but we were the last team to win a trophy back in 1973.”

At this point you need a Middlesbrough supporter to walk into the pub, as that’s where most of these philosophical discussions flourish, and say: “Ah well, in that case we are bigger than either of you.”

Alas Boro followers rarely venture north for fear no takeaways serve their sacred Parmos for their suppers, meaning the arguments degenerate rapidly.

On one occasion the subject turned to the respective concerts hosted by both clubs and whether Newcastle’s 1980s CV of Queen, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones trumped more recent appearances at the Stadium of Light by Pink, Oasis and Take That.

Now the Magpies are back in the music market after a seven-year sabbatical by announcing a 2014 gig by argumentative American rockers The Kings of Leon.

Will the Followill family prove more harmonious than United’s own Ameobi brothers?

They’ll probably fill the terraces just as slowly given how close to Christmas tickets are going on sale.

I’m certainly not happy at the prospect of suddenly finding an extra £110 for a pair of seats for the missus and her mate.

And that’s before the obligatory add ons are included for postage and packaging and the like.

At least there are more pressing matters to distract me before the box office opens next Wednesday.

Can Alan Pardew’s side defeat Southampton at St James’s Park on Saturday?

The £110 answer, or should that be £157,13*, is hopefully yes.

I’m foolishly going for a narrow 2-1 victory with Newcastle coming from behind to claim three points for the first time this season after conceding an early goal.



*Not including cancellation or illness insurance.