Duff, gutted from yesterdays events, vows to stay with Newcastle and fight for their promotion next season. Newcastle faithful wait to hear what Shearer’s plans are.
Gareth Southgate’s Nightmare
Middlesbrough have had their troubles since their last promotion to the top flight in 1998. We smirk when we think of 2006, when a fan stormed the pitch and threw his season ticket at Steve McClaren in frustration. But despite various problems, Boro spent the last ten years making themselves a Premier League mainstay. They usually finished mid-table, but even when they dipped lower, they secured enough points to keep from sweating over the drop.
But this season the problems became insurmountable. Former Boro hitman, John Hendrie blames poor transfer window moves and lack of firepower. Boro were the lowest scoring side in the league. Whatever the root cause, Boro simply could not climb out of the ditch they dug themselves.
But Gareth Southgate is expected to stay on as manager and despite the fear of losing some big players, Middlesbrough should have a good enough chance at returning to the top flight.
The Blackcats put their old yo-yoing ways behind them as they prepare to enjoy a third consecutive season in the Premier League. Despite their survival, manager Ricky Sbragia stepped down after Sunderland’s loss to Chelsea. Read more here. Sbragia took over the post when Roy Keane left in December.
Sunderland announced today they will not be signing 27-year-old striker Djibril Cisse who spend the season on loan from Marseille. It will be intersting to see who Sunderland bring in to manage and play for the next season.
With Boro and Newcastle relegated, Sunderland will be the only side from the north east in the Premier League.
The season was very tight for a long time with many upsets and surprises. It took a while for the European hopefuls to pull away from the relegation zone denizens. Unlike last year, when Derby County clinched relegation early, this season’s bottom teams had their chances going into the final weekends. It is sad to see two mainstays go down, but that’s part of the life-cycle of the Premier League. Wolves, Birmingham and Burnley will come up to try and stake their claim on top flight football. Newcastle, Boro and others will fight in the Championship for a fresh chance to rise.
The rest of us will spend the summer scouring transfer rumors and analyzing friendlies and internationals while we wait for the league action to start anew.