Jonathan Woodgate is acknowledged by fans as being one of the best centre-backs for Newcastle in its modern times, but his comments today will have fans scratching their heads.
The Middlesbrough manager was speaking to the Hartlepool Mail when he claimed that Boro’s recent history is better than Newcastle’s.
He was asked about his young new signings Anfernee Dijksteel and Marc Bola’s struggling starts and the time they are taking to adapt, when he made his bizarre comparison.
He said: “It’s a big step up for them to play for this football club.
“This football club is a big football club, I know we’ve only been in the Premier League once in ten years but we’ve been to a Uefa Cup final, we won the Carling Cup, Newcastle haven’t.
“Our history is better than theirs in recent times. It’s a big club.”
Of course, Woodgate is right. Boro’ have been to a UEFA Cup Final, and they have won the Carling Cup, and there is not a Newcastle fan who will not envy that League Cup success.
But to claim that their history is better than Newcastle’s is a ludicrous statement.
Boro have only been in Premier League once in last 11 years
Newcastle have played outside the Premier League on only two occasions in the 21st Century – 2009/2010 and 2016/2017, whereas the Teessiders have spent nine of those years in the second tier.
The best finish they had was their promotion season in 2015/2016, when they finished second, and were promptly relegated again the following season.
Their League Cup win was way back in 2004, and their UEFA Cup Final defeat was in 2006, which is hardly recent.
Of the nine seasons Boro’ have been in the Championship from the past 11 years, they have had five finishes outside the top 10, and seven times they have not even made the play-offs.
By comparison Newcastle have had a top five Premier League finish, two top 10s, and won the Championship title both times they were in the division.
We are always hearing that club success is based around league campaigns, and in that regard, there is no argument over who has been the more successful.
Woodgate’s 18th placed Championship side play at home to Reading on Saturday, while Newcastle are playing at European Champions Liverpool on the same day.