Quick links

Newcastle United

Kevin Phillips explains what's wrong with Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Both Newcastle United and Sunderland have been starved of success in recent years.

Speaking to TalkSPORT on Friday, former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips offered his theory as to why his former club, along with local rivals Newcastle United, continue to struggle in the Premier League.

Two Tyne-Wear pair currently occupy two of the division's three relegation places, with Sunderland four points from safety and Newcastle six.

Both clubs are renowned for their strong following and regularly sell out their stadia, which hold 100,000 spectators combined.

But for some reason, the teams' performances have paled in comparison over the past decade or so, with relegation afflicting both the Geordies and the Mackems in that time.

And Phillips, who spent six years at the Stadium of Light and fired Sunderland to promotion in 1999, thinks he knows why.

"I have my own views on why, potentially, there could be problems in the North East because the players sign there and, as bizarre as it seems, it's seen as a bit of a party capital, Newcastle," the Derby County coach told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show.

"You get players going there and they never really take their careers on. Now is that because they're more interested in going out down the Quayside and enjoying their life? Do they really want to knuckle down and play football?"

Newcastle and Sunderland have a game in hand on 17th-place Norwich City, but are winless in seven and six league matches respectively.

Despite this the Black Cats remain the holders of their own destiny, with the Canaries their opponents at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch