Newcastle have named their new number nine and Sunderland fans were quick to mock their rivals.
Newcastle have announced their squad numbers for the upcoming season and Sunderland have been quick to mock their local rivals.
The number nine shirt is very prestigious on Tyneside, with many Newcastle greats donning the jersey. However, Sunderland fans do not see the black-and-white nine in a similar light and have instead used it as another chance to poke fun at their neighbours.
Sunderland have had it much their own way in the North East in recent years, their latest triumph coming last season where their victory against Everton confirmed their Premier League status and condemned Newcastle to relegation to the Championship.
In what has been a difficult summer for Sunderland, with the only arrival being that of new manager David Moyes, fans on Wearside have had very little to shout about in the build up to the new Premier League season, ahead of taking on Manchester City on the opening day.
Newcastle begin their Championship season a week earlier, taking on Fulham in the opening game of this season's Football League. A day before the big kick-off, the Magpies announced that Jamaal Lascelles would be the new club captain, as well as releasing the squad numbers for the season ahead.
The biggest talking point was the number nine shirt, which was given to new signing Dwight Gayle after it became available when Papiss Cisse departed for China.
While Newcastle fans sent messages of support to their new number nine using the hashtag #GayleForce9, the red-and-white faithful took to Twitter to mock their neighbours' obsession with a number.
Have just seen a number 9 tram , wonder if it can handle the responsibility of being on time like the famous trams of old— Kevin Ramsey (@safc_kevin) August 4, 2016
I worry for who'll be handed the responsibility of Sunderland's number 12. Huge footsteps to follow in Cabral, Matthews, Celustka... #safc— Reece Hanson (@RGHanson93) August 4, 2016
The way them up the road go on about the number 9 shirt is nothing short of embarrassing— ALS: SAFC FANZINE (@ALS_Fanzine) August 4, 2016
"Handed the responsibility"— Gav (@Gav1879) August 4, 2016
"Think it will affect him?"
Are these for real hahahaha pic.twitter.com/cIPXy701ka
Gayle getting Newcastle's number 9 is a huge deal.— Dan (@DanCarl_) August 4, 2016
Oh wait, no.. No it isn't. A championship team's number 9 means nothing.