Moussa Sissoko has risked angering thousands of Newcastle fans, by claiming that Crystal Palace are now the bigger of the two clubs.
When speaking to France Football recently about his desire to make a mark in the national team, Sissoko referenced the likes of Blaise Matuidi, Paul Pogba and Yohan Cabaye as being players who were currently at bigger clubs than him, giving them a head-start in the eyes of France manager Dider Deschamps.
Whilst many will be shocked by Sissoko’s comments, particularly when you consider who currently pays his wages, in reality, the last year or so have seen the two clubs become far more evenly matched in terms of their respective league standings.
Following Alan Pardew’s decision to swap Tyneside for Selhurst Park at the start of 2015, there were plenty of pundits who questioned his logic, but the months since have seen Palace streak in front of the Magpies in terms of Premier League form, with the start to the current campaign proving to be no different.
Whether or not that equates to Crystal Palace being viewed as a bigger club by the majority of football fans is another matter entirely, but it’s certainly rattled a few cages amongst the St James’ Park faithful.
Whilst they remain adamant that it’s a blatant to force a move away from the club (apparently he’s been trying to get out for 18 months), it does lead to a question over what makes Newcastle a “bigger club”, were we to remove the size of our respective fan bases.
Of course, having 52,000 people turn up every week gives Newcastle the feel of a big club, but when looking at results, trophy wins and league placings, there is argument to suggest that the gap between us over the last five years is practically nonexistent.
If nothing else, it’s caused plenty of Newcastle fans to respond angrily, which we as mere bystanders, can take great enjoyment from.