It looks like Tal Ben Haim, the Israeli International, will be Sam Allardyce’s first signing at Newcastle.
He is currently in Israel getting married apparently – so we expect the deal will be tied up in the near future – maybe when he returns back to England within the next couple of weeks. But our understanding is he wants to come to Newcastle.
Ben Haim is a good player and last January was a target for FA Cup winners Chelsea – but the deal – estimated at â‚¤3M didn’t go though presumably when Abramovich refused to come up with the money.
Tal Ben Haim
The 5′ 11″ defender is in big demand – since he is now a free agent – and multiple clubs are after him – including Bolton – who have reportedly offered him a â‚¤25000/week deal which he has turned down. It looks like Ben Haim is anxious to follow Sam Allardyce to Newcastle – since Sam initially gave him his chance when Bolton signed him in 2004 from Isreali club Maccabi Tel Aviv – for a small undisclosed fee thought to be around â‚¤150,000 – what a deal!
It’s good to know the influx of new players will start shortly – and Sam again talked yesterday about some of his plans – including playing with different styles at home and away.
Here is a portion of what Sam said yesterday to the Evening Chronicle:
“The first priority is to win your home games, which means you’re always going to send your fans away happy. They’ll enjoy and look forward to their weekend when they’ve left St James’s Park with three points in the bag.
“That is going to be the catalyst to where we’re going to finish in the season. And when it comes to playing away from home it is about becoming more resilient and a bit more determined to dig in and defend a bit more correctly, rather than going away to play attacking football which is what we want to do at St James’. We’ll be seeing two different Newcastle Uniteds if you like.”
“But it is all about team spirit – we’re going to need it day to day, not just on a match day. We need to build a solidarity between ourselves, learning to trust ourselves, me learning to trust them and them me. That will pay dividends, hopefully, in the end.
So it appears Sam will play two different styles – a more attacking style at home to win games with attractive football – and please the crowd – but then a more resilient and dour style away from home – presumably that will bring us plenty of away points.
We don’t mind too much if some of the games are dour – at least as we try to get back into that top six where we belong. Playing good attacking football at St. James’ is what the fans demand – but they are also aware that all good teams at times – just have to dig in and survive through portions of any game.
Finally a little bit more on Tal Ben Haim – he played initially for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel whom he joined in 1998 and played for them 147 times scoring 2 goals.
In July of 2004 he joined Bolton Wanderers and played for them a total of 102 times scoring a single goal.
He has represented Israel a total of 22 times and is good friends with Yossi Benayoun, who currently plays for West Ham United.
Come to think of it Benayoun would also be a good capture for us – he has loads of skill and has worked his butt off for West Ham in the home stretch.
Comments welcome as usual.