Newcastle’s First 10 Games Crucial for Allardyce

Sam Allardyce talked to Sky Sports news this morning and said he was glad to get the first game as Newcastle manager behind him.

He seemed quite pleased at the performance but not with the sloppy goal Newcastle gave away.

Allardyce also believes the first 10 games of next season will be crucial as to how the season turns out for the club – we couldn’t agree more.

Let’s see what Sam had to say today.


Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce told Sky Sports News this morning:

“We certainly found the finishing touch in the second half that had been lacking in the first, and I thought the whole workout was excellent.”

“I’m glad to have this game under the belt and now we’re off and going to Carlisle on Saturday.”

Midfielder Joey Barton and defender David Rozehnal both made their Newcastle debuts and Allardyce was hugely impressed with the pair as we have already reported today – in fact Barton was here, there and everywhere and Rozehnal looked very composed on the ball.

Sam continued:

“Joey can be anything he wants to be as a footballer. He can be the very best and I think he has the talent and the desire and drive to do that.

“David is a very intelligent man and a really dedicated professional. If he learns as quickly as he needs to he’ll be OK.

“But I was pleased with everyone.”

“The disappointing thing was how we conceded the goal but our response was great.”

“We have to hit the first game at 100 per cent so we have to get these lads firing on all cylinders by 11th August.”

“How we do in the first ten games will be crucial to what our season is going to look like.”

We agree fully with Sam on that one – that the first 10 games will be crucial – if we do well then our confidence will be sky high. So it’s important that Sam gets the transfer deals done and dusted.

As we see how our former squad of players performs in the first few games of the season – that will also give us a good idea of how we can do in the league. The four new players Sam has brought in are very strong and experienced. Getting another four as good – or better – will go a long way to Newcastle maybe becoming a surprise in Sam’s first season at Newcastle. We’ll know how it looks around the end of October – when we have completed our 10th league game away to Reading – which could be out hardest game of the first 10.

Here are our first 10 league games.

Sat 11     15:00     A     Bolton
Sat 18     17:15     H     Aston Villa
Sun 26    13:30     A     Middlesbrough

Sat 1         15:00      H    Wigan Athletic
Mon 17     20:00     A     Derby County
Sun 23      13:30      H    West Ham
Sat 29       12:45      A     Man City

Sun 7         15:00     H     Everton
Mon 22     20:00     H     Tottenham
Sat 27        15:00     A     Reading

Not really a lot of tough games there and none of the top four. Five games away and five games at home. We couldn’t really ask for much more of an easy start – so we’ll just have to see how well we do at the end of that initial stretch of games.
It’s going to be very important that we perform well at home and make St. James’ into the proverbial fortress again.

Comments welcome.

20 comments so far

  • doc

    Jul 18, 2007 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #1

    Sam is right about the start to the season, looking at the list of fixtures, fingers crossed team playing at 100% we could do a Keegan and win all 10 !!! but I wouldn’t bet my house on it, (if I had one)

    West Ham, Spurs and Everton are tests but assuming we do strengthen our defence the others are quite winable

    the key to it all might just be game 1 at bolton, which might be more like a cup match than anything

  • Nick

    Jul 18, 2007 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #2

    Definitely as I have said before it is that first game that will show how the side has changed if it has been transformed that is. In any case, the way I see it, it really seems like everything is coming together for Big Sam. What can I say. Maybe FS did the right thing for once. 😉 Anyway the way things have been turning out, all I can say I have never been this enthusiastic for the start of the first match in years 😀

  • P.collins

    Jul 18, 2007 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #3

    No games are easy but with those fixtures for the Toon they could have the best start to the season the’ve had in years.If they can get 15 points+ out of that lot i’d be chuffed.If all goes well these games could give the lads a great boost of confidence they all need to help us get up the table early on. But some things are easier said than done.

  • Nick

    Jul 18, 2007 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #4

    Oh one more thing, the problem with the team last season was that they were not able to win games they should have won … so another sign of the turn around would be for them to win against teams they should be able to beat … how about the four games in September 😉

  • Fergie

    Jul 18, 2007 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #5

    on another note, i see Alan Oliver has returned to his duties at the Evening Comical today. I realised as soon as i started reading the column that it was his work. He is a disgrace to the name of sports journalism and somehow felt the need to add in this at the end of his article on Owen.
    “And without putting any pressure on him, he could be just the man to get the club back into the top six.”
    Now whats the need for that? we don’t give a damn what your personal opinion is, give us fact, not fiction…

  • Andy T

    Jul 18, 2007 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #6

    I think 24 points out of that would be good. 20 – OK less than that poor. Given that we don’t play any of the top 4 in the first quarter of the season I’d expect us to pick up a bag full of points.

  • colin

    Jul 18, 2007 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #7

    I think that judging from our past years in the dark the entire organization at SJP has gotten a new confidence boost. With the new signings (hopefully a few more) we will be able to change tactics to meet various teams and also in midstride if that is what is neccessary. I personally always look forward to a new season at the fortress but this year….well there is a tingle.

  • Kash

    Jul 18, 2007 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #8

    The cruch game for us is City away. They are in the exact same position as us. New Owner (ours is better because he’s British and isn’t a crook), massive funding, new quality manager and massive club with history but has underperformed for many seasons. We want to be making sure we get a head start on the teams being bought out, considering we class ourselves as superior to most of those teams.

  • michael

    Jul 18, 2007 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #9

    24 ponits is a minimum from this oppositioon if Europe is to be a possibilty.
    There are 114 points availible. I reckon because the teams who were mid table last season have strengthened as much as they have you’ll need at least 65 points to stake a euro bid (even intertoto) Conversely though i think

  • Alan Riley

    Jul 18, 2007 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #10

    For many years now, I have produced (mainly for my own interest) something which is inaccurately called the “Predictor Table”. It is designed to take into account the strength of the opposition that teams have faced (I will go into the boring details if anybody is as sad as me). Our target for the season is 78 points (a random target chosen by me aiming for a top 4 finish). Based on that target, our first 10 games should net us 22 points – with 6 wins, 4 draws & 0 defeats.

  • Keep Oba

    Jul 18, 2007 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #11

    The “Big 4” games do not worry me, its those games against Fulhams, Man Citys, and the Sheffield Uniteds (all at home and some on the way) that anger me. The squad seems to get up for the big games…heck even Titus Bramble looked like a legitimate player at home vs Chelsea …but those lesser games were just dreadful…those are the ones that need to be wins and draws, but never losses..and especially at home. And I wouldn’t have minded a “Big 4” game early in the season when they are not totally in form yet…Arsenal and Liverpool will probably stumble out of the gate like last year.

  • Dimitri

    Jul 18, 2007 at 6:58 PM

    Comment #12

    Where the hell are those 4 defenders? All this talk of first 10 games and top 4 or top 6 right now means nothing to me…. WE NEED THOSE DAMN DEFENDERS IN!!!!!

  • michael

    Jul 18, 2007 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #13

    I totally agree. Towards the end of last season we were a sinking ship. If the season was 2 months longer we would have gone down. We need defensive players of a suitable quality. And we need a very expensive attack to actually do the bussiness and score goals. We are nowhere near the top six without another 4 high quality signings. As to who those could be? There hasn’t been any speculation even to hint. I liked the idea of Rod Fanni, and Heinze. But niether of those will happen. At the moment Sam is going to have to revolutionise Babayaro and Carr. Oh deary me.

  • steve

    Jul 18, 2007 at 7:30 PM

    Comment #14

    Off topic – sorry. Anyone know if away supporters can pay on the door for Carlisle match – left it too late to book tickets, and its a long way for me to travel on the off chance ! Anyone know ?

  • todd

    Jul 18, 2007 at 8:53 PM

    Comment #15

    Soft schedule sure but Dimitri is on point. Every day I check the news and every day there are no transfers and alot of talk about looking at some defender from some mediocre French team from the less than mediocre French league. That we are shopping in the semi-rubbish dump for defensive guys is not a good sign folks, no matter what spin you put on it. Get guys from the EPL, La Liga or Seira A if you are serious about getting in to the top 6 or thereabouts or we can all look forward to another year of “Oh! Shambolic defending on that set piece and Wigan/Derby/Fulham…has taken the lead early in this match. Given never had a chance…”

  • Josh

    Jul 18, 2007 at 10:31 PM

    Comment #16

    todd i know where u coming from, but all this speculation from the papers is JUST that, speculation, i DOUBT Big Sam would buy anyone who doesn’t have the skills, lets all be patient (which i admit is tuff as we have been waiting years really not weeks) and i am sure we will get get some great signings.

  • Darren

    Jul 19, 2007 at 12:52 AM

    Comment #17


    Why slag off Alan Oliver for giving his opinion when you read this site?

    Ed (while doing a good job) is only giving his opinion, as are all posters on this blog.

    Oliver said he thought Owen could be the man to get us into the top 6 – what is wrong with that? Most, if not all fans, hope Owen will get us top 6 this season, I don’t really see what is eating you up here.

  • Dave

    Jul 19, 2007 at 8:32 AM

    Comment #18

    Keep Oba: I couldn’t agree more. To get some kind of result against the ‘Big 4’ is a moral booster to say the least but to lose points is not the end of the world. As you say it’s the middling clubs that we have to 3 point week in, week out. Tottenham is still my benchmark team for the season. Finish above Spurs and we’re doing well.

  • Tony_D

    Jul 19, 2007 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #19

    The only game I would expect us to possibly lose out of those 10 is against spurs, although we are at home so a draw would be respectable.

    Draws against Bolton, Reading & City (all away games)

  • Todd

    Jul 19, 2007 at 10:48 PM

    Comment #20

    It appears that another day has passed with no transfers.


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