Sam Allardyce was visibly delighted with the performance of the Newcastle team yesterday and while we don’t want to overdo the praise he can take an awful lot of good out of the game.
However, Sam is not getting carried away. If anything the opposite is true as he still feels the squad is not big enough for a Premiership season and warns about not having enough experience in the squad.
Let’s take a look at what Sam said after the game.
Chris Mort and Sam Allardcye Yesterday
Sam said after the game:
â€œPre-season friendlies tend to give people false hope,â€â€œJust because weâ€™ve beaten Celtic and Juventus doesnâ€™t mean weâ€™re going to do well.”
“Starting the season with the players who finished the game today would be a disaster for us, because when the whistle blows in the Premiership it ainâ€™t about playing pretty football.â€
â€œItâ€™s about nitty gritty, do-or-die football. When the pressure comes, inexperienced players fail.â€
“We are still very much in the transfer market. If we started the season with the same side that ended this match it would be a disaster.”
” We’re still after experienced, quality players,”
“They played well. But it doesn’t change anything – we’re still light on numbers.”
Even Freddy Shepherd, Newcastle’s chairman until last week seemed to add support to Allardcye’s case of squad strengthening when he said over the weekend:
â€œSam Allardyce will be successful as manager if he receives the kind of backing that I gave the people who were in the job before him,â€
â€œI wouldnâ€™t presume to tell [Ashley] how to run things but all I will say is that I donâ€™t believe it can be done by proxy. We may live in an age of communication but I believe Newcastle are a club who need dedicated day-to-day handling.â€
What were the positives Sam could take out of the game â€“ plenty.
- N’Zogbia looks back to his old form as he gave a great performance in central midfield and lookedÂ exciting streaking out of defense on the counter-attacks. He will do well under Big Sam â€“ great little player for Newcastle.
- The defense was tight as Rozehnal and Ramage played solidly again and Peter almost scored a couple of times. David looks so calm and at ease in defense and is good in the air.
- Shay Given if anything is getting better, surprising as that may seem. If Shay wasn’t world class then he’s fast approaching it with flawless performances like this and with a couple great saves thrown in for good measure. In the interview after the game he was smiling like a Cheshire cat.
- The youngsters did us proud again. At the end of the game we had 7 youngsters from our Academy playing and they didn’t look out of place on the big stage. PlusÂ Liverpool youngster Charlie Bennett who is on trial from Liverpool and looked very useful. Â The Newcastle youngsters were Edgar, Ramage, Lough, Troisi, Pattison, Carroll (looked great) and Francis – and they were holding Juventus fairly easily.
Let’s hope we keep the youth system going â€“ this is a great investment for the club.
TheÂ more experienced playersÂ played well also â€“ Milner (looked great on left wing – Sam thinks he could play there for England), Solano (rejuvenated under Sam), Geremi (great buy), Martins (buzz from crowd everytime he got the ball), Luque (looks so confident now)Â and even Carr looked a lot more solid than last season. Dyer was brought on in the second half and looked full of running but will still be leaving Newcastle we believe.
All we need now are a minimum of Â three good experienced players – and even if they comeÂ from the continent that would be OK.Â A key to this season will be ensuring our players stay as fit as possible.Â Luckily Luque has only a tight hamstring and was very wise to come straight off. This boy may just be able to resurrect his career on Tyneside – certainly the effort and fitness are comingÂ - and the class has always been there.