Sam Sings the Praises of Rozehnal

Former PSG defender David Rozehnal has looked cool and accomplished in the pre-season friendlies Newcastle have played in their build-up to the season.

That first league game is on Saturday against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.

While Sam heaps praise on David he is careful to ensure Rozehnal knows it will be a major test for him on Saturday in his first ever Premiership game.


David Rozehnal– looked solid in pre-season

The £2.9M fee paid for Rozehnal to his former club PSG looks a bit of a bargain if David can maintain his pre-season form in the real games about to come up. His partnership with 21 year-old Steven Taylor, which is very likely to be the central pairing on Saturday, has looked solid.

This is what Sam had to say today about his new center-back:

“I’ve been really pleased with how David has settled so far,”

“He is a terrific human being, let alone a very good player.

“However, it has only been pre-season and I don’t want to heap too much praise on him at the moment because of that.”

“There is still a lot for him to get used to. What he will experience at Bolton at the weekend will shock him to say the very, very least.”

“Everything he has experienced now in training and in pre-season friendlies, if he thinks that’s hard, wait until he goes to the Reebok Stadium.”

“If he can cope with that, the way Bolton play and the questions they will ask of him, he will be able to cope with anything. I hope he does because he’s a good player and he has had a good pre-season.”

“He hasn’t missed any training and he has been a major bonus during our pre-season program.”

Certainly in pre-season Rozehnal has looked like everything we need in a center-half. He’s no-nonsense, good in the air and has an air of calmness about him, which we haven’t seen for a while at the club. But as we’ve pointed out David will still have to fight for his place in the side when another new signing – Brazilian Claudio Cacapa from Lyon – gets fit within the next week. Whoever is on the bench will be the best substitute center-half we’ve had in many a season.

A good win on Saturday will go a long way to get Newcastle off to the good start we really need to have this season.

Comments welcome.

12 comments so far

  • Lull , Malaysia

    Aug 9, 2007 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #1

    Good Luck David! 🙂

  • Nufc1000

    Aug 9, 2007 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #2

    I can remember when we first signed Boumsong, thinking, ‘£8m is a lot for a defender’, but I tried to put it into perspective, he was a French international and relatively young……

    Then came his first game against the might of non-league Yeading FC. I remember thinking he looked awful as he was terrorised by the almighty DJ Campbell. The point i’m making is that, all in all, he turned out to be a complete waste of money and you could almost see it from the very begining.

    Rozenhal however, has looked very accomplished and capable against some very decent outfits. Of course, he hasn’t been tested in the Premiership but I feel that you can tell a great deal from the first impressions players give the fans and at a fraction of the price of past acquisitions, I think Rozy will prove to be a shrewd piece of business

  • Ryan

    Aug 9, 2007 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #3

    From what I’ve seen so far i think Rozy deserves a starting berth alongside Taylor for the beginning of our campaign at least. Havent seen much of Cacapa but would like to see him at rightback if he’s willing to play there and Sam thinks he’s up to it. Getting so excited, can’t wait for Saturday!

  • Hammy

    Aug 9, 2007 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #4

    From what I’ve seen of Rozehnal, he’ll be the best Centre half we’ve had since the injury plagued Woodgate……he is one of those players who just seems to have all day on the ball, reminds me of Albert and he wasn’t bad.
    But as BSA says Saturday is a different story I just hope he settles in really well. Come on the TOON!!

  • Hammy

    Aug 9, 2007 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #5

    Great about Boumsong….I remember the game well..for a big lad he was very hesitant and he had a nightmare…no confidence at all..You know what they say about first impressions….

  • Bill F

    Aug 9, 2007 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #6

    I have made the point before about new players being chucked straight into action without a settling in period. Fergie, Wenger and Benitez do not do it. I believe Shankly often had class players waiting for ages and would make sure they were gelling correctly with the team before they got first team action. The big problem with Boumsong and others in Newcastles history was that they were expected to be hitting top form from the off and it just isn’t that easy sometimes. it will be interesting to see how he does with Juventus.

  • Bosck

    Aug 9, 2007 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #7

    Bill F, I wouldnt have minded if Boumsong hadnt hit top form (or any kind of form) from the off, but at some point in his Newcastle career would have been nice!!!!

  • Bob

    Aug 9, 2007 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #8

    He did, didn’t he? For a 8 or 9 game winning streak under Souness…. then Laurent Robert got himself dropped for the UEFA Cup semi-fianl and it went downhill from there.

  • Bill F

    Aug 9, 2007 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #9

    Trouble was he was playing in a team lacking confidence alongside Titus who was carrying an injury for a large chunk of the time I still believe both of them would have performed better under good management. Still it is water under the bridge now I suppose.

  • Bosck

    Aug 9, 2007 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #10

    Don’t believe either are top quality, to be a top quality defender you must be able to look accomplished in your own right, not only when someone alongside you is top quality or playing well. Obviosuly everyone has their bad games, but Campbell, Terry, Woodgate, etc all look quality consistently even if the rest of the defence they are playing in are not playing well/of the same standard.

  • Arthur Prince

    Aug 9, 2007 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #11

    Woodgate is injured again isnt he . Rozy looks very accomplished and dont forget we play as a team so good pairings make a difference when 1 isnt having such a good day . Campbell had his off days too

  • Bosck

    Aug 9, 2007 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #12

    yes campbell does have his off games, as i said above all players have bad bames, but even when they were “playing well”, you never got the sense that they were rocks at the back (apart from when bramble played against chelsea).

    Woodgate is injured but that doesnt affect the fact that when he is fit he is a class act in defence.

    Unlike Boumsong or Bramble, Rozenhal to me does look like he can be/is a top class player as he looks solid and at ease whoever has played alongside him in preseason, the test will be when the pl starts but i think he’ll be more than up to it.

    Taylor though young also looks like he can be top class, as to have consistently impressed in our defence over the last two seasons is close to a minor miracle!!!


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