Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce will have his first competitive game against his old club Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok stadium tomorrow.
Sam has brought in seven new players to the squad since he joined in mid-May and was interviewed by Newcastle World TV yesterday about the game.
When you look at Newcastle’s record over the last five years we’ve lost all five of our games so it’s not particularly a happy hunting ground for Newcastle.
Sam Allardcye – lost the last 5 games at the Reebok
When talking about the tactics Sam didn’t give much away although he has talked to the players about Bolton’s strengths and weaknesses â€“ which he knows well – and he hopes the players have listened to him carefully.
Sam hopes to nullify Bolton’s strengths and exploit their weaknesses and while we don’t know what Sam’s team will be – we suspect a line-up something like the following:
Carr Taylor Rozehnal N’Zogbia
Solano Geremi (capt) Butt Milner
Subs: Given, Ramage, Martins, Ameobi, Dyer
Sam may play Martins for Smith. We go with the ex-Leeds strikers since they looked good together (and have played together quite a few times) against Sampdoria on Sunday. Until our new signing Jose Enrique is ready it looks like Sam will play young Charles N’Zogbia in the left-back spot. Charles can also move to midfield if any tactical changes are necessary through the game.
We’ve put Dyer in as substitute because he gives us many options but Sam may prefer not to risk Dyer. It’s good that he’s in the squad taken to Bolton though – because that shows his mind-set is OK after last Friday’s strange happenings with West Ham on his proposed transfer.
It also looks like Sam may have to bring in another goalkeeper in the near future unless Shay Given recovers quickly from his groin injury. Sam is taking no chances on Shay even though he probably could have played the game tomorrow. But that would be foolish and Sam wants players much fitter this season and hopes that will help as one aspect in reducing our injuries.
As far as injuries are concerned we still have 7 players out – but have thankfully been replaced by Reading at the top of the injury table â€“ Reading now have 8 injuries and Chelsea have 6 just below us. Here’s the latest on our injuries – not a good start for us this season.
S Given Groin no return date A Luque Groin Strain no return date C Babayaro Groin no return date M Owen Thigh Strain 18th Aug 07 J Barton Broken Metatarsal 17th Sep 07 Emre Ankle no return date D Duff Ankle Surgery Nov 07
As far as the result goes a draw would be OK for Newcastle â€“ but we’ll go for a 2-0 win – and if we can pull that off everybody at the club will be very happy.
Newcastle will not have a game in mid-week like most other clubs because our scheduled opponents, Arsenal, are taking part in the European Champions league. The next game is at home next Saturday evening against Aston Villa at 5:15. Hopefully by then we’ll already have 3 points on the board.