Sam Allardyce talked to the Journal this morning about Saturday’s performance and he insists that the first thing you need to do is build a solid foundation in defense.
Most good (great) teams start by becoming hard to beat by building up their defense and then have strikers who can score the goals and midfielders who can both defend and create the chances for the forwards.
Sam Allardyce - building a foundation on which success will come
We have almost achieved a big improvement in defense especially id we capture Faye and Belletti this week â€“ as is being widely reported this morning.
Here’s what Big Sam had to say this morning:
â€œThe team that wins the league tends to have the most clean sheets,â€ â€œItâ€™s about more than creating goals in the Premier League, and keeping a clean sheet is important.â€
â€œYou always need that before you score. People perceive that as negative but itâ€™s not. Itâ€™s the biggest part of being a free-flowing attacking team.â€
â€œ If you do the right things in the right areas you end up nullifying the opposition and you become creative from there. If the front players know that the back players are doing well, the service becomes better.â€
Sam is saying that his first priority is strengthening the defense â€“ once you have done that you can move on to become a lot more creative. In the summer he’s strengthened our defense and hopefully by the end of August he will have brought in Rozehnal, Geremi, Enrique, Cacapa, Faye and Belletti who are all good defenders. Six good players who can all play in defense â€“ not bad.
Sam went on:
â€œWhat you have got to do is make sure you donâ€™t lose,â€
â€œThat was something Newcastle did last season. Weâ€™re undefeated in two games and weâ€™ve got our first clean sheet. The quicker we can get into double figures in clean-sheet terms, the quicker we can get into the top half of the table.â€
â€œAlthough we didnâ€™t perform as well as we would have liked going forward (against Villa), we were always in a position to capitalize on a mistake â€“ especially with Michael Owen, Mark Viduka and Obafemi Martins on the pitch.â€
â€œI understand the fans might have gone home disappointed, but they shouldnâ€™t be. If we stick together, we will win more games than we lose.â€
Good words from Sam. He cannot do everything at once and it’s obvious he knows he will need to produce more free flowing football in the future. If, before January. we can have a vastly improved defense â€“ which is certainly looking possible â€“ that’s an excellent first step along the way to becoming great again.
Comments always welcome.