Sam Allardyce has been training this week with those of Newcastle’s squad who have not been away on international duty.
While Newcastle have done well in their games so far this season we still haven’t seen a number of the squad participate much.
We still have Joey Barton, Jose Enrique, Habib Beye and Abdoulaye Faye yet to make their Premiership debuts for Newcastle. Allardyce also has Emre and Shay Given back from injury and Joey Barton is set to begin training with the squad on September 24th.
So competition for places is certainly heating up â€“ which is exactly what Sam Allardyce wants.
Sam Allardyce – expects all players to fight for the shirt – good
Big Sam has to admit the current holders of the Newcastle shirts should make it very difficult for others to get into the starting eleven.
This is what Sam said today about his squad:
“The players at the moment hold the shirt and that makes it very difficult for the new players to get in the team,” “But that’s the sort of level of competition that any manager wants and I’m very happy to have it at Newcastle United.â€
“The new lads (Beye and Faye) will be training and then we’ll introduce them into the squad as quickly as we can.â€ “We will do the normal assessment through the process of working with them on a day-to-day basis and then we’ll look to see when they are ready.”
Newcastle have had 12 players away on international duty during the current break, both at the senior level and the Under-21 level. Sam accepts that is a worry with regard to injuries, but freely admits it is a sign of just how good his squad is. So far we have no reports of any injuries from the games yesterday, so we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed until they all get back home today at different times.
“It’s a definite sign of the quality we have got that we have so many players called-up for international duty,”
“But it’s not just at senior level. We’ve got Charles called-up for France Under-21s which was extremely pleasing and of course Steven Taylor and James Milner for England.”
The next order of business of course is the league game at Derby County on Monday evening and if we can get 3 points there we’ll be off to a great start in the league. With Michael Owen’s heroics for both England and Newcastle recently we wonder how many Derby defenders will be defending against Michael. Owen’s presence will at the very least leave other players open in the penalty area. But Owen’s dynamic form of late has to make Newcastle fans confident of a win against Derby – but no game is easy in the Premiership, as we all know.