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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Allardyce Upbeat on Great Newcastle Squad

4:37 pm, Friday, September 14th, 2007 by Ed Harrison · 23 Comments

There’s an excellent interview that Big Sam has given to the Daily Mail today and for an admitted pessimist, Allardyce comes across as extremely positive.

This is unusual for a manager at this stage of the season, where they usually like to keep expectations low, but we think Sam and the Newcastle management have done so well in the summer transfer market, they are delighted with the squad they have assembled.

It has great experience and great skill and most of the buys were a steal.

sam-allardyce-40293.jpg

Sam Allardyceflashing his secret sign to the players, we’re number 1

Add to that the sparkling form of some of the players like Michael Owen. Oba Martins. Charles N’Zogbia, David Rozehnal, Claudio Cacapa and James Milner and you have to start thinking a little bit on the positive side.

Maybe it’s the never-ending support and eternal optimism of Newcastle’s fans that’s slowly leaking through to Sam :D

But whatever it is, take a look at Sam’s comments, we think you’ll be surprised at just how positive Sam comes across.

Sam told the Daily mail today:

“I am not saying it (the squad) is good enough to break into the top four because we are all new and we are only just coming together.” But if it realizes its potential as quickly as it can, then we could go a long way this year – if we steer clear of injuries.”

“At the moment, we are not fully aware of all our strengths and weaknesses, and we are also short with long-term injuries to Celestine Babayaro, Damien Duff, Joey Barton, Stephen Carr and Peter Ramage.”

“Emre rang in saying he got injured playing international football again, so that’s disappointing having only had him fit for one game. That’s a massive blow for us and for him.”

“But the squad is looking good and looking sharp. It just needs to gel together in terms of knowing our strengths and weaknesses, and hopefully we will get better and better.”

“If we can do that, hopefully results will follow if we keep this clean sheet mentality and a Michael Owen or an Obafemi Martins or a Mark Viduka stays in the goalscoring mood they are in.”

“It could be very, very good for us over the next few weeks and months.”

Allardyce’s optimism has certainly spread throughout the club and there is great anticipation from the Newcastle fans. This came to a crescendo on Wednesday evening when they saw one of their best players, Michael Owen, put in a terrific performance for England, which was all over the papers the following day. To be fair, Michael looked world-class for England, after almost 2 years out with horrific injuries.

The capture of Mark Viduka, David Rozehnal, Barton, Geremi, Alan Smith, Jose Enrique, Claudio Cacapa, Habib Beye and Abdoulaye Faye by Newcastle for £25M, and the departures of Scott Parker, Kieron Dyer, Nobby Solano, Titus Bramble, Antoine Sibierski and Albert Luque for £15M make the new squad’s net cost a mere £10M. That’s good business by anyone’s standards.

Yet it is the biggest overhaul of Newcastle’s team in many years and it all happened within the first 3 months of Sam being at the club. Many fans believe Sam did more good work at Newcastle in 3 months than the previous two managers combined achieved over the last 3 years. And of course you can never accuse Sam of not being an extremely hard worker, completely dedicated to his job.

Allardyce continued:

“On reflection, the work we did in the transfer market, me and the chairman with Russell, we did exceptionally well.” “I thank them all for that and all the hard work that’s gone on behind the scenes, and the tough negotiations that had to be handled over the last few months.”

“Finally at the end, we have come out with a squad that is definitely a lot better in strength and depth and quality than last season’s.”

“We have done that with very, very good budgeting as well. The value of the players we have picked up is extremely good compared to all the money that has been spent elsewhere.” “We have got real value for money, and I hope the lads go on and prove that this year.”

“We have got off to a very good start with a new set of players, with a new manager and a new set of staff, and going undefeated at this stage is very, very good.”

“That comes from all the hard work behind the scenes, not just with the staff and the players, but also with the chairman and the staff on the other side at the stadium.”

Very good points as usual from Big Sam. Of course we’ll have to keep our feet firmly on the ground but it is definitely exciting when there are so many good players that still have to play for the club. First things first – we need 3 points at Derby County on Monday evening and that will not be as easy as it looks on paper. But that’s the next and only goal right now.

Comments welcome.



Tags: Newcastle News



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23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 t-g-w // Sep 14, 2007 at 4:53 PM

    I am very optimistic for this season, but we should not get carried away just yet. It is a great squad on paper, but what are the odds of some of the players we brought in being flops? I think we will win more than we lose but there are other teams pushing for Europe – The “top 4″, Everton, Manchester City, Tottenham, West Ham, Portsmouth, Blackburn (v good strike force but ours is better!), Middlesborough (may be unlikely). One thing is for certain, this will be a very exciting season. Let’s just try and stay realistic though!

  • 2 Big Sam Fan // Sep 14, 2007 at 5:02 PM

    im all for optimism, people say dont get carried away but we do look awesome this season, are major flaw last year was aour defense, that has been sorted to perfection. offensivly we look like one of the top teams in the league, we have a better squad than 10 years ago, so we can easily push for the top 4. we are huge club yet there seems to be little faith from the supporters, get behind the boys and lets bring back some silverwear!! BIG SAMS BLACK WHITE ARMY!!

  • 3 Callum // Sep 14, 2007 at 5:06 PM

    I think top 4 will probably be the same with Newcastle, Everton, Blackburn and possibly Tottenham fighting for 5th and 6th, the reason i dont think Tottenham have much of a chance this year is because there club seems a bit unstable at the moment but who knows, maybe that’ll be sorted in a few months although it might be a bit too late. Blackburn are well organised and play good football, the same with Everton who have a very good squad.

    As for Newcastle, I think the team has plenty of experience and depth aswell as a solid defence for a change and with the strikers we have, even if the team doesnt play well there is the chance we’ll win 1-0. The only problem i see SA having is keeping all the players happy, especially the strikers if everyone stays fit ;)

  • 4 Alan // Sep 14, 2007 at 5:13 PM

    I think we will finish top 4 no problem.

  • 5 Beastie // Sep 14, 2007 at 5:18 PM

    i think we have the squad to go way and get a few good results on the road big sam will make us hard to beat like he did with bolton, a dont think we will get a good hiding on the road dont get me wrong we might but a just cant see it with the sqaud we have! how good is it to see the defence not rushin about like idiots and just taking there time! Marvellous! n cacapa a know he hasnt really played against some of the leagues better strikers but the lad jus has class about him! a cant bleave we got beye for jus over 2million what a buy!!! a watched a few french games last year and he was quality can read the game very well!

  • 6 Toon Chicken // Sep 14, 2007 at 5:39 PM

    t-g-w; I was with you right up until you said “Middleborough”. In the words of John McEnroe, “You cannot be serious???”

  • 7 Ed // Sep 14, 2007 at 5:48 PM

    top 4 is over optimistic in my view. yes we have a stronger squad than in previous seasons, but so do many other teams. top6 would be a big achievment, top 8 acceptable.

    i have confidence in both our manager and our team for the first time in a long while, but we should allow the team some time to grow and not set our expectations too high, too soon.

  • 8 Toon Chicken // Sep 14, 2007 at 5:58 PM

    Top 6 finish and either the FA or Carling Cup and I think every toon fan in the world would be on cloud 9.

  • 9 apan // Sep 14, 2007 at 5:59 PM

    top 6 no doubt, we draw with aston villa beat who beat chelsea, so that makes us better right lol im optimistic that BSA will turn things around, but TOP 4? nope not yet thats too much, mayb in the next 2 years probably but now nah

  • 10 JP from The Rock of Gibraltar! // Sep 14, 2007 at 6:03 PM

    I am loving every minute of this season thanks to Big Sam’s great business in the summer. I just can’t wait for us to play more matches and see us climb to the top of the league table were we belong!

  • 11 dragoner // Sep 14, 2007 at 6:22 PM

    why the hell does SVEN deserve manager of the month, since when was losing two game on the tro the qualities required to earn the manager of the mopnth award, Rafa should hav got it

  • 12 dragoner // Sep 14, 2007 at 6:23 PM

    trot*

  • 13 Hadji // Sep 14, 2007 at 6:23 PM

    We still havent even played one of the top 8(Except Aston Villa).
    We need to win at home with teams like Everton,Totenham,Blackburn in order to be 5th or 6th.
    Our defence looks very solid so far and when Barton returns things will get even better(i hope).
    I know BSA preferrs Big man and Small man as strikers but in my view after 4 games that combination hasn’t worked great.
    But there is one thing here which i like about Viduka and that is
    1-Scores when you least expected
    2-My favourite-Always scores against the big teams
    Overall i think 6th is our place for this season.

  • 14 dragoner // Sep 14, 2007 at 6:25 PM

    …also, yes i am hoping for top 6 too, it is well within our reach

  • 15 Hadji // Sep 14, 2007 at 6:27 PM

    Dragoner…I know you’re right but maybe its because the win agains Man Utd
    Still,he shouldn’t have won it.
    Rafa first
    Moyes second

  • 16 dragoner // Sep 14, 2007 at 6:34 PM

    Rafa has won 3 and drew 1, and everyone knows they were robbed against chelsea so they should have won that too, thats basically 4 straight wins, and just like sven he has got all his new signings straight into the team and performing well. sometimes i think Arsenal and Liverpool aren’t liked by the premier league.

    i think ur right hadj, its just because of their LUCKY win over Man U…so its called manager of the month, yet in truth its based on one match.

    ok sorry for going on about this people, didnt mean to ruin the positive mood

  • 17 malaysian youngster // Sep 15, 2007 at 2:21 AM

    anybody know how well is luque doing ?did he manage to score goal?

  • 18 Keep Oba // Sep 15, 2007 at 4:14 AM

    T-G-W—-there are other teams pushing for Europe – The “top 4″, Everton, Manchester City, Tottenham, West Ham, Portsmouth,

    Why do people think West Ham will be challenging for anything? They barely avoided relegation last year on the last day and only because of a player no longer on their team. Please stop including them with the next tier teams like Tott, Everton, Nufc, Man City, Port, Blackburn…they were lucky to stay up last year and they will be lucky to not end in a place that doesnt have a -teen next to it. Just because they are from London and kinda popular doesnt mean they are quality.

  • 19 Lamesley Mag // Sep 15, 2007 at 6:35 AM

    BSA has built a very good squad in a short period that will push for a top-6 position this season if we stay clear of injuries……

    I’m optimistic BSA will bring silverware to Tyneside, but it may take a few seasons, so let’s get behind him all the way!

  • 20 evil dick // Sep 15, 2007 at 8:19 AM

    i think it’s a little early to be thinking top 4. We need to beat teams like boro to get there. But I think we will be the suprise package this season. Especially if we keep owen/martins fit, with them up front and a solid defence, we should be top 6 no problem.

    HOWAY!

  • 21 Bryan // Sep 15, 2007 at 9:29 AM

    It will be very interesting to see what type oy players Sam goes after in January. I think the hard work has been done in the summer by bringing in players that have stablelised our whole squad not just our defence, and at a fantastic net cost. I think the club in January should push us forward to the next level by bringing in 2-3 world class creative players. Football is a game of opinions, so everyone will have their veiws on which players. I personally would love to see Shaun Wright-Phillips, Raquellme & Deco at the club.

  • 22 nightfall // Sep 15, 2007 at 9:35 AM

    1.liverpool
    2.arsenal
    3.chelsea/man u
    4.NEWCASTLE UTD.
    5.chelsea/man u

    we can brake into top 4…chelsea and man u are not as good as they were…we can beat one of them…

  • 23 Graeme // Sep 16, 2007 at 8:30 AM

    Nightfall, I think you’re dreaming there mate lol.

    I cant see Liverpool winning the title, just a gut feeling, and I believe the “Top Four” will still be too strong for us to break into this season. We have too many new players, we havent gelled as a team yet, but we are getting better every week.

    To break into the top four, we should have beaten both Villa and the Smoggies, but dropped 4 points instead. Man Ure were pretty poor yesterday, but still scraped a win against a good Everton side – we need to be able to achieve wins like that on a regular basis, which will take a bit of time.

    A top six finish, after our last 2 seasons, would be an awesome achievement for a newly assembled squad – a far more realistic expectation I think.

    BUT, never say never!!!!!!




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