Final Reflections on the Derby Newcastle Game



It was just an awful display by Newcastle United last night but what did we learn for Sunday’s game against West Ham United?

Let’s take a look.

  • The team basically didn’t turn up for the game so that’s the first thing that needs to be fixed for Sunday’s home game against West Ham United. Newcastle were second to almost every 50-50 ball and we just know that wouldn’t have been the case if we had been playing a top team like Chelsea or Manchester United. That needs to be fixed and will be by Sunday. We think some of it may even have been down to over-confidence, which you’d never expect from a Sam Allardyce team.
  • We lacked ideas and creativity. Yes, we are missing Joey Barton and Emre who are our two best creative central midfield players but Geremi and Butt are too alike in their play. Maybe we can use young N’Zogbia in central midfield on Sunday and play Enrique at left back – but if he’s not available play Steven Taylor there and Beye at right -back who was only on 15 minutes but looked what he is last night. A no nonsense vastly experienced player. We need to play Habib. It may also be that our captain Geremi is rested for the next game since he didn’t have a good game last night and gave the ball away far too much.
  • Ameobi looked just hopeless last night. He couldn’t seem to control the ball at all and any more of these performances and he’ll not have much time left to prove himself at Newcastle. Strange as it may seem we missed Viduka last night because he’s at least a good target man which Shola wasn’t last night. Maybe we can play Smith up front with Owen on Sunday but we think Sam has to change some things around in the team.
  • The defense looked uncertain at times last night and even Cacapa and Rozehnal didn’t look as good as usual. But we think the back four for the next game should be
    Beye Cacapa Rozehnal Taylor

    This will free Charles N’Zogbia up to play either central midfield or left wing against West Ham to add some creativity to the team. A huge improvement is needed both in effort and skill for Sunday’s home game against West Ham.
  • We shouldn’t over-react to this first poor performance and as Sam has said in the past we need to support the team all the way at St. James’ Park. Whatever happens against West Ham Uited the fans at the game must support the team. It’s one bad performance last night but we still have a good season in front of us – let’s keep supporting the players big time 😀

Comments welcome.

69 comments so far

  • Jerry

    Sep 18, 2007 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #1

    One bad performance?

    Apart from the first half against Bolton, NUFC have NEVER performed well this season.

  • Rob

    Sep 18, 2007 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #2

    It was very obvoius we missed Viduka last night not strange at all, he’s a very good all round player when he is playing with a partner up front. And scores plenty of goals with his feet and head. only limitation is a lack of pace, but he brings alot more to a team than that.

  • Veerapong

    Sep 18, 2007 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #3

    To play Taylor out of position either on the right of left flank would be a mistake. The man is a center half and everybody just need to accept this. You cannot expect Taylor to run up and down the flank and provide wonderful crosses.

    Accept this fact and let him sit on the bench for some games. The lad doesnt need to play every game.

    Let Beye and Enrique do the job on both flanks. Free Milner and Zogg in each flank and you will start to see some flows.

    Stop playing Ameobi up front. If Viduka is unavailable, just play Martins with Owen or play Smith up front. Smith is not a class midfielder but rather an genuine front man.

  • Hadji

    Sep 18, 2007 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #4

    Smith and Martins up front is not a bad idea.
    Butt is too rusty and he cannot cope with the modern football(not that we have one),cause his playing is so so so old fashioned,typical English.
    I’dd rather have Faye on that position as a DM cause he’ll do a better job than him.
    Geremi hasn’t impressed me at all this season.Good in defensive plan but terrible in creativity.
    Beye——–Cacapa——–Rozehnal——–Jose Enrique
    Zoggy for Emre in the 70min
    Milner for Duff in 80 min
    Smith for Owen in 75 min
    This is my winning team if everyone’s fit.

  • Alex Brett

    Sep 18, 2007 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #5

    Dont worry, we have one bad result it will happen to every team in the League this season, lets bounce back against the Hammers!!! which I am sure we will.
    And what Big Sam has said about the International break is true, its well documented that Sam likes to prepare in great detail for games, and with 14 players away on Intl Duty it was hard.

    Had Rozenhal scored his chance we would have gone on to win but its only 1 loss. Lets move on!!!

  • Steve

    Sep 18, 2007 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #6

    one bad performance??

    Bolton – deserved 3 points – played ok against a v poor team
    Aston Villa – we were outplayed and lucky to get a point
    Boro – again outplayed and lucky to get a point
    Wigan – deserved 3 points – played fairly well
    Derby – its Sheff Utd all over again – disgraceful, players were all over the place – chief culprits were Smith, Butt, Geremi, Ameobi – none of who were on international duty so how they were so lacklustre is beyond me

  • Nufc1000

    Sep 18, 2007 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #7

    I dont think we lacked effort last night, it seemed to me that everyone was giving 100%. The main problem was simply that too many of our important players had bad games. Take Milner and N’Zogbia for example. They have arguably been our best players this season and I thought both of them were awful last night. The effort was there from both of them but the application was missing. Neither could beat their man or put a telling cross in. Geremi was having similar problems. His passing and set-pieces were so bad. When you have key players having bad games and the opposition raising their game you will always struggle.

    On Shola…. well, I usually try to stick up for him because he can be useful in certain games, but he was the worst player on the pitch last night for us. His control and general hold-up play was embarrassing. I think if we had Viduka up front last night it would’ve been very different.

    Plenty to think about for next Sunday anyway…..

  • Big Sam Fan

    Sep 18, 2007 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #8

    Sorry to put this here as well but it needs to be said cause im so fuc*in angry!!

    Thank god im at work, i can now sit here all day and finally let out some anger over last night!!! Blaming the players for their international duty is a complete joke, they are professional footballers they shoudl be able to cope!! Not one player last gave it their all and half of them should be dropped untill they prove to BIG SAM that they are capeable of playing in this league. befrore i rant over the team a few things really pissed me off!! to start with SETANTA sports is shit!! the commentaters had no enthusisasm and and they must have repeated that howard was a toon fan about 10 times and that andy griffin was an ex newcastle player constantly!! that really got on my titis!! and to top it all off they missed the goal!! how retarded can u get!! secondly BIG SAM himslef..i like the guy but yesturday his tactical decisions and his starting line up was awefull!! Ameobi and butt should never wear the toon shirt agian, they looked awfull! give the martins owen partnership a chance!! we had no width and and we could never pass the ball infront of the man!!! i had faith though as most toon fans do at half time, i never did with roeder cause i never thought he would have the bulls to shout at the team and motivate them. but with big sam i do and i thought it would be a completly different side second half!! but no! its was still the same old cack!!thirdly i want to complain about their centre back leacock, the guy is rubbish and how he got a way with holding onto rozy ill never know!! And finally, the referee..he was shocking, how did alladyce not complain after the game!! he didnt have a clue wat was going on..he must have been a derby fan!!

    Ok now the the team:

    Harper: although he could have done nothing about the goal, he was slow to release the ball and his kicking was dreadfull!!

    N Zogbia: needs to get new boots, i have never seen someone fall over so much!! he scores one decent goal against middlesborough and the boy thinks he can score from all over the park..he attempted things ronaldinho doesnt and when ever we were in a decent position, there was zogy right on cue to balze it into the upper tier!!

    Rozy – didnt wina single defesive header and missed a sitter that would have changed the game..also after the first penalty decision not given to him you would have thought hed say to the referee watch this guy but no..and what happened…leacock did it again..and again he got away with it!!

    Cacapa – way to slow..ive seen milk turn faster than him!!

    Taylor – not a natural right back granted but he should still be able to control the ball! poor ball skills and how he can demand more money when he missed sitters liek he did last night ill never know!!

    Milner – tireless as ever but last night he couldnt do much right..he didnt manage to take on defenders and none of his crosses reached a newcastle head!!

    Butt – i think was the worst player on the park – very slow, didnt track pack, handballed in the box, gave away sloppy freekicks. he couldnt pass or tackle and in my ind is past it!!

    Geremi – didnt look commanding at all, his passing was dreadfull and his throws were too feet when surely if you are playing a big man upfront you put it on his head for him to flick on to owen.

    Smith – very very quiet in the first half i thought..god only knows how he was made captin!! he showed passion but lacked that pace and power runs in the centre..i dont think i even saw him put in a cross and he was on the wing..the mind boggles!!

    Owen – cant really balme him for anything..only touched the ball 14 times and didnt do anything worng..he had no supply from the midfield.. injured again though!!

    Ameobi – GET THIS LAD INTO THE CHAMPIONSHIP!! there is no point having a pig man upfront if he cant win anything..hes too slow on the ball, he cant jump, he cant hold the ball up, he cant shoot, he cant be honest..he cant do anything!! why play him!!

    Faye – had vision which is nice to see but again way too slow on the ball!! got tackeld too easily and didnt influence the game in anyway!!

    Beye – was on for too shorter time to comment…looked bettter than taylor though at righ back!

    Martins – tireless!! fantastic!! nothing wrong with his performance alst night and should be garenteed a role next week!!

    i know it seems harsh to do this but i couldnt see anything good with last nights performance. it was a reality check for the fans, the team, the manager and any one else interested in the team. for some reason we dont play well against weak oposition and that needs to be sorted!! if w play like that against west ham, arselan, everton, man city and tottenham in the coming weeks, it will bye bye to any european hopes!!

  • Craig Allen

    Sep 18, 2007 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #9

    Pity Heskey got injured again otherwise we could’ve offloaded Ameobi on Wigan in exchange for the target man.

  • Craig Allen

    Sep 18, 2007 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #10

    I don’t think someone like Smith should be getting the armband. He’s a fighter and one of my faves but a captain needs a level head when marshalling his troops and not get yellow cards when he supposed to be querying a dodgy call. That defender who wrestled with Roz should change his profession and take up judo or something. The ref needs contact lenses or something – can’t see how he missed that – it was happening at one point right in front of him! I’m still pissed, to top it off I have to work with ManU fans who are irritating the sh!t out of me!

  • Mick G

    Sep 18, 2007 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #11

    Northern C-Rock of SH.T

  • Thandile

    Sep 18, 2007 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #12

    If the same starting 11 plays against West Ham, we won’t score a goal and possible lose.

    Sam needs to alter the team by playing N’Zogbia in an attacking position, Martins behind Owen. Its very logical. A quick move by N’Zogbia to Martins to Owen and bang, GOAL!!!

    C’mon Sam, think!!!

  • Barry Bumhead

    Sep 18, 2007 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #13

    I said after the Boro game that Newcastle are asking for trouble by playing that one paced and slow midfield which also offers no createability. Last night I was proved right, unfortunately!
    That is the slowest midfield I have seen since the days of Roy Aitken.
    We should get a much clearer picture of Allardyces plans when Joey Barton gets fit .
    As much as I disliked Dyer we do miss having someone with his pace in midfield.

  • Doctapaul

    Sep 18, 2007 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #14

    Sam old song.

    Newcastle played like they were bottom not Derby.

    2nd best in every department and a yard off the pace. We were back to the all time low levels of last season.

    So much for all rhetoric about being steely, psychologically strong, fitter than ever, new scientific approach, 443v442.

    Butt and Geremi are an inferior version of Lampard with Gerrard. Smith is wasted on the wing. Did Milner put in one good cross? Ameobi couldn’t hit the Tyne Bridge and Owen touched the ball 14 times.

    We were cr@p.

    I hope Barton can inject something like what Pearson did last night for Derby.

    Bottom line is we have won two games against teams expected to battle for relegation. And if we continue in this vein so shall we.

  • nightfall

    Sep 18, 2007 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #15

    the fact is sam made several mistakes since he got the job… when you’re down 1:0 against DERBY…who would sent 2 defensive players on the pitch…
    and as for smith…i still don’t get it…why is he playing… why did we get enrique, if zog is playing as LB… like i said…enrique as LB (we did spend 5 mio for him), zog as AML, milner as AMR…and sell smith back to leeds…this guy is useless…he did’t show 1 thing and he was our most expensive transfer this season…the only time you can see him on the pitch is when he’s getting a card… ashley – i don’t care if you’re his fan…the guy sucks…
    so if we look at the mistakes sam has made…buying smith and enrique for 10mio+…why???? they’re not playing…enrique doesn’t even get a chance (probably cos smith MUST play, so zob must play as LB), and smith is not playing even when he’s on the pitch…. WTF?!

  • Edd Case

    Sep 18, 2007 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #16

    Jerry is right.

    It’s not one bad performance at all. It’s just the Derby one was by far the worst.

    The team is horrid. It’s the most uncreative and ugly team in the Premiership.
    433 does not work unless you have the players, i.e. Barcelona.
    The 3 in our middle, Butt, Geremi and Smith are all ugly ball winners. Smith isn’t even that, he’s a forward.
    You can’t play Butt and Geremi together, they’re too similar and for me, Butt should be dropped and Zog in his place for now (as Emre and Barton arent fit).

    One thing to be pleased about is the lack of goals going in against us. It finally seems or defence is heeading in the right direction.
    Rozenhal, Cacapa, Beye, Taylor and Enrique all look good this season.

    Big Sam is no fool, he, just like all of us, will have seen how poor Ameobi was last night and I just hope we don’t see Shola in the team against the Hammers.

    It can really only get better from here….

  • Adam

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #17

    I am as disappointed as anyone about last night. But we must remember that we cannot be immune to a bad result – just so long as we come out fighting next time! I’m sure that Chelsea weren’t too happy after their Blackburn game, or Man Utd when they lost to Man City…or Spurs fans in general this season.


  • Big Sam Fan

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #18

    Nightfall..enrique is injured thats why he isnt playing and although your right he didnt play well last night..he was the only one thats hows any real pashion..definatly the best in the centre of the park last night compared to the other cack we had!!

  • Big Sam Fan

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #19

    btw i was talking about smith in the last comment!!

  • Doctapaul

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #20

    we cannot be immune to a bad result – fair enuff

    we can be immune to 100% commitment, effort and last night we looked slow and jaded.

    We should be able to flex tactics/pace any time and we couldn’t raise our game when needed until the last 5-10 mins.

    It’s not the result that’s depressing (well a bit) it’s the performance – it was relegation fodder stuff – simply dreadful, depressing – I’m fed up already.

  • MickC

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #21

    Hello everyone

    What is it about Newcastle United? NEW owners,NEW manager,NEW players.

    Same old Cr*p. God help us when we go to Arsenal.

    Doe’s anyone know why Smith was captain last night.

  • Doctapaul

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #22

    ps I’m a big Smith fan when he plays in a position that uses his talents and he actually gets the ball – ie not on the wing!

    We cudda started with Smith, Owen and Oba up front. Then 4-3-3 doesn’t look so bad – as long as we have some creative players in midfield.

    Cue Barton and dare I say Emre maybe?

    Come back Nobby we miss you.

  • Craig Allen

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #23

    Oh, Nobby’s coming back alright – just not the way we want him to. Hopefully, he doesn’t expose our numerous weaknesses creeping in and those “under rug swept” while results were “favouring” us. I’m just worried, with so much expectation on Barton, what if he gets injured again? Or Enrique does his hamstring in two games after starting and Zog goes back to LB. That’s only two players. Edmilson’s a good acquisition, but we need depth in midfield now Jan xfer window more than depth in defence. Unless Sam’s thinking of bringing more defensive players on the pitch when we’re 1-0 down again. Or was it to stem the Derby tide.

  • Hadji

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #24

    Just read that Man City owner will give Sven 150mill for the transfer window in January.
    You wanna be the best you gotta invest BIG but on the right players only.

  • adaaaam

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #25

    i dont understand why BS wont give owen and martins a chance together. think from the defender s point of view- just having michael owen to deal with would be enough of a nightmare but then imagine if they also had the fastest striker in the league to try and cope with AS WELL! it would create all sorts of problems. just let geremi and butt win all the ugly stuff in the middle and stick smith in the hole behind our two amazing goalscorers.

  • snake

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #26

    to moan about our players bein on international duty and then pick owen, the most likely to be nackered was a bad choice. oba was sat on the bench and he hasnt played for his country and harper over given… give me strength

  • Andreas

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #27

    “Big Sam is no fool, he, just like all of us, will have seen how poor Ameobi was last night and I just hope we don’t see Shola in the team against the Hammers.”

    Well BS might not be a fool but he is 200% for the “big man/little man” myth/combo when playing 442 so unless Viduka can play Ameobi will. Smith would be a better option as a target man, if as said this big man/little man HAVE to be our setup, but I unfortunetly think we’ll see plenty of Shola this season (hope I’m wrong though).

    As for our performances this season I tend to agree in general with Steve:
    Bolton – deserved 3 points – played well 1st half and ok 2nd half (against a poor team)
    Aston Villa – offensivly we lacked creativity poor game, defensivly it was generally a solid game. All in all, an ok game
    Boro – crap game offensivly (albeit two good goals), bad defensive display (to let in those 2 goals). All in all, bad game
    Wigan – played very well but failed in converting our chances. Best display this season in my opinion. All in all a very good game.
    Derby – disgraceful, crap, aweful etc. Worst display I’ve seen since…well last season 🙂 EOS!

  • Doctapaul

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #28

    Reading between the lines newcastle didn’t adapt to BSA’s tactics. The question is who will change first, the team or Sam, otherwise one will have to go and there can only be one.

    I am no longer looking forward to this season because I don’t want the same old long ball tripe dished out. I fear the likes of Owen, Oba, Given and Taylor, come Jannuary, might feel the same way.

  • Jerry

    Sep 18, 2007 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #29

    Since when did showing passion equal being a good footballer or playing well? To confuse the 2 is just stupid in my view. Smith just runs around kicking people and people say because of this that he is a good player? MADNESS!

  • nightfall

    Sep 18, 2007 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #30

    Jerry – AGREE

  • Doctapaul

    Sep 18, 2007 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #31

    Hi Jerry,

    My perception is Smith has a good brain, quick feet, and can play well in a fast passing game. He can also get his fair share of goals given the chances.

    If you have a different opinion I respect that but I don’t isloate Smith in last night’s debacle.

  • Chappa

    Sep 18, 2007 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #32

    absolute crap.!!!
    theres no way of a top 6 finish this season if we keep playing the way we have been!! i’m dreading the toon playing the likes of cheslea,man utd,arsenal and liverpool

  • Magpie Neil

    Sep 18, 2007 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #33

    Smith is useless! He isnt a midfielder, striker or a good footballer. Worst signing since Luque. He tackles like paul scholes and doesnt score enough goals or create enough chances. What people see in him is beyond me.

    Shocking player.

  • Jerry

    Sep 18, 2007 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #34


    Am not isolating Smith, am only just saying he is crap! He is no good as a striker – his stats show that. As an attacking midfielder, he lacks creativity, hasn’t got the vision to play a killer pass, no long range shooting ability, and doesnt even score from midfield. Alex Ferguson tried to turn him into a defensive midfielder and even at that he was no good! That is why he was sold. Man U couldn’t find a place for him either in midfield or in attack in the team. Why should he be good for us? He’s been dreadful so far and I for one am not surprised.

  • Magpie Neil

    Sep 18, 2007 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #35

    Also how many defensive midfielders does sam want to play at once?

    Geremi, Butt and Smith is overkill.

    If we are out of options in midfield we could always play Martins on one of the wings.

    We spent all summer aquiring defensive players yet instead of trusting the new defensive talent we crowd the midfield with defensive players. How many men does sam want behind the ball ffs.

    Poor tactics which lead to dull long ball football

  • Doctapaul

    Sep 18, 2007 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #36

    Maybe you’re right Mag Neil, Ihaven’t seen enough of Smith yet to judge and believe he deserves 10-20 games in a suitable poistion to judge.

    ps I thought Boumsong and Baba were worse signings than Lord Luquan altho it’s a fine line.

    What’s perhaps more concerning is that we have 3 clones: Faye (tall version), Geremi and Butt.

    To boot, Taylor is no Rio or Micah going forward.

    Trubble upt mill.

  • Magpie Neil

    Sep 18, 2007 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #37

    Taylor is our 3rd choice centre back now. He shouldnt be played at right back, and probably wont be as soon as Beye settles in.

    We need to make sure no more than 2 of the following 4 players ever play in the same team:


    I think newcastle need to play their form players in their best positions i.e n zogbia AML and Martins should be given the license to roam upfront.

    Also why didnt Martins start against Derby. Sam had the perfect opportunity to rest owen after the international games.

    Sam needs to drop Smith and get Ashley a new shirt. Ashley obviously thinks Smith is the best player since he signed from Man u. The man still has a lot to learn.

  • John

    Sep 18, 2007 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #38

    I know we were absolutely Awful last night and some bad decisions were made but we are so much better off than last year and the year before and the year before that. We have got some real quality through our whole squad now and we basicly have a brand new team. It was never going to be straight forward for about 9 even 10 players including owen who barely played with us , to Gel into an amazing team straight away.

    I think Big sam has done an excellent job so far. He addressed the biggest issue we had as a team which many before him failed to do which was to have the balls and go out and buy a brand new defence . We now have a squad we can really build on and really push on in the next few years. I think if we got an intertoto spot this year or just got into Europe that would be quality and then push on next yuear in challenging the top 4.

    These results happen, look at Totenham against the shite ..They lost at the stadium of shite..But there still regarded as a top 4 team ..Were much better off than them also..Its not all dooom and glooom..

    Would you prefer to have Roeder or Souness back ?

  • Doctapaul

    Sep 18, 2007 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #39

    Well put John although the word “excellent” might be a bit generous.

    BSA has improved our team overall by vastly improving our defence.

    I put Barton ahead of Parker – slightly.

    wro Faye, Smith, Geremi we have yet to see any real improvement over the departed Nobby and the unfortunate Dyer.

    We do have born again Zog & Owen.

    Milner’s doing OK but not converting crosses that well.

    Shola is Shola, Oba needs games
    and Viduka (1 good goal) when fit will score goals

    So let’s say Sam is doing fair to middlin? Is this fair?

  • nightfall

    Sep 18, 2007 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #40

    i told everyone…smith sucks…gudjohnsen would be much better solution than that egoistic bully… you supporters from england….for you everyone who ever played for england national team is a god….well..smith just wants to be one… the guy is useless… name one position he would be good at in our team??? he showed he sucks in midfield…and in attack there’s just no room for him…even carrol is 10 times better striker and he’s our 5-6st choice…. how much was smith? 6-8 mil? great bussiness ashley!


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