Sam – We’ll Be Better Against West Ham

Sam Allardyce talked again about the woeful defeat Newcastle suffered on Monday night against Derby County, this time to the Evening Chronicle yesterday afternoon.

The defeat has burst the balloon that was the fans’ high optimism for a possible great season this year.

Newcastle looked mediocre at best and the worst thing with the defeat is that it brought back memories of previous seasons when Newcastle in some games just don’t seem to be competitive.


Sam Allardyce – we’ll be better against West Ham – hope so

This is what Sam told Lee Ryder of the Evening Chronicle yesterday:

“When you get more opportunities in the beginning of a game, that’s critical in terms of how the result is going to go.”

“If you do put the ball in the back of the net, you find the opposition will not have as much fight. They’ll think ‘here we go again’.”

“Because we didn’t do that, Derby kept on fighting and you can’t stop a wonder goal. And this was a wonder goal.”

There were at least two chances that we missed before the Derby goal, the worst miss being from center-back David Rozehnal, who failed to find the net from 12 yards when presented with an open goal. Ameobi also shot wide when he had a good chance but Shola had an awful game throughout against Derby County. Not sure if Viduka will have recovered from his hamstring problems by Sunday, otherwise Shola may be in the starting line up again. The only option would appear to play Alan Smith up front with Owen. Martins looked energetic when he was brought on and Sam will need to give Oba more playing time on Sunday. Sam doesn’t seem to want to try Oba and Michael together up front.

Sam went to:

“The disappointing thing is that we had a long time to get back into it, but as the game went on we found it more and more difficult to create an opportunity to do that.”

“We had 14 players away on international duty and that had a little bit of an impact on our performance, which is something I can’t do anything about.”

“As I say, we’ll take it on the chin, learn from it and hopefully come Sunday we’ll be a lot better against West Ham.”

United barely threatened on the night and one thing that is lacking in the team is creativity. It hasn’t helped that Nobby Solano is no longer with us, since some of Nobby’s magic could have helped on Monday evening. In fact Nobby may be playing against us on Sunday for West Ham – we hope not.

Big Sam added:

“We didn’t score when we should have done.” “If you don’t convert chances when you get them, it means life can be difficult. We knew it was going to be a bit of a scrap, because Derby were going to fight for everything at home.”

“In the end, the opposition scored a wonder goal out of nothing. You won’t see a better strike in the Premiership this season.” “Then it got a bit frantic in the second half.”

“Because they had something to hang on to, we found it difficult to break them down and create chances to get back into the game.”

“Even though we had lots of pressure and possession, we didn’t find the quality to bring us an equalizer and hence, we ended up with a very disappointing defeat.”

“You’d be expecting them to be fighting after what’s happened to them. I said to our lads we’d have to match that to begin with.”

Sam’s description of the goal as a wonder goal may mean that Harper will keep his place but it’s a bit worrying that we are losing and yet Shay Given is still on the sidelines. Not sure how long Shay will be out but we at least expect him to be in goal for our Carling Cup game against Arsenal at the Emirates on Tuesday evening. Sam will then have a selection problem for the next game at Manchester City the following Saturday.

The win was Derby’s first Premier League win since March 2002, which came against Allardyce’s Bolton Wanderers.

Sam continued:

“We’re all a little bit disappointed in our performance, but you have to give Derby some credit for the way they closed us down.”

“I expected that, as I said. I warned the players Billy (Davies) hadn’t had too many players away on international duty and he’d have them all fired up.”

“I pointed it out to the lads that they were going to win somewhere along the line and to make sure it’s not against us.”

It’s never good to lose against against a bottom placed team. Newcastle hadn’t lost in the Premiership and Derby hadn’t won before the game – so fate seems to play a part on these games. But we were hopeless and didn’t deserve anything out of the game in all honesty.

We do have a topic on the game on our Newcastle United Blog Newcastle vs West Ham United Sunday 23rd September 13:30 KO . Let’s know what you think the team will be and what formation we’ll play and what you expect to happen in the game. It look s like it’s an important game for us to get back on track.

We expect a huge improvement on Sunday.

Comments always welcome.

41 comments so far

  • Alan

    Sep 19, 2007 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #1

    Still gutted after Monday. IT brought back last season with a bang. Every time you think Newcastle are going to do some thing good they do their very best to let you down. The thought of going 4th affected them and they lost their bottle. 4th in the league and 2 home games to come would have been amazing but like i said they do their best to let you down and succeed every time.

  • Alan

    Sep 19, 2007 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #2

    And secondly a message for Big Sam. If any one comes in for that shambles of a striker Ameobi bloody well sell him. In fact give him away. I get angry watching Newcastle with him in the team. He is as bad in attack as Bramble was in defense.

  • Luke

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #3

    He was really awful. I hate to say it, because I like the character, but let’s sell him. Use some of those spondles and buy a top target man. I’d love to see crouch playing for us. I trapsed across a wet paris to an irish bar to watch the game, and to say I was furious with the result would be an understatement. But — in a way it’s a good thing — reality has kicked in. Let’s be realistic. All this champions league nonsense is premature.

  • bw positive

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #4

    Cant believe we still have Ameobi at the club. IS this fellow doing something in trainning the rest of the public cannot see. He is slow and cumbersome. He lacks any physical presence and gets caught offside on countless occasions surrendering possesion on every one of those instances. He never looks dangerous, never wins the ball in the air even if marked by a small man. He strolls through the game, I get the feeling Ameobi feels he can do that, as he is a class act. He isnt, and only great players can coast through games in third gear, yet still have an effect on a game. Ameobi is still unproven, and for me at his age, shows that this fellow is punching above his weight. Its Carl Cort, except the latter wasnt a geordie. I have also been saying, our midfield looks baffling. Smith is lost, Butt is rarely a laterally thinking player, and offers very little aside from his usual possesion game. Geremi is tidy, we need him. But surely, Nzogbia and Faye should start alongside Geremi. We just cannot create anything. As I have said before, Milner struggles to get past opponents with help from midfield. We lacked width, penetration, crossing, set peices were manky, and our fowards hardly got the ball. Does it surprise us that this result was ever not gonna be on the cards ????? A hint of Souness in Sams selection no doubt and this has me concerned.

  • Steely

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #5

    Alan, you’ve got it in one mate! When he’s named in the starting 11 I shudder like I did whenever Bramble was included.

    Ed – surely to God, BSA wont even contemplate playing Shola against Arsenal after the appalling display the other night. His argument is that the little striker feeds of the balls from the big striker, and I’m sorry, but I dont think I saw Shola win one ball against Derby, let alone being able to feed Owen/Martins. I’d rather play 4-5-1 with Owen or Martins up front alone than have Shola on again.

    The fans will start to turn on BSA if he pursues the Ameobi line, just like they did with previous managers!!

  • Alex Brett

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #6

    Well we cant get any worse!!!

  • Toon Chicken

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #7

    Hopefully that result will give us a big kick up the backside. I’d probably take a good performance and a point against the Hammers, so long as we give Wenger’s boys a good kicking on Tuesday.
    Just got me ticket for Arsenal this morning. Toon Army!!

  • Rich

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #8

    Totally off the topic, but did anyone watch the Shakhar v Celtic game last night? This is a team full of creativity i was really impressed and we should be looking over there for a playmaker in January.A lad called Jansen nort sure on the spelling was awesome!

  • bw positive

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #9

    Toon Chicken, a bad performance isnt neccessarily a direct result of a lack of effort. It is when all is not well tactically and the opposition smell a lack of cutting edge. Milner is our only outlet, Nzogbia is too deep and they play long balls into open positions so he couldnt penetrate. Butt and Geremi play in the circle. The fowards were isolated and lost. It was Souness era all over again, employing big man/small man with no wingers and a defensive midfield. How can that ever work. Sam is playing for 1-0 victories. The problem with that, is it never kills off the opposition. We need to be aggressively attacking, that is what attractive football is all about and how Man Utd have been so successfull. Best form of defence is to nullify the opponents capability of attack by attacking them in such a manner than anything other than men behind the ball will result in a conceded goal.

  • roscoe

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #10

    Unless viduka is fit or Sam plays Owen and Oba up front together then I can see 0-0 or 0-1 to west ham!

    We desperatley need enrique in defence and zog on left wing and barton in CM.

    Then we’ll be flying!
    ——————————Owen Martins
    ————————Zog Smith Barton Milner
    ———————–Enrique Roz Cacapa Beye

    (maybe geremi in for smith if we playing a tough team away)

    SIMPLE!!!!!!!!!! That team could take on anyone!

  • bw positive

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #11

    Ill guarantee you, had we played Milner on the right, Charlie on the left, Faye and Geremi in centre, with Owen and Martins upfront, we would have beaten Derby last night, and we all would have been buzzing for westham this sunday. The immediate effect of that lineup, would have derby worrying from the off.

  • Steely

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #12

    bw positive! Spot on analysis and suggestion. But will BSA go for it….will he hell!

    BTW, did anyone hear BSA referring to “Shoulder” Ameobi all through the pre-match interview?? haha

  • gordon

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #13

    Why doesnt someone from the chronicle have the guts to ask big sam why he plays smith in that position.

  • bw positive

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #14

    Rozehnal got beat hands down by their number 9, can you please tell me how this lad warrants a place above our Future captain ? It should be Taylor and Cacapa with Enrique and Beye occupying the backs.

  • Toon Chicken

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #15

    bw positive

    slightly mystified as to why your last comment was directed at me – I was just buzzing about getting tickets for the arsenal game.
    while were on though, I will say that I don’t think the current era is anything like the Souness regime.
    Firstly, we haven’t got a fat idiot dictating who to buy and who to sell. Secondly, we have strength and depth in a pretty solid looking defence.
    It sounds to me that you’re getting just as carried away after one performance as everyone else was who were talking about Champions League after our first four games unbeaten.
    It is far too early to decide anything. The squad is still adjusting, and this is only phase I of the Allardyce revolution. These things do take time, at least one season – something he will never get if fans like you are after his head already.
    So there.
    Thanks for destroying my buzz.

  • Steely

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #16

    roscoe – agree totally with your team suggestion with the exception of Smith; I would play Geremi or Faye alongside Barton to help out defensively when needed.

  • bw positive

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #17

    Toon chicken, calm down son. I wasnt refering to you in any way other than the first sentence, which if you define as a buzz threatening peice of writing, then best not to chat openly to supporters. I just mentioned I dont think it was down to a lack of effort. The subsequent sentences had nout to do with you marra, ok !

  • maggpie

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #18

    Ameobi is a very poor player and I just cannot believe he’ll start on Sunday. If he does my opinion of Allardyce starts to decline.

  • Toon Chicken

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #19

    Roscoe & Steely – thats my team too, but defs with Geremi instead of Smith. He had a bad game but he does normally look good on the ball, and doesn’t make too many bad passes a la Butt.

  • Steely

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #20

    Toon Chicken, what kind of revolution is it going to be though when Ameobi is on the pitch though! While I am fully supportive of BSA (he’s the best we’ve had since SBR), I think he’s totally wrong with his big man/little man theory – fair enough if Viduka is fit as he’s good enough, but when you’re putting on Shola just to keep that theory despite the fact that he’s absolute claptrap then something is wrong with his logic!

    I reckon we’re looking at fighting for a European slot this year (no delusion here about Champs League, or negativity about relegation), but the squad need to move forward and I dont think BSA playing Shola has helped with our move forward at all….it is the last remnant of the tosh era of the Souness mentality and it needs fixing soon….i.e. in January!!

  • bw positive

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #21

    I agree with Toon Chicken, Geremi instead of Smith. I am a huge fan of Smith but he isnt a midfielder. His aggression isnt nesseccarily helping the lads career. It is as bad as being versatile, you get moved about and it effects form. He is a fifth wheel, if we have defensive players in geremi and Butt, why have another. Surely Nzgobia would be a better solution, if he can keep his cool and not shoot from the grounds car park.

  • Craig Allen

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #22

    Crap Sam. Here’s why: Your Big Man little man only works if both players are technically skilled and the opposition doesn’t mark one of them out of the game. Ameobi doesnt cut it. Wonder goal, crap; Harper was off his line, bewildered and probably thinking about the next game he’ll start ahead of a world class keeper. We were outplayed. A wonder goal is one strike on goal – what about the rest of the game? Int. duty, crap. That’s an excuse not a reason. I suggest Ashley invests in a strategist coach to guide and mentor the team while you watch the heart monitors and mess about with your technology to keep the players fit. We need a coach – in the traditional sense in order to fill the current void. That will free you up to focus on defense – your strength.

  • bw positive

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #23

    I agree with you C Allen, I also think it was more of a case of Harper parking himself well out of the box, than a wonder strike. If the shot had beat a well placed Harper, and evaded his diving attempt of a save, then sure call it what you will. However, the fellow was so far from his line, he watched it sail over his head embarrasingly. He was asleep, and got punished unfairly. Toon chicken, if you want positives, then concede that our defence is looking good, alebit bar several sloppy peices of man marking. I am a fan of sams, but not to the extent of defending him if his player selection is to the disadvantage to our side. I hope Sam realises his players have more in their locker than Boltons, and that naivity will not prevail when assuming his tactics, we dont need a wall of defensive midfielders to beat SHITE teams like Derby who had been slaughtered previously by clubs that nufc are trying to get back upto standards with.

  • Toon Chicken

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #24

    Does anyone remember the goal we scored against Man U when Beardsley shot from distance, then Sir Les followed in with the rebound, before Shearer smashed it in at the third time of asking?
    I’d love to see Owen, Martins and Viduka used together in some of our home games this season. Whether they combine as well as those three legends remains to be seen, but I reckon we’d have a hell of a lot of fun finding out.
    I don’t think these kind of tactics are beyond BSA – he has already proven that he is an open-minded kind of bloke (he did suggest that Ameobi could play for England one day after all).

  • Johann

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #25

    you are mainly correct with that harper think but still harper was always going to expect howard to flick it behind the defense for miller to run on so he was off the line. I think that´s fairly obvious and Miller took advantage of that. I think it´s a “wonder” goal, total fluke, no player with their right minds would try that. The bottom line the shaky defense SHOULD have closed him down.

  • Stami

    Sep 19, 2007 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #26

    so sad to see…we lose 1 game, and all the critics come out in full force! go on BSA, i am 110% behind you…

  • meader

    Sep 19, 2007 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #27

    Think people are getting carried away with one bad result, sure Monday was crap sure we all thought we would win and go up to forth in the league but things will take time to gel this season,agree ameobi is simply not good enough and would much prefer to play owen and martins up front if viduka isn’t fit.we also need to push n zogbia further up field as he is our only attacking player who looks like they can unlock a defence at the moment.smith is wasted on the right wing, defence has looked better but there centre forward totally dominated us in the air which was worrying to see brought back memories of how we have defended for years. we will get better this season and we really need someone creative in midfield, would love to see Gudjohnson signed in january.

  • bw positive

    Sep 19, 2007 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #28

    Stami, no one here is bashing Sam mate, we are just voicing our dejected opinions of Monday nights game. As supporters, with most of us paying, I think we can afford that right. I am 100% behind everyone at Nufc bar Dhalsim Shola. But the tactics were incorrect, we needed pace in adundance and a side biased towards penetration, to break down a resilient Derby side that went after EVERYTHING. Instead, we opted for ball winners, to win the ball from a side that was winning everything. An educated guess would have predicted the result, regardless of supposed wonder goals. We should have thrown caution to the wind, and played our talent IN POSITION, ie Charlie, Milner, Martins, and Beye down the right, with the Bull down the left. Their centrebacks, whilst lanky, were slow. We never exploited that once. Instead, their right winger, Pearson tortured charles down the right and Owen and Ameobi never won a single ball in the air. Mate, you know yourself, Sam got it wrong last night and single handidly cost us points.

  • bw positive

    Sep 19, 2007 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #29

    correction ^^ Monday night.

  • bw positive

    Sep 19, 2007 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #30

    To be positive, we have Duff, Emre, the Bull, Beye, Given, Barton, Viduka to all come back. Those are big name players, will only help us to have them in the squad for selection. But with Sams choice of tactics, and faith in players utilised out of position, I dont see any change from Monday night, considering available players, with the quality at his disposal, and why we couldnt come away with anything more than a deservedly inflicted dedeat.

  • evildick

    Sep 19, 2007 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #31

    I agree, owen/viduka/martins would be worth a try at home. or against weaker teams (hmm derby?) – could of played milner/owen/martins against them. Those 3 up front would of recked havoc, why are we playing for 1-0 against derby!

    And I think Given deserves a crack now, but I think BS will show support to Harper against the Hammers, Given will play aresnal.

    Anyway, it was shite football, horrible result but the team is better than last season and I think we will continue to move forward.

  • meader

    Sep 19, 2007 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #32

    he did get it wrong,but dont seem to have any options in midfield, no creativity so we have to play ball winners as thats all we have to need to utalise our wingers and play milner and n zogbia so we can get balls into the box,cant remember one ball into the box from our wingers,if you count smith as a winger??

  • apan

    Sep 19, 2007 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #33

    bw positive

    steve harper cant be blamed for the wonder goal againts derby it is a WONDER GOAL for god sake, its a goal kick from the opposition area and a GK will move up front a bit to see the ball of cos if he stays in between goal post he cant see nuts and may not cover the angle he supposed to, plus he expected geremi to clear it away and suddenly he missed bounced and there u go in a blink thats why even the cameraman was shocked, yes readjusting body even our defenders was caught napping, so thats why harper is off his line, u should play as a GK then u understand……..dont blame him alone, blame geremi for not clearing it out, the defenders for not closing in and caught napping is the whole backline, simple, i hate it when people just single off a gk mistake esp in this case, u can only blame him for not trying or diving, but i wouldnt expect him to save either

  • Hadji

    Sep 19, 2007 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #34

    ToonChicken….I know that fou Sam’s revolution takes time but we’re not getting any younger aswell.I have one example for you…..Sevilla.
    When we were in the Champions League,Sevilla was a mid table team in Spanish second division.
    Look at them now,2 years in a row they’re winning the Uefa Cup…..why’s that.Cause they play modern football,they know who to buy.Just check the midfielders in Sevilla:Navas,Adriano,Renato,Maresca,Poulsen,Keita.Compare these with Butt,Geremi,Smith,Barton,Emre.
    Check the back line of Sevilla:Drago,Escude,Alves,Javi Navaro,Boulahrouz,Hinkel.
    None of these players were in Sevilla when they were in second league.
    BSA bought 9 players this season…yes he did a great job i’m not denying that but they’re not technitians,they don’t know how to hide the ball like Sevilla’s players can.All they know is to kick the ball and wait if someone will take it.That’s not football my friend.
    So Sevilla since joining the Primera in 2004 it took them only 3 years to win the Uefa cup twice and the European Super Cup once.
    As long as Newcastle relies on players like Smith,Butt,Geremi,the revolution will last forever.
    Watch Sevilla agains Arsenal tonight.

  • Hadji

    Sep 19, 2007 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #35

    Ou i forgot to mention,the only midfielder which i think is great and an excellent technitian would be N’Zogbia.
    No wonder Wenger wanted him so bad.

  • apan

    Sep 19, 2007 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #36

    and please all of us move on, its a bad result yes very poor performance yes but its only 5 games and our team have only been together like what 1 month or so? not GEL yet & its after the international break, so have some faith and look forward, im sure BSA got some more on his sleeve, its just the case of perhaps wrong player (ameobi ffs) because this is the same tactics we used for all our games before……we won and we drew but once we lost boom havoc, chill down i agree that some alteration might be needed in terms of our game play but our days of sexy football is now over, even chelsea and mu have difficulties to score………i expect a more polished performance from our lads and yes we have 9 injuries again, wait til our 1st eleven for the first time in how many seasons play together and then we can see our true potential

  • Hadji

    Sep 19, 2007 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #37

    Sorry,Alves and Navaro were still in Sevilla while in second league.

  • Craig Allen

    Sep 19, 2007 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #38

    It’s not really the fact that we lost, but more the way we played before and after conceding. No post-“wonder goal” (I’m really sick of seeing those words) game plan seemed to be evident. No dynamic – think on your feet, re-visit of strategy was apparent. Add to that the lack of energy and effort and you have post defeat outcry as is the case now. Nobody would be complaining that much or as intense if we outplayed Derby and the “wonder-f$%$^^%&&-goal was the only thing seperating the two teams with Derby’s keeper being kept busy throughout the game by all of our strikers and our keeper looking solid. That was not the case as the result could’ve been worse had Derby finished better.

    Oh, and in one of the post match interviews, Sam talks about missing injured players – “We need the Mark Vidukas, the Joey Bartons, the Damien Duffs and the Jose Enriques,” – what, no Stephen Carr, Emre and Babayaro? lol looks like a question of faith.

    I’ve also decided to comment on Given’s omission anymore as I’m sure Harper will do something (or fail to do something) to allow Shay back into the fold. It’s only a matter of when and against which team. Seems like the wonder goal saved Harper from the drop and from everyone having a closer look at his performance aside from the goal.

  • carl

    Sep 19, 2007 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #39

    well, it was absolute shit!!!! tactics and team selection were all wrong, wtf is sam on? i agree charlie on the left,milner right and owen martins upfront would have blown derby away.different manager,different team, same old bullshit excuses and performances.i really see west ham beating us sunday.!! infact im guna bet on it

  • Toon Chicken

    Sep 20, 2007 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #40

    Hadji – I’ve had my suspicions about you for a while. They were confirmed last night.

    Arsenal 3 Sevilla 0

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it you idjut!


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