After the diabolical performance on Monday night it’s going to be interesting to see what team Big Sam picks for our next game against West Ham United on Sunday.
The game kicks off at 1:30pm at St. James’ Park.
A win on Sunday and we can think of the game against Derby as a blip – but anything less than that and we’re probably not as good as some of us had thought – so it’s a key game for Newcastle.
Sam Allardyce – needs team to give a spirited and winning performance Sunday
We think Harper will retain his position in goal but since this is the first of 3 games in 6 days we expect Shay to be back on Tuesday evening, for our game at the Emirates against Arsenal, in the 3rd round of the Carling Cup.
As far as the back four goes we really think we need to have Charles N’Zogbia further upfield so we can use some of his creativity and skill. We’d like to put Enrique in at left back if he’s recovered from his slight hamstring strain. If not then we’d switch Steven Taylor over to left back because we think we have to start playing Beye at right-back. He was only on for 15 minutes on Monday night but he’s an experienced right-back used to playing in the European Champions League for Marseilles so we think he will be ready.
We need more creativity in central midfield bu again Emre is out injured so we’re not sure if he’ll be available â€“ probably not otherwise we would have played Butt and Emre in midfield. Butt and Geremi are too alike and neither of them is very creative.
The middle 4 in a 4-4-2 formation could be Milner Smith Butt and N’Zogbia and you could also change N’Zogbia and Smith around. Up front we’d start Owen, and if Viduka is fit we’d start Mark up front with him. We did seem to miss Viduka on Monday night with his good hold up play and Ameobi just didn’t get the job done. We’d only see Shola start if Sam has sat down with him and told him his chances are running out and not only has he to start playing better in holding up the play â€“ but a goal or two would also be nice.
Other alternatives here would be Alan Smith up front and of course starting Owen and Martins up front together. But since Sam goes for the big guys we’re not sure he’d ever start the two small strikers up front together, as they do play a similar game.
So here’s the team we’d like to see and it depends on who’s available â€“ this assumes the worst case scenario that Viduka, Enrique and Emre are not available. If either of them is available we’d include them as discussed above.
Beye Cacapa Rozehnal Taylor
Milner Butt Smith N’Zogbia
As we mentioned we’d only start Shola once Sam has let him know his chances at Newcastle are not infinite and he has to shape up â€“ and a couple of goals would be nice. With Emre and Viduka out, Sam’s flexibility in team selection is somewhat limited. We think it’s time to change the team around a bit â€“ what do you think?
Let us know here and we also have a long running analysis piece on the West Ham game on our Newcastle United Blog.
Your ideas and comments are appreciated.