Who Should Newcastle Play Against West Ham

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 – 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 – 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 – 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

Ameobi Owen

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 – 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 – 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.

87 comments so far

  • Tom from Aus

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #1

    Which player will have the biggest impact. I think mark viduka will play a large part in the games coming up. I think that he should play in a CF position. The think the team should look like this against arsenal.


    Beye Taylor Rozzy zoggy

    Milner Smith Geremi


    Owen Martins

    And when barton and duff come back i think the first team should be.

    Beye taylor Rozzy Zoggy or “the bull”

    Milner Barton Duff

    Owen Martins

  • Aussie geordie

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #2

    If Beye is not fit Geremi should move back there


    Bench Harper, Viduka, Butt, Capaca, ?

  • TimT

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #3

    I realy do hope we get a win on sunday to get the momentum back. T o be creative in attack with are current sqaud we must play the wingers (N’Zogbia/Milner) and not play Butt/Geremi together as we create bare to nothing without the above. what about Viduka (when fit, or Smith) as attacking midfielder, N’zogbia on left wing and Milner on right wing, Butt or Geremi in the defensive midfield role in front of the back 4, that would be an aggessive yet defensiveless solid midfield. With that Martins and Owen could play of the big attacking midfielder (ie Viduka or Smith) and use Amiobi as a sub if needed? The back 4 is not a problem because great defenders can play in any position alone the back row, and we have some great defenders, so play the defence of “Beye Cacapa Rozehnal Taylor” then put Enrique in when fit, then Taylor is available to play the other positions in case of injury or tiredness, dont you think?

  • nightfall

    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #4


    beye rozehnal cacapa enrique


    milner geremi n’zogbia

    ….martins viduka

    subs: harper, taylor, smith, emre, owen


    Sep 19, 2007 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #5

    My team for west ham:
    Beye Taylor Rozzy Enrique

    Milner Butt Geremi N’zogbia

    Martins Owen

    Subs: Harper, Cacapa, Smith, Viduka, Faye

  • milner fan

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #6


    Beye Roz Taylor the bull


    Milner Zog


    Owen Martins

    What do you think? thats my ideal set up

  • Jammy

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #7

    You talk of Habib Beye playing in the Champions League every season with Marseille, yet Marseille haven’t featured in the Champions League since 2003. Think you are making too many assumptions in the articles, which is a shame, as they are usually a good read.

  • Jammy

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #8

    And after getting my rant out of the way, my ideal first 11 when all fit would be.


    Beye Rozenhal Cacapa Enrique

    Milner Barton Butt N’Zogbia

    Owen Viduka

    Strong bench of Harper, Taylor, Emre, Duff, Martins

    I think Alan Smith brings nothing to the team apart from guaranteed yellow cards.

  • Rich

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #9

    My team for West Ham: Based on no Viduka, Enrique, Emre being fit.

    Beye Cacapa Taylor Rozenthal

    Milner Geremi Smith N’Zogbia

    Owen Martins Subs: Harper,Faye, Ameobi, Butt, Troisi

  • Hammy

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #10

    I hope we play with Martins and Owen up front as I think we’ll be shelling long balls in if either Duke or Shola Omygod plays…….it is pointless playing long high balls in this league, any decent centre half will nod them out all day.
    C’mon Sam…..surprise us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rich

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #11

    With everyone fit the team i would play:
    Beye Cacapa Rozenthal Enrique

    Milner Barton Emre N’Zogbia

    Owen Martins SUBS: Harper,Taylor,Duff, Geremi, Viduka

  • Hammy

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #12

    Looks good Rich……if Emre is in the right frame of mind.

  • valle

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #13

    I honestly cant beleive how many ppl gives tayls are cb position after his horror show against derby and after the strong play of both roz and cacapa this season… Well here is my pick


    Beye Roz Cacapa Enrique

    Milner Geremi Butt Zog

    Viduka Owen

    When all is fit, change Butt for Barton and Zog for Duff

  • Hammy

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #14

    Valle….I’d drop Tayls…this guy needs a reality check

  • Toon Chicken

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #15

    Whatever team we play, Ameobi must be kept as far away from the starting XI as possible.

  • col

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #16

    can someone email these comments to big sam, so as he realises that ameobi is clearly not the man for the job…..start with the two little ones and watch them go.

  • bennit3b

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #17

    can someone email these comments to big sam, so as he realises that ameobi is clearly not the man for the job…..start with the two little ones and watch them go.


  • Johann

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #18

    Beye Taylor Cacapa Enrique
    Martins Butt Zogbia Milner
    Smith Owen

  • Hammy

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #19

    My mate works at St James, if you send your comments to bigsam@thetoon.co.uk he’ll get them, just don’t say where you got the address from o.k………..

  • Toon Chicken

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #20

    You’re not mates with Darren are you Hammy? 😉

  • Cyprus Mag

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #21

    I can’t understand the anti Shola brigade. Ok he didn’t produce against Derby but who did? and how many chances has he had since he came back from his operation? Doesn’t anyone remember how well he played carrying a serious injury ,scoring goals which got Roeder the job.
    Why is it that local players rarely get the chance to settle in whereas costly imports can play weeks without delivering, viz Geremi?

  • Hammy

    Sep 19, 2007 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #22

    Toon Chicken..
    Couldn’t possibly divulge my sources my friend…..

  • maggpie

    Sep 19, 2007 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #23

    Sam can talk to Ameobi till the cows, pigs, sheep and goats come home but he’ll still be useless. Glad to see most don’t even have him in the sixteen. I wouldn’t even have him in the 16 with our current injuries.
    The only reason to keep him involved is so we can get some money for him in January, but we’ll be lucky to get anything.

  • maggpie

    Sep 19, 2007 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #24

    Cyprus Mag – I like many have been watching Ameobi for about six years now. he wasn’t just crap against Derby, he’s always crap. One goal every 5 games tells the story. Sure there’s been the odd half decent game, but if you give anybody 230 run outs you’ll eventually get a performance.
    He’s rubbish – sell him!

  • Toon Chicken

    Sep 19, 2007 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #25

    I used to fight Ameobi’s corner against all comers. I remember some extremely good performances for England U21’s – he once did a Cruyff turn against the Dutch before laying it on a plate for his strike partner to score – unbelievable but true.
    The thing is he’s almost 26 now, has played well over 200 times for the Toon and only scores once every 5 or 6 games, and contributes next to nothing by way of assists. Yes he’s had injuries, but so has everyone else. The sad fact is that he has made no progress at all since those U21 days – if anything he’s gone downhill.
    Come in Shola Ameobi, your time at the Toon is well and truly up!

  • ToonKing

    Sep 19, 2007 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #26

    @Ed : “Emre and Geremi are too alike and neither of them is very creative.” , come on mate, Geremi has no crativity and they are nothing alike.

    I would love it if Emre featured agaist the hammers.

    My lineup :



  • yemozone

    Sep 19, 2007 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #27

    Why did big sam buy Alan smith when we needed someone to replace dyer?

    my first 11 is

    beye cacapa rozzy enrique

    geremi barton milner

    owen martins

  • maggpie

    Sep 19, 2007 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #28

    Just looked up Ameobi’s stats and if you look at league games only they are even worse. He’s scored 28 goals in 166 league appearances. That’s one goal every six games and on that basis if he played all 38 league games in a season he’d end up with 6 goals.
    Not good enough.

  • Dave

    Sep 19, 2007 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #29


    Beye – Cacapa – Rozenhal – Enrique

    Milner – Barton – N’Zogbia

    Martins – Viduka – Owen

    Subs: Harper, Ameobi, Butt, Taylor, Faye, Duff

  • Hammy

    Sep 19, 2007 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #30

    Toonking…we got two Geremi’s???????

  • yemozone

    Sep 19, 2007 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #31

    I dont believe taylor is suppose to be in the the first 11 ,when we have players like rozzy & cacapa fit…………I also hope big sam will quickly replace harper with given

  • Mick G

    Sep 19, 2007 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #32

    Toon King I know Geremi likes to do every thing, ie. take corners(badly) freekicks,(just as bad), throw ins etc., but now you have him playing in two positions,blimey NUFC don’t half work their captains hard.

  • Canadian Mag

    Sep 19, 2007 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #33

    I watched the game on Monday night and Ameobi was shit as was most of the other players, with that said it just wasn’t there night. Zog must have had his trainers on, as he couldn’t stand up. And I’m a huge fan of Zog, not to mention the terrible service. Smith was also useless and I do not rate him. With that said my starting 11 would be:


    Beye, Cacapa, Roz, Geremi

    Milner, Butt, Zog

    Martins, Viduka, Owen

  • Ace

    Sep 19, 2007 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #34

    Heres my line up


    Beye Rozzy Cacapa Zoggy

    Milner Butt Emre


    Owen Martins

    Subs Given Viduka Taylor Geremi The Bull

    Let Shola watch a few games from the stands!!!

  • Ryan

    Sep 19, 2007 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #35

    Im sorry but i have to scratch my head everytime i see someone opy for Butt instead of Geremi as our holding midfielder. He’s past it and although he plays with his heart thats about all he offers. Martins must start, hes the type of player that when u give confidence to performs and i havent forgotten his debut goal came against the hammers and im sure he’d score against them again if given the chance.

  • Ed Harrison

    Sep 19, 2007 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #36

    ToonKing – that was my error – I meant Butt and Geremi are too alike – changed it – my mind is on the wane 😀
    Emre is very creative – pity he’s injured right now

  • Pete

    Sep 19, 2007 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #37

    Heres my line up
    Stephen Hawkins
    Po , Laa Laa , Dipsy , Tinky Winky
    Huey , Luey , Duey
    Zig & Zag.
    (Bunch of Losers)

  • Ed Harrison

    Sep 19, 2007 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #38

    My point was we’ll have to play one or the other (Butt or Geremi) in central midfield but never the two together. We also have Faye as a possible central midfielder but he’s defensive minded too.

  • Roadhog

    Sep 19, 2007 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #39

    I would save the Duke and Enrique for Tuesday if there is any doubt of the m being unfit for Sundays match.

    If Sam wants to stick with 4-3-3 I would go with the following

    …………… Harper……………..



    But my much preferred formation of 4-4-2 I would drop Smith back to midfield and give the Martins-Owen partnership a try. If Martins can drag defenders with his pace it should leave space for Owen to get in and score or vice-versa.

    Tuesday Night I would play

    …………… Given……………..

    ..Milner…Geremi.. Smith…Zog

    …..Martins….. Viduka…..

    I would rest owen, he didn’t look ‘match fit’ on Monday night and could do with a break. Plus I wouldn’t mind martins showing wenger what he has missed out on!

  • Joe

    Sep 19, 2007 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #40

    Team against West Ham, Presuming Viduka isn’t fit for sundays game:


    Beye Rozehnal Taylor Enrique

    Milner Butt Emre N’zogbia

    Martins Smith


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