Final Reflections on the Newcastle West Ham Game

Lots of good things came out of yesterday’s game against an in-form West Ham United team to please Sam Allardcye, the Newcastle manager.

Newcastle’s defense, by West Ham manager Alan Curbishley’s own admission, was much stronger than West Ham’s and that was the difference in the teams according to Alan. It’s not often you hear a statement like that about our defense – certainly not in the past. It’s certainly true that apart from a couple of scares the home defense looked particularly solid yesterday and they should only get better as they get more familiar with the Premiership.

Here are some of our observations on the game.


  • The first thing that was noticeable is not one player had a let down yesterday and every player, including the subs, played well and up to standard. While the team never hit the heights it was a good, well organized and professional performance. An excellent team display from the lads. One that was sorely needed after Monday night – but we need to give credit where it is due. Well done Sam and well done the players.
  • Beye had a solid game at right back. Although he seemed to run out of gas late in the game after making several runs down the right he looked what he is – a good and experienced player well suited to the Premier League. He made one great run in the first half when he went around two defenders but his cross was floated just too high. Sam made a point of saying Habib was short of breath near the end and needed some oxygen on the touchline. We certainly wouldn’t want to be Habib at Sam’s next training session 😀
  • When Jose Enrique came on with 20 minutes to go the reshuffled Newcastle team seemed to click well. Even Sam noticed how the team immediately clicked and played more smoothly. They certainly picked it up a notch to ensure the victory. N’Zogbia is just too dangerous to play left back and he had two assists and his 3rd goal yesterday in another tremendous performance from the young Frenchman. N’Zogbia and Milner on the wings, will scare lots of defenses with their penetration, skill and energy
  • The back four of Beye Cacapa Rozehnal and Enrique finally got to play together. We think this combination may turn out to be our best back four but of course we have young Steven Taylor, who will push for a place in any position across the back line. It was good to Steven smiling a lot in the dug-out to allay the fears that he is unhappy at the club – which we think is all paper talk. Newcastle is going places under Big Sam and Steven knows that – and wants to be part of it.
  • It’s only one game – just like the Derby game – and we have to aim for consistency this season. Our next test is a big one at the Emirates tomorrow night. While Arsene Wenger will play his youngsters, it will still be a massive test for us. Looks like we’ll be without Cacapa and Owen but Sam has plenty of cover to bring in and we expect Beye, Enrique, Given and Faye to get full games tomorrow night.
  • Finally, it was good to see Alan Smith have a solid game. He is a player’s player and he certainly got stuck in yesterday and had a good game and no yellow card. Alan looked particularly good when he joined Martins up front during the last 20 minutes. He held the ball up superbly for Newcastle’s 3rd goal, which was brilliantly worked.

Comments welcome.

23 comments so far

  • Pete

    Sep 24, 2007 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #1

    1. Milner on the right, Zogs on the left is a must – if one of these gets injured we have had it, Duff is the only other winger we have.

    2. Harper made a few good saves (but nearly costed us a goal with a bad pass early on).

    3. When we play we are good, but there was a large part of the game where we didn’t.

    4. Martins is better than Owen.

    5. I am still unsure on Rosenhal.

    6. Beye was ace until he got knackered.

    7. It’s about bluddy time we got some more goals at SJP

  • Pete

    Sep 24, 2007 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #2

    Probable Arsenal Lineup:


    Geremi, Taylor, Rosenhal, Enrique



    Beye was knackered, Enrique might get his first start since it is just the carling cup.

  • Toon Chicken

    Sep 24, 2007 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #3

    I know it’s early days, but does anyone else think that Charles N’Zogbia is on course for the Premier League’s Young Player of the Year Award?

    So long as he moves into midfield permanently that is.

    Who needs Damien Duff?

  • MattyDread

    Sep 24, 2007 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #4

    Who is Damien Duff??

  • Toon Chicken

    Sep 24, 2007 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #5


  • Big Sam Fan

    Sep 24, 2007 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #6

    Dont understand whtas happened..week ago i thought we deserved to be relegated and now im eyeing a champions league spot..i know its early days but i cant stop myslef getting excited. at times we didnt look great but that shows how good we are. playing avergae football and coming out 3-1 winners agaisnt west ham is awesome. Imagine if we play like we did in the last half an hour from here on end. we will definatly be up there. Huge credit to everyone at the toon. Still dont like Butt though!! HOWAY THE LADS!!

  • Hammy

    Sep 24, 2007 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #7

    “Can’t get enough of that wonderful Duff”

    beer that is……..Homer Simpson season 7 “The Simpsons”

  • Rich

    Sep 24, 2007 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #8

    still think getting Duff will be a massive boost to us when he returns, in Jan tho need another right winger as much as a like milner we need competition for that RM place and dont think hes consistently good enough yet.

  • Ed Harrison

    Sep 24, 2007 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #9

    Pete – some good points – we thought it was funny when Beye was out of breath in the second half – looked like Sam was asking Beye if he was OK before he brought Taylor on for Cacapa – it was funny – welcome to the Premiership Habib 😀

  • King of Sing

    Sep 24, 2007 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #10

    Zoggy’s currently =4th highest scorer in the EPL with Fernando Torres and a bunch of others none of who play left back. So maybe he is. Anyone know the age limit?

  • valle

    Sep 24, 2007 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #11

    To to honest, we dont play that well in our build ups and attack. But its early days with new tacs and formation and almost a completly new starting 11… The thing is that even tho we dont play well, we still seem to grind out results and thats a great positive, and i agree that our defense looks great, and imo its only bettered by chelsea’s if u compare player for player.

  • smudger

    Sep 24, 2007 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #12

    We look so much better playing 4-4-2. I hope Sam realises with Zog and Milner as wingers we are going to score against anyone. With a defence that is finally starting to look the part and Barton sitting in the middle alongside one of our other midfielders (geremi, butt, faye, smith) we should have a good season. I thought Milner’s off the ball running was fantastic yesterday. He covered so much ground. He is great support for the right-back, unlike smith who (not his fault) will never make a right-sided midfielder. I still think we need right wing cover and another good central midfielder (possibly Deco) as we don’t create enough through the middle.

  • John

    Sep 24, 2007 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #13

    Landlord – a pint, please, of whatever Pete has been drinking.

    “5. I am still unsure on Rosenhal”

    The only thing I am unsure of is where Rozenhal is concerned is whether he is the best defender I have seen at SJP (who was playing in black and white).

  • Viktor Laszlo

    Sep 24, 2007 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #14

    “The only thing I am unsure of is where Rozenhal is concerned is whether he is the best defender I have seen at SJP (who was playing in black and white).”

    You speak the truth, John. It’s only a matter of time when he also starts scoring – he’s already shown he can position himself dangerously, and I predict four goals from him this season.

    He’s also pretty solid and imposing.

  • yemozone

    Sep 24, 2007 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #15

    I just want to praise our back 4 ,they where fantastic.It has been a long that i hav been confidence about our defence.

    Enrique will do very well if BSA shld start using him now.

    BSA shld try this formation on tuesday vs arsenal




    viduka/smith ,martins

  • Pete

    Sep 24, 2007 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #16


    There have been number of little mistakes that he has made – granted they have not been pounced on by the opposition but he still hasn’t convinced me.
    e.g. He turned his back on the shot from West Ham which subsquently went into the net.

    As to him being the best ever at SJP – Albert !!!

  • Rob kirton

    Sep 24, 2007 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #17

    Yesterday’s game proved a couple of things to me

    a) Rozehnal and Cacapa are turning into a fine partnership, though do need a bit more exposure to the type of English centre forward they faced yesterday. Ashton and Cole won a lot in the air and roughed them up a bit. Luckily the two west ham guys were destined to flick the ball onto Mr Nobody. I wouldn’t have liked to have seen what would have happened if Bellamy had been feeding on the scraps, as inconsistent a goal scorer as he is. Maybe Alan Shearer could be deployed a little in training sessions for the two new centre halves :0)

    b) Smith can only really do a job up front; and although not a prolific goalscorer should now relegate Shola to fifth choice up front.

    Pete: Yes I also thought Rozehnal should have been more brave in charging down Aston’s shot. I know that Taylor would have been. Mind you when it comes best ever centre half, as much as I liked Albert, what ever happened to Woodgate or Moncur ?

    ED: I laughed at Beye myself. I though he was going to call for an oxygen tent at one point; having said that he hung on well to the end.

    On a general point, so much that happens early season sows the seeds for the remainder. Although there are often teams that rise dramatically from the bottom and others that plummet from the top during the course of the year, these tend to be the exceptions. The table tends to shape up quite quickly. A 1-0 win at derby as oppossed to defeat, would have seen us 2nd with a game in hand on the two teams directly below !!! – Food for thought (the season already 1/6th complete). I realise that we haven’t played “the big 4” yet, however it is amazing how close those games actually become when you’re both fighting over the same turf; previous seasons have shown how being at or near the top makes the world seem a different place when your playing those teams.

  • leo

    Sep 24, 2007 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #18

    rozehnal … is awesome, have his name on all 3 of my newcastle shirts for this season, think he is building up to being one of our best ever defenders, he stated that when he signed that he wants to build his strength physically because that is what he believes he lacks, and obviously he is right….

  • PK-Norway

    Sep 24, 2007 at 9:33 PM

    Comment #19

    people …listen,u all know when duff is on form he is one of the best wingers in Premier League.But i agree i want Zogbia on the left,under Big Sam he really show this “energy” to win…if evry Newcastle player play like him on Match Days Champions League next year for us.And Viduka…at the start i was in doubt…Aston Villa match he wasnt running..he looked like his weight was 150kg..but against hammers he showed us his Sscoring skills..and i loved the first goal.And Zogbia..if he continues i think he gets Young player award..but its early in the season so…

    And ofc..when we play players in their strongest position we play better..just wait and see when Owen,Barton,Duff is back..then we have lot of combinations:D…and the defence look stronger than ever..Rozenahl its the best defender i have seen running on SJP for a looong time..and he will only get better when he is being well used to Premier League..looking forward to Arsenal game..Newcastle FOREVER!

  • Elliott

    Sep 24, 2007 at 10:07 PM

    Comment #20

    I’d say Cacapa looks good against tricky players, players coming at him etc but is weak in the air. Against bigger strikers I’d pair the Roz with Taylor who, lest we forget, played Drogba off the park last season. Can’t see Claudio doing that.

  • Hadji

    Sep 25, 2007 at 12:15 AM

    Comment #21

    Pk-Norway….I also think about N’Zogbia for the award of the best young player of the season considering the fact that so far he played on his secondary position,and look what he did so far.
    Can you imagine him on his primary position.

  • Lamesley Mag

    Sep 25, 2007 at 3:46 AM

    Comment #22

    Roz looks a good player although he appears to lack physical presance at times. However, at 6’3″ and further mentoring under BSA he’s going to be a Newcastle United success…….

  • PK-Norway

    Sep 25, 2007 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #23

    Agree Hadji,Zogbia is our best player right now,and with his creativity and enrgy,he can soon become PL best Young player..i am so really looking forward to that day we can play our best team:D..agree with one more thing with u Hadji..Newcastle TILL I DIE!


You must log in to post a comment.