Defense The Key For Newcastle at Manchester

If Newcastle could have hung on another 7 minutes and finished the 90 minutes against Arsenal on Tuesday night 0-0 the team would have been given more credit for the great defensive display Newcastle put up on the night.

But it wasn’t to be. It doesn’t however stop us from pointing out how great our defense played in the first half and even got Wenger’s approval after the match. That defensive performance will be needed for the full 90 minutes at Eastlands tomorrow.


Habib Beye – two solid defensive displays for Newcastle already

There’s no doubt that Sam can build a good and dogged defense and he’s almost already accomplished that at Newcastle. Beye has had an excellent first two games for the club and young Enrique also gave a good account of himself in Tuesday evening.

They will all have to be at their very best tomorrow against Manchester City who have had few problems this season and look so much better than last season. We expect our back line to be unchanged from last Tuesday night with Steve Harper returning in goal and it is our defense that holds the key for us tomorrow.

Sam said that today:

“That’s the ultimate to your success. The team that wins the league is the one with the most clean sheets, that will never change.”

“That’s all that really matters – if you can win and entertain, that’s even better. You will always be forgiven if you play poorly and win.”

If we can keep a clean sheet tomorrow then there’s always a chance we can get a win by sneaking a goal or two. Mark Viduka looked excellent last Sunday and Oba Martins is due a goal or two. But it’s the defense this season that can propell us into the top 6 by keeping the goals against to manageable proportions – which is most unlike recent seasons.

We are already pleased with the obvious improvements in defense having conceded just 5 goals in our first 6 games and we have a decent goal difference of 4 and we stand 5th in the league. You can participate in the discussion about tomorrow’s game on our Newcastle United Forum.

It would be nice to increase that goal difference by tomorrow night.

Comments welcome.

14 comments so far

  • aaron d

    Sep 28, 2007 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #1

    Yeah our defence looks good for a change, pleased with rozehnals performances could be signing of the season. Cacapa also looks pretty good. Got two strong full back that are good going forward and can also defend unlike(baba and carr). Taylor had a good game on tuesday too, organised the defence well, put in some tough tackles and so important blocks.

  • Dee

    Sep 28, 2007 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #2

    ” DefenCe “. Only because you get it wrong every time you write it.
    Taylor rocks.

  • Dingo

    Sep 28, 2007 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #3

    “You will always be forgiven if you play poorly and win.”….. true Sam but I dont like the fact you say it out loud. :[

  • Lamesley Mag

    Sep 28, 2007 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #4

    The defense looks good and with Gerami and Butt to support defense from midfield, improves probability of not conceding goals.

    Gerami and Butt are too much alike so maybe we’ll see Emre for part of City game to add creativity and score goals.

    Martins needs to find his goal scoring boots again and with a continuous run in the first team, expect him to explode over the next few games as he’s getting himself into goal scoring positions…….

  • Rich

    Sep 28, 2007 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #5

    Team against City i would play

    Beye Taylor Rozenthal Enrique

    Milner Geremi Smith N Zogbia

    Viduka Marins

    Subs: Harper, Faye, Emre, Butt, Troisi

    Bring on Emre in the seconf half for some creativity. I would start with Emre but think hel be lacking a bit of match fitness and his influence in the 2nd half could be invaluable. If Viduka’s not fit start with smith and Martins up front and butt in centre midfield.
    Prediction Man City 1 Newcastle 2 !!

  • Dalston

    Sep 28, 2007 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #6

    please don’t come out with 4-3-3 again…

  • Steve K

    Sep 28, 2007 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #7

    It’ll be an interesting contest against Sony Eriksson’s side. City will be the favourites, especially with our City of Manchester Stadium record.

    If we can grab a draw, we can go home smiling.

  • sirjasontoon

    Sep 28, 2007 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #8

    I am sick to the back teeth with this defence,defence,defence talk and sneaking a last gasp winner what the hell are we talking about?
    Clean sheets alone don’t win matches and goals do FACT.
    I am starting to get well hacked off with Sam all he talks about is clean sheets,defence this and that.. I would prefer to concede but score more rather than just defend for the 89 mins and try to sneak a winner.
    Obviously this new defending era we have entered into is not working properly look at the results and against very inferior teams.
    Arsenal reserves/children is a good example.. if you defend against quality footballing sides they will eventually wear you down,slice you open,pick you off and make you suffer.
    Seriously we will get nothing from the city game and everyone’s expetations are low enough already..we should be hammering teams like them.

  • iain

    Sep 28, 2007 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #9

    if ever there was a game i was in favour of us roughing up an oposition players id say they city game would be a good start. with elano the target stop him getting on the ball and passing and we could even win.

    the 433 formation should come into its own in this game with the holding mf player being key in sitting between our box and half way – in the space elano likes to play in.

    big advantage that bianchi is injured as he like elano links there team play very well despite not scoring loads.

    if we play like we did at derby we will get trashed though.

  • gordon

    Sep 28, 2007 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #10

    Funny big sam has been the only manager in a long time to get the basic back line right the defence gives you a platform to win games.And by the way how much have we spent in the transfer market 9M perhaps.

  • gordon

    Sep 28, 2007 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #11

    Hammering teams like man city what planet is that sentence off.

  • Tom_toon

    Sep 28, 2007 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #12

    Tbh with Man City’s signings i still dont see them as a good enough team to challenge for Europe.

  • Rich

    Sep 28, 2007 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #13

    I agree, they have bought a few good players but their strength in depth is not great a few more injuries to petrov, elano etc n they will be back to where they were last season. I think theyl fin 9th or 10th and we should be ahead of them.

  • Tripp

    Sep 29, 2007 at 3:27 AM

    Comment #14

    It’s not just City’s players, it’s their attitude. Last season they couldn’t be arsed to exert any effort. This season they’re playing with a lot more passion. Their depth might not be great, but tomorrow they’ve got Petrov and Elano. It’ll be a good test. If we want to be up at the top we’ve got to beat teams like City away as well as at SJP.


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