Pressure on Allardyce – Welcome to Newcastle

In a second successive performance in which Newcastle were pummeled for much of the second half, manager Sam Allardyce has made it clear it’s the team’s defensive performance that let the side down.

Newcastle did get the first goal and it was a tremendous effort from Oba Martins, who controlled the ball beautifully between the two static City central defenders, and then coolly lobbed it over the advancing Hart. A good start but unfortunately it didn’t last.

Let’s see what happened after Oba’s goal and what Big Sam had to say after the game.


Sam Allardyce – must get Newcastle’s defensive play improved – heard that before?

After conceding the first goal City began to attack more freely and before the break had leveled with a sloppy goal the defense gave away to Petrov. The Bulgarian doesn’t miss too many chances, especially when offered up on a plate, like this one was. The second half was much like Tuesday night at the Emirates, when the opposition raised their game, scored twice, and we couldn’t live with them.

Are we really fit enough? We seemed to drop off the pace in the second half, and certainly lack pace both in midfield and at the back.
Big Sam told after the game:

“We committed defensive suicide.” “All our defenders have to do is clear the ball back up the pitch for Mpenza’s goal and we just didn’t.” “After that, they contained us and played on the break, which was exactly what I had asked my players to do.”

“We got ourselves into a position to win the game thanks to Oba’s great goal and we could’ve won it if we had contained Man City.” “As it is their second goal less than two minutes after half-time has killed us because after that they have sat deep and made it hard for us.”

Newcastle will now need to improve on their away form following 3 successive away defeats, 6 goals conceded and only one scored.

Sam went on:

“Our away form has begun to slip a little.” “We won at Bolton on the first day of the season and then drew at Middlesbrough which was a game we should have won having led twice.”

“But then we lost at Derby, Arsenal and now Manchester City so we’ve got to put it right.”

Our next home game next Sunday against Everton is now going to be a bit of a crunch game. Having suffered these two successive defeats, during which we were outplayed and beaten by better sides in Arsenal and Man City, a win will be desperately needed and anything less than that will only bring more doom to Tyneside.

There’s no doubt Sam will be under some pressure this coming week – because we now have had two successive defeats so we must continue our good home form next Sunday. The next away game is at Reading on Saturday 27th October 3pm KO, but before that we have two home games. They are against Everton next Sunday, 7th October KO 3PM and then Tottenham on Monday 22nd October, KO 3pm.

Two wins and 6 points from these two home games will need to be the goal and a priority. Then we trust we can do a lot better at Reading, but they are always a tough team to play away.

Comments and opinions are always welcome.

57 comments so far

  • Pete

    Sep 29, 2007 at 8:42 PM

    Comment #1

    Not really pressure. As always we got our expectations up and have been brought back to reality.

    Do’t start heaping pressure on BS, we have a brand new squad, new coaches, new management team. It isn’t going to change over night.

    Expect a lot of ups and downs this year, when all the people at SJP start gelling then we have a platform to build on.

    The pressure is not on – i would take BS over roland rat anyday – who the hell could replace him (realistic targets, don’t start spouting Mourinho, Ramos etc).

  • Billy

    Sep 29, 2007 at 8:43 PM

    Comment #2

    wot the f*&(ck . the defending wos shit. we deserved to lose. for f*(&cks sake we need to get our heads on man. Why the f)(*&ck did he start butt instead of emre. he looked better than butt when he played only for 2 mins. butt shud be dropped for everton and bring emre in. luv ya toon lads

  • Pete

    Sep 29, 2007 at 8:45 PM

    Comment #3

    Reading are a bogey team for us imo

    Everton are the most underated team in the prem.

    Spurs are still ace, never mind what you have read in the press.

    We have not really played anyone decent yet this season, the next few teams could be the making or breaking of our season

  • dan

    Sep 29, 2007 at 8:46 PM

    Comment #4

    Crap result and alot of negatives from the performance – but lets not get on anyones backs! We have shown signs of improvement from last year, we just need to keep that up and we’ll get there eventually.

    I still think sam is doing a good job – i think he knows, just like us, what we are missing and what we need to do better.

  • Billy

    Sep 29, 2007 at 8:49 PM

    Comment #5

    im gettin sick ov butt tho nd taylor. whoever watched the match . remember wen they played a throo ball to ireland a think nd rozehnal just let it go for taylor to take it. that wos shit and the 1st goal beye wasnt even stiking wit his man he wos ball watchin

  • Billy

    Sep 29, 2007 at 8:50 PM

    Comment #6

    . whoever watched the match . remember wen they played a throo ball to ireland a think nd rozehnal just let it go for taylor to take it. that wos shit and the 1st goal beye wasnt even stiking wit his man he wos ball watchin

  • Pete

    Sep 29, 2007 at 8:52 PM

    Comment #7

    Billy – Learn how to write

  • Pete

    Sep 29, 2007 at 8:53 PM

    Comment #8

    We are still doing much better than last season – we need to give (an entire new club) a chance!

  • Ed Harrison

    Sep 29, 2007 at 8:56 PM

    Comment #9

    Pete – good comment – we’re still with Big Sam and think he’s going to do great still – and he told us to be patient and we are. Well as best we can – but you make good points. 😀
    Rome wasn’t built in a day.
    That always reminds me of Brian Clough saying after that – “but I wasn’t on that particular job”

  • Ed Harrison

    Sep 29, 2007 at 8:58 PM

    Comment #10

    To be fair the first half was great to watch and it was delicately balanced at the half – just like Tuesday – but our second half performances in both games were not good enough.
    Are we fit enough?

  • Jerry

    Sep 29, 2007 at 9:06 PM

    Comment #11

    Rome may not have been built in a day but Man City and Erikson seem to have built theirs in half a day!

    Mourihno won the PL in is first season and Benitez won the CL in his first season. Didnt they?

    I get the feeling Big Sam is just another overrated English Manager!

  • Yancey Freenote

    Sep 29, 2007 at 9:09 PM

    Comment #12

    I agree, it really is far too early to begin seriously questioning Fat Sam. After all, it has mainly been his efforts that have raised our expectations so high this early. That being said, there are perhaps some causes for concern. Enrique needs to start accustoming to the the left back position in the Prem, and considering how proud Sam sounded after he signed him, you would think he’d be starting him and unleashing Zog in midfield if he was still so confident of Jose’s abilities. There also seems to be a little hypocrisy creeping into Allardyce’s reign, as he seems to have a stubborn fixation with playing English players known only for their combative spirit, almost to the detriment of the squad. Alan Smith, still playing out of position no matter how hard he’s been trying, has frankly been an outsider in every match we’ve played this season. Nicky Butt has been nothing short of terrible, playing like he isn’t aware of how heavy his touch is and losing his temper near the end of every loss. Harper for Given has been a nod long time coming for our trusty number two, but Owen for Martins has to raise a few eyebrows, given the torrid form with which Martins began the season. Owen was magic for England, but despite a few glaring misses, Oba has still been our best striker this season. He wants to be here more than Owen, and deserves to play. I’d go on, but this post is already far too long and pretentious. Cheers.

  • Pete

    Sep 29, 2007 at 9:14 PM

    Comment #13


    Look at what Sven/Mourinho had to spend.

    Plus Man City look just as inconsistant as us.

  • Obafan

    Sep 29, 2007 at 9:50 PM

    Comment #14

    It’s normal that a club which is rebuilf needs time. I can completely understand that, but what I don’t understand are the stupid tactics BS is using. Midfield sucks and a few players all play out of their natural position (Smith, N’Zogbia) and that is just not going and it costs us expensive points. Those tactics have got nothing to do with rebuolding a new club. You just have to open your eyes and you can see it. But if you start time after time with the same squad in which some of the players do not fit then you can excpect those results.

    Hope we sort things out and EMre in the squad pleas and N’Zogbia in midfield please and leave Butt and Smith out of the team.

  • Alex

    Sep 29, 2007 at 9:53 PM

    Comment #15

    big Sam is not overrated you just have to look at what he did with Bolton.The trouble is the toon army have bigger expectatioms than bolton have, we are very quickly dissapionted, is Sam the right man for the job?only time will tell but i think he is, we will just have to learn to accept bad games every now and then .Todays was dreadful but sam will have learned a lot of things about his side today and i expect him to react.Ed harrison you ask a good question are we fit enough? beye does not look that fit.We all know about sams training methods maybe they are going to take longer to get the required results than expected.With the injuries clearing up things will get beter Emre ,owen, Barton and duff when fully fit will make a massive diffrence to the performances from this week.Howay the lads lets keep beliving

  • Pete

    Sep 29, 2007 at 10:16 PM

    Comment #16

    Will people please stop saying that sam is tactically inept.

    What midfield would you choose given the injuries?

    We have no LB, Zogs is the best choice.

    With Emre/Barton unfit our midfield is limited.

    He is playing smith out of position due to injuries. We all know he is better up front but he is still capable as an attacking mid fielder.

    We all like to play manager but given the squad we have, you can’t really blame sam

  • sean

    Sep 29, 2007 at 10:26 PM

    Comment #17

    Just remember thar ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY be paitient and the points will come, we need to wait until the team gels together, just be paitient and let everything sort itself out.

  • apan

    Sep 29, 2007 at 10:34 PM

    Comment #18

    To Jerry

    A perfect example of a fickled newcastle fan, u cant buy instant success, we are not chelski, manchester, liverpool, heck manchester city also spend 40 million pound in building their team while we spend only 10 million pound this season plus loads of players come and go, they played together for like leess than 2 months plus this is not even our first team yet (no barton, no owen, no cacapa, no duff, no playmaker) so expect some time for them to gel together, rome wasnt build in a day, true…..stick to that philosophy, u cant get instant success, prob with money u can but instant success prob means instant lost@ chelski? hurm…….this is the toon army that people will laugh upon, always put dreams ahead of reality……

    give BSA some support, at least we fared better than last season and im sure we wont be in the bottom half again, cheers

  • Dirk

    Sep 29, 2007 at 10:51 PM

    Comment #19

    wtf is all i can say weve still had the best start for years? n ppl r whining? most of u firstly were slaggin emre off! n now u want him in the team? no offence meant to emre hes1 of my favs bu very few here seem to understand the game well and really support newcastle, if every1 was then every1 should b behind the team not slaggin them off n changin there minds about players every 5 seconds. we need to b behind newcastle now more than ever! they need support n u lot seem to slag them more than anything. look at the facts man city hav had the best start for 30 yrs n hav won every home fixture so far, theyll run out of steam afta christmas and finish 8th at the end of the season, newcastle are top of injuries list missin a fair few vital players! barton duff owen cacapa all starters n remember given is jus comin back from injury fillin in for harper who has been the best keeper in the prem! dont listen to ne otha teams cos there defense does the work not the keeper (liverpool).
    best team all fit n hungry for win is;

    subs: Harper, Taylor, Martins, Emre, faye

    i still dont think geremi should b captain, i dont rate him 1 bit hes no leader hes good back up but no first teamer, same for butt i lik him but only in the first team for injuries.

  • Jerry

    Sep 29, 2007 at 11:14 PM

    Comment #20

    Pete must need his head examining!

    Alan Smith is so useless whether in midfield or attack that he should never have been bought in the first place!

    Enrique is fit! Why pay £6m for a specialist left back if you re not going to play him and will instead play an attacking midfielder out of position?

    Where is our creativity in midfield? If Joey Barton is to be our creative midfielder then God help us!

    Once again am starting to get the feeling Sam Allardyce wont take us anyway. He is likely to be shown up like Curbishley, Stuart Pearce, MacClaren and the rest of the overrated English Managers.

  • Jerry

    Sep 29, 2007 at 11:17 PM

    Comment #21

    Give Allardyce £40m to spend like Eriksson and he will buy 11 defenders!

  • Jerry

    Sep 29, 2007 at 11:19 PM

    Comment #22

    Apan we didnt spend £10m! You cant have it both ways. You say Man City spent £40m, have you deducted their outgoings from that figure?

  • hadrian

    Sep 29, 2007 at 11:35 PM

    Comment #23

    id say sams got a season at least , and even then he’d have to take us into a regulation battle i think for him to get the sack .
    we always understand a manager needs time to get his own squad together , trouble is with the toon , just when that’s looking like its happening , we sack the manager and end up back to square one again .
    thats why we expect a bit more aswell .
    were always being told ‘just a couple seasons to get sorted first’ , which is fine as long as they get the time to use the squads they built .
    its been downhill since they sacked bobby , i had high hopes for that season aswell.

    what i reckon will put sam under the most pressure is this long ball malarkey .
    everyones right , we demand attacking football , i thought i could live without it but i cant .

    who would have rather had sven now then ?

  • Pete

    Sep 29, 2007 at 11:47 PM

    Comment #24

    ffs Jerry,

    Alan Smith is a great player, a current England international ffs. Sam has said he is the utility player (every club needs one), he gets played out of position but still manages to give his all every match.

    Enrique may be fit but he is still learning about the premiership, if sam did as you suggested and through him in, he would be running around like a headless chicken and you would be whining about what a bad buy he was. Man Utd paid x amount for Anderson, yet they do not play him. Why is that? Maybe he is one for the future?

    We have plenty of creativity in midfield until January. Milner/Duff/Emre/Barton/Smith

    Nice to see that you have come to that conclusion after seven f*&*&g games and the best start we have had in a while. The current squad hasn’t been together for two months yet. We have an entirely new management and owner, we have a ton of new backroom staff.

    Jerry, stop talking out of your arse

  • ToonKing

    Sep 30, 2007 at 12:28 AM

    Comment #25

    If one more person says Smith is worthless i’m gonna go mental >O !!

    He is a great player to have, wherever u put him he will play and do it probably better then a lot of specialists. He was great today, period.

    The one guy i have the problem with is Butt, and lately Geremi.
    Butt always was crap, but lately Geremi is showing crapness too.

    If Sam insists on the 4-3-3 then i say drop Butt and Geremi and play
    Emre Barton Smith in midfield, with the captain being Barton or Smith.That is a midfield that can cope with 4-3-3 not Butt Geremi Smith.

    I really hope Emre will be given a start against Everton, and Barton will get at least 30′ too.


  • Jamie

    Sep 30, 2007 at 12:35 AM

    Comment #26

    My feelings are that we need to start playing 442. I mean this 451 we are playing at present is just not working, we do not have enough pace in the team to hit on the break to play 451, plus how can you not play Oba up front off the last man?

    Im thinking back to days of 95-96 season of Ginola (Nzogbia) Ferdinand (Viduka) Shearer (Martins – obeit totally different striker, but shearer had a bit of pace then) Gillespie (Milner) Lee (Butt / Barton / Emre) Batty (Smith / Butt / Geremi). We were beating Man Utd 5-0, going away from home beating leeds 0-3. We have the same potential to bring this back to the toon, but only if we play the players in correct positions and 442. Yeah players are getting gelled and some are injured, but we can only IMPROVE, so just think once we sort this formation and players playing in correct positions, how exciting it will be and hopefully to watch. Best form of defense is attack (within reason). 451 sucks.

  • Rocky

    Sep 30, 2007 at 3:52 AM

    Comment #27

    Well said Jamie

  • joe

    Sep 30, 2007 at 5:05 AM

    Comment #28

    Jerry just what is yr problem with sam?? If u say we played TOTAL crap football yesterday u really need yr eyes checked bro. I agree with what yr sayin that we’re lacking in creativity but at least we’re actually passing the ball well instead of hitting the long ball to oba under GR last year.

    Plus, sam’s line up IS dictated by injuries and lack of match fitness or some players still adapting and understanding the EPL. For shits sake u CANT play enrique every game hes only what! 21? He doesnt speak english, he’s new in this league so he WILL make errors. Knowing the geordie public they are gonna start slagging him off and this will really dent his confidence so YES, bsa is doing a good job of protecting him and bringing him in gradually imo. And about emre, fair enough he should have come on earlier, but many of you were calling for him to be brought into the starting line up but hes just returning from injury dammit. What if he gets injured again? You guys gonna start calling him shite again?

    I think bsa knows what exactly are the problem in his team better than many of u so can u please start getting behind him for once! He will bring much needed creativity into the team come january and i trust we will qualify for europe come the end of the season. So yeah sams the man for now imo until we lose to derby at home then yeah i think id start calling for his head. 😀

  • w2

    Sep 30, 2007 at 6:40 AM

    Comment #29

    I think big sam didn’t do much homework on the opposing players. by the way we played no one kept check on elano and petrov.. if we knew petrov had pace we wouldn’t have been put in that sort of position. we wouldn’t have comitted all 3 midfield forward, no one was doing the scott parker job yesterday! that’s so sad. i would’ve made that tackle if i was taylor and if i was nzogbia ireland wouldn’t have made that cross, cause my first insticnt was to block anything coming in. Big Sam you’re at fault today you took much praise from sven and you got outwit by him

  • Tripp

    Sep 30, 2007 at 6:41 AM

    Comment #30


    x = £17M.

  • Callum

    Sep 30, 2007 at 6:57 AM

    Comment #31

    Allerdyce under pressure? Dont make me laugh.

    Hes been in control for 8 games and has had 20 players come and go in his 4 months of being in charge, what Newcastle need is stability and by saying ‘Allerdyce is crap’ or ‘Allerdyce needs to be sacked’ after 8 games into a season, which despite these 2 losses in the league is still our best start to a season since Sir Bobby so maybe those calling for his head should think about that. 🙂

    Allerdyce should be given 3 years, yes i know thats along time but its the minimum a manager should be given to prove himself and by the way Allerdyce has started the season i can see an improvement already, Ok our defence is still a bit woeful but you have to remember they’re entirely new players and have never played together before, give them atleast 15-20 games to gel and then you’ll start to see just how good this defence will be.

    As for midfield, all that is needed is Zog on the left wing and Barton to return, dropping Butt and either Geremi/Smith to make way for those (with enrique going left back)

    Strikers, we dont have a problem Martins proved again yesterday that he is a class striker, or atleast will be once he gets some composure, atleast his first touch seems to have improved. Viduka is class on his day and theres no need to talk about Owen as hes a proven striker. Sell Ameobi.

  • Callum

    Sep 30, 2007 at 6:59 AM

    Comment #32

    Oh one more thing, some people need to realise Newcastle arent as good as they think they are or atleast as good as they were when Keegan and Sir Bobby were around, not yet anyway but Allerdyce will return those good days im sure, just not this season. 🙂

  • Cyprus Mag

    Sep 30, 2007 at 7:50 AM

    Comment #33

    I’m not sure I agree about how good a start we’ve had. By Monday we will probably be 10th, I haven’t checked back but it doesn’t seem that spectacular.

  • Ed Harrison

    Sep 30, 2007 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #34

    Cypris Mag -f you look at the table in STATS how are we doing – we’re doing a bit better then both the last two seasons – not great but certainly not too bad – we hope we’re going to get better but we’ve had 2 games where we were beaten by better sides – but we should take the poorer side apart.
    Like Derby 😀
    But we played terrible there sop the next time we play a bottom 5 side – home or away – it’s just got to be 3 points.

  • geordiejordan

    Sep 30, 2007 at 8:32 AM

    Comment #35

    calm down everybody! let’s all agree on the fact that sinead is annoying.

  • Craig Allen

    Sep 30, 2007 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #36

    Ed, do you have a link to the goals?

    I think Roz is missing Cacapa at the mo tbh. Taylor’s got a long future ahead and at the mo is no Cacapa and Roz was spoilt to have the brazillian at his side the two worked so well together. With Tayls coming in, a bit rusty though not playing regularly, a new combination was always going to be tested by Sony’s men. For illustrative purposes I’ll call that Plan A. They seemed to have targeted Tayls for that reason. Beye looked good and seemed to hold his own on the right – although what’s exciting is that Beye WILL still get better as he’s not playing yet to his full potential.- Sony must’ve watched Beye closely and probably looked at him possibly running out of steam as a possible area to exploit (Plan B) Zog, well .. is Zog. The second best midfielder according to Actim starting at LB. Zog plays well at LB and does take teams by surprise when pushing up as he knows he’s way around midfield. Let’s call the counter on Zog – Plan C.
    If we had a better LM than Zog, and no dedicated LB or no match fit LB then I’m happy with Zog at LB. He did leave the space for Ireland to exploit as they targeted Zog’s pushing up – and succeeded there -goal. (Plan C)
    Petrov out sprinting Tayls was my reality check. Maybe I didn’t pay too close attention before but I must’ve assumed that because he’s young, he’d be pacey. To be fair, Tayls was covering for Beye, who had pushed up leaving the youngster at RB – goal. (Plan B with a dash of Plan A)
    Tayls did have that dodgy clearance header giving mpenza that space. In his defence, he did nullify a few attacks and was constantly harassed by petrov – the youngster boxed a bit above his weight.
    Then there was 3 going for the same ball (lapse of comm/leadership for that moment in defence)
    Petrov, Ireland and Elano were outstanding for Sony. All 3 of them midfielders.

  • david

    Sep 30, 2007 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #37

    Comparison of NU and MC in the league this season:

    NU home: W2 D1 L0
    MC home: W4 D0 L0

    NU away: W1 D1 L2
    MC away: W1 D1 L2

    Is there really that much difference? Are City’s fans calling for SGE to be sacked?

    True NU were deservedly beaten by MC yesterday, but MC had home advantage.

  • Steve

    Sep 30, 2007 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #38

    @jerry – you’re right BSA spend significantly more than 10 million, really f@cks me off that people forget that he also spend all the money we got off outgoing players + 10 million

  • Graeme

    Sep 30, 2007 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #39

    Steve, his NETT spending was £10 million ie what he spent less what he brought in. For that NETT outlay, we have a pretty damn good squad to work with.

  • Jamie

    Sep 30, 2007 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #40

    I think we have just gota be patient, we will get Emre, Barton and Duff back match fit, we will have Enrique and Capaca experienced and playing week in week out. Lets hope that the season up to January we keep within 10 points or so of 4th place, maybe bring in a new face in January and push for a top 7 finish or better. Things take time and mistakes will happen which we can learn from.

    We got beaten 3-1 yesterday, if we had been beaten 2-1 we could have said we were unlucky and we were an even match for man city, but Elano scores a screamer free kick and everyone is suddenly down in the dumps cause the final score was 3-1, who cares hes scored a set piece!! Also Man City have their full strength side out there with players playing in their rightful positions, who knows if we had Capaca, Barton, Owen fit, Zogs playing left mid, Milner right.

    We have a great squad, lets look forward and not back.


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