Sam Slams Slack Newcastle Defending

Sam Allardyce blamed the defensive qualities of Newcastle today for the defeat, and is wasn’t just the back four who came in for criticism.

He also assigned responsibility for our poor defending to our midfield and even forwards – because they didn’t get the defensive job done today.

We agree with that.


Sam Allardyce – blasts Newcastle’s defending against Man City as not good enough

Sam called the second goal defensive suicide and we have to think he was not too happy with Steven Taylor’s defending for that goal – but it was a terrible time to concede a goal a minute or so after the restart – and goals change games as we all know only too well.

He also points out that we need some of our injured players back and that Claudio Cacapa has to be near full fitness but failed a fitness test just before the game. We feel sure that Caçapa will be back in the side for next Sunday’s game against Everton at St. James’ Park. It’s a relief to hear what Sam thinks went wrong – and it was the defense – because quite honestly we didn’t think we’d concede 3 goals too many times this season. Bur we looked so vulnerable defensively today.

But there’s good news on Michael Owen – and it looks like he”s almost ready because not much damage was found in either of the two procedures Dr. Muschaweck carried out yesterday and today.

But it’s more like defensive reinforcements that we needed today – not attacking reinforcements. We fully expect the defense got a blast from Sam after the game – and it was deserved. But we suppose it’s all part of the learning curve – but Sam will take some stick for this defeat – it was very disappointing for our fans.

But we do have to be as patient as we can – but as you know it’s not easy.

Here’s an audio of what Sam said after the game today – click on the green MP3 box.

19 comments so far

  • Jonny

    Sep 29, 2007 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #1

    N’Zogbia needs to play further forward he is wasted at left back yet Big sam still plays him there even though he spent 6 million on Enrique. Milner should also play right wing as part of a 442 formation. Given is no 1. Carr is shite and so is Ameobi. We need Barton fit desperatly. I cannot wait for Nicky Butt to leave cause he is also shite but still playing in first team.

  • iain

    Sep 29, 2007 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #2

    as good as city were all there goals were gifts from our shoddy defending they just had the quality to punish us. quality they had the luxury of paying top £ for in the summer, wonder how good we would be if sam had been allowed 50m quid to spend ???

    taylor/butt/beye were the worst offenders imo today. taylor was at his worst today putting in rash challenges yet the one time we needed him to take a booking for the team he didnt try and stop petrov when he had caught up with him. beye looked like he was being chained back from blocking crosses 10 yards is too much space to give a player like petrov, even funnier becuase he must of won every 50/50 challenge easily, so why he stood off so much when city were on the ball is odd.

    thats about as well as weve passed the ball this season i thought, but it still breaks down often at key times, most often when butt gets the ball.

    if nicky butt carries on playing with barton/emre fit and ready then sam needs his head checking.

    smith was MOM today imo easily his best performance for us so far, actually showed he can pass the ball for once.

    the bigegst mistake was not stopping elano, i know its harder than it loks but we didnt seem to have any sort of special tactics aimed at stopping the one player that makes city the team they are.

  • Alex

    Sep 29, 2007 at 7:18 PM

    Comment #3

    The biggest reason we were so poor today was the formation we played. The midfield was none existent today 433 just is not working with this set of players 442 would. Butt and Geremi are technicaly not that gifted.They are strong players and have true battling qualities and smith is a striker not a midfielder.Put them all in the midfield together then you have no creative impulse.This also puts the defence under pressure because you have no passers who can move the ball around and play thier way out of trouble.Geremi should be moved into defence he played most of his games for chelsea in defence and he was good.Barton when fit can replace him in the middle and Emre to replace smith. big Sam has to realise that 433 is not the way to go with this team.

  • Jóhann

    Sep 29, 2007 at 7:23 PM

    Comment #4

    Let´s get something straight. We change keeper and we lose two games. N´Zogbia was playing at left back in our last league game but somehow played a lot better. The defense was everywhere. You say Taylor had a bad game? Look at the rest of the players defending!

    That second goal I would never consider his fault. Why the hell was that defense suddenly just everywhere? Man.City hasn´t been opening teams up at all ! Given made two absoloutly fantastic saves credit to him. But what more did he do?

    Though it may seem unfair to blame it on him but the defense just lost all their stability. That second goal was purely N´Zogbia being careless. How the hell was Taylor ever going to get near Petrov with that speed? Taylor never lost the ball, never touched it. Then Petrov comes to the byline what the hell does roz do? Taylor has it covered and Roz goes away from his man.

    More over Given stands just on his line. It is SOOOO annoying that Given is so scared coming out of the goal. There was only one place Petrov was going to pass, he couldn´t shoot from where he was, still Given just stuck to his line. So yes I write that goal a lot on him. He makes his wonderful saves but most of you only see that. Does any Given fan remember the mistake that nearly cost us in the beginning of the game? 🙂

    Well then for the third goal. The player shot in the goalie corner. It is always the keepers fault when a player scores from that. He walked in a straight line at the ball but still Given steps in the other way. It went to the corner and was fast and all that but Given should have just stood there and tipped it over. That freekick was not that near anyways.

    And that midfield we have, oh my god, are there other words for that? Geremy absoloutly sucks(i´m not being harsh, finally contributated something with an assist in this game). Butt is okay, best of the rest at least. Smith? He should be our fourth forward. Especially given how good he is combining with viduka.

    Waiting for your heroic defense of Given Sinead

  • Steve

    Sep 29, 2007 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #5

    Poor excuses from BSA – not sure who out of the injured would be automatic choice – maybe Cacapa but I reckon Martins is more than an able substitute for Owen, Sam needs to sort out the formation and the midfield – Butt, Geremi can’t play together and Smith is a waste of space. there is absolutely no pace in our defence or central midfield
    Whats the point of spending 6 million on the bull and then not playing him, surely he’s fit by now and he’s never going to acclimatise to prem football by coming on for last 15 mins

    @Ed – you should run that survey on where we’ll finish the season again, bet the results will be different, reckon we’ll finish 10th – 12th
    still thats still improvement on last season, just not the improvement I was hoping for 🙁

  • Pete

    Sep 29, 2007 at 8:23 PM

    Comment #6

    I actully thought Smith was one of our better players

  • Obafan

    Sep 29, 2007 at 8:35 PM

    Comment #7

    Maybe our defence wasn’t goo today, but what kind of choices does BS make. I’m starting to doubt if he’s capable of doing the job for us. Not because of the results, which are not good at all the last couple of games, but because of the stupid tactical decisions he makes.

    1. Midfield isn’t creative at all and they all have the same skills, breaking an attack. But when they are breaking an attack they need too much faults, which results in dangerous situations which we can’t handle at the moment. Butt, SMith and Geremi are not a godd formation and that is already known for quite a period, but still BS plays them all together. I can’t imagine that he isn’t seeing that it doesn’t work.
    CHANGE THE POSITIONS IN MIDFIELD ASAP. Germi on the right wing (fantastic player overthere; Butt to the reserves, Smith upfront with Oba, Millner on the left wing and). New midfield:GEREMI – FAYE – EMRE – N’ZOGBIA (if Barton gets back, then in the position of Faye).

    2. The substitutions BS makes are way too late to change the game. I don’t understand it at all.

    3. Enrique must be 100% match fit otherwise he would not be on the bench, so put him on the LB position please. I think it’s norma that N’Zogbia makes mistakes which costs us goals, cause he is no LB.

    4. Then Given then Harper; for christ sake choose the number 1 and speak out your confidence in the goalie which you choose (directed to BS). I know in Anderlehct (Belgium) they had 2 seasons ago the problem between Zitka and Proto. The manager played every game with another keeper and they both were that nervous hey never reached their normal level. I see things hapenning the same at NUFC, Given was good today, but I read he also had a couple of bad touches, which is normal if you’re not given 100% confidence.

    If we want to get a run of games which we have to win to have a good season and a battle for UEFA, then it is time that our team gels together and starts to show us that they all want the same at NUFC and that is be succesfull.

    I still think if Cacapa would have been in the squad we would not have conceeded 3 goals, cause he simply is our best defender.

    Beye: don’t rate too hard on him; he needs time to know the EPL and in a team which is not having a good run it is never easy.

    Taylor makes mistake after mistake. If he doens’t change his attitude then sell him, because he thinks he is the leader in the defence, but he isn’t. He needs to listen and learn from Roz and Cacapa and then he has chances of being a leader, but now he is just average (a Ramage type IMO).

    Roz good, and he needs Cacapa next to him, because those 2 really gel together.

    Enrique hasn’t got a chance to prove his talent. Why not, only BS knows that.

  • Pete

    Sep 29, 2007 at 8:51 PM

    Comment #8

    1) I agree that the midfield needs sorting but, Geremi is not a right winger, Milner is too narrow on the left, Butt has been one of our better players (today aside). We are carrying a lot of injuries in midfield so Sam is limited to what he has to work with. Enrique is still not 100% ready so Zog is the best choice at LB.

    2) Agreed. Emre 87th WTF!?!

    3) Correct about Zogs – Enrique is still adapting to the premiership and is not 100%

    4) We have two top class keepers, play the best in form

    Sell Taylor? WTF!

  • Obafan

    Sep 29, 2007 at 9:44 PM

    Comment #9

    If Taylor doesn’t change his attitude then I think it’s better to sell him. He thinks he is the leader but in fact he needs to learn much more to become of a player of a good level in the EPL. He needs to learn from Roz and especially from Cacapa. In the past he was perhaps the best defender we had, but let’s be honnest, a defence with Moore, Ramage, Bramble, Bernard, Babayaro and Carr was not a defence with quality.

    I just want to make the point that with all the stories around Taylor, things needs to be sorted out as quick as possible cause it isn’t doing any good to the player and to the club.

  • apan

    Sep 29, 2007 at 10:37 PM

    Comment #10

    beye needs time to adapt, enrique too…… give this lads some time, we need cacapa!

    i laugh my ass off when we change our captain armband twice? wat the hell

  • Sinead

    Sep 30, 2007 at 12:43 AM

    Comment #11

    Jóhann why do you hate him so much, you criticse him every chance you get. Given made a string of class saves tonight, and ya fine I’ll admit that he made one or two mistakes but when you don’t play competitve premiership football in like more then 2 months or however long it was you tend to be a little rusty, he like Martins need time. Which you’re obviously not willing to give. Harper, all credit to him like he’s done well but Given is alot better, and I don’t know why you can’t see that, why do you hate him so much, like I actually say you wanted him to mess up today are you even a Newcastle fan like?? What did he ever do to you..stand ya up?? Christ like talk about being bitter.

  • Sinead

    Sep 30, 2007 at 12:49 AM

    Comment #12

    Oh and Johann..I’d like to see you do any better, hell I don’t think many could have.

    “It is SOOOO annoying that Given is so scared coming out of the goal”..

    a) he came out to smother the Ireland attempt which was really good and
    b) if this is true, which I don’t think it is..can ya blame him..West Ham ring a bell.

    We change keeper and we lose two games..ya this is what happens when you play better teams..ya tend to loose, sparing a lot of luck.

  • Jóhann

    Sep 30, 2007 at 1:59 AM

    Comment #13

    Some part of me wanted that because of the circumstances which led to him being in goal but I of course and always want the newcastle win more badly so that hopefully answers your question. When he smothered that Ireland attempt I think any keeper would have done that and saved. To be honest it was straight at him and you know it. I know he comes out for that, but I´m meaning more of areal things when it comes to coming out of goal. He´s scared of death to do that. I don´t want that kind of a keeper. Harper is a little scared of that also. And if you don´t know the keeper I´d most want Nufc to have starting all games is Krul. He certainly has the ability and isn´t a keeper that makes mistakes because of pressure, at least I don´t believe so. It mightn´t be untill we get a “big” keeper that we´ll start winning things. I´m trying to remember a team that has done well in england with a small keeper. Might be concidence but I don´t know… 😛
    Better teams… as I say city haven´t been gr8 offensively and arsenal had their second string team which basicly ahas no exp and nufc should have taken advantage of that.
    I don´t hate Given, just don´t rate him that highly.

  • Rab

    Sep 30, 2007 at 8:33 AM

    Comment #14

    You cant blame that scoreline on the keeper. Defensively newcastle played terrible.

  • Brian

    Sep 30, 2007 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #15

    Given weakness is he is to small and therefore is staying to much on the line. I specially remember the games against Liverpool at anfield the last couple of years when Liverpool played long balls for Crouch and Morientes and everytime they had free kicks or corners it was very dangerous because Liverpool knew the keeper would stay on the line, and with Hyypia, Crouch,Morientes and Garcia who are all good in the air it was to easy for Liverpool.

  • Sinead

    Sep 30, 2007 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #16

    Johann why not he’s saved Newcastle time and time again.
    “Some part of me wanted that because of the circumstances which led to him being in goal”
    You don’t like the way what..he worked his way back into the team. He is better the Harper, no maybe Harper didn’t deserve to be droped but either did Given after the game he had against Arsenal. Stop being so bitter I thought most people would prefer having the better player on the pitch instead of wanting them to screw up.
    Krul, Oh my God ye’ve seen him play a whole 1 time for Newcastle, wow. He’s really prooved himself. Have you some sort of problem with “small” people even though 6″ isn’t exactly small. I can’t actually believe you blame him for loosing games, you actually believe that if ye get a bigger keeper ye’ll start winning games, are you serious or are you just slightly delusional??
    Question in the last 10 years did you close your eyes for the majority of the games, because Shay isn’t called world class or get on to the premiership team on the year for a laugh, he doesn’t get player of the year for Newcastle and Ireland for a laugh. Newcastle loose alot of games because well really they’re not very good when put up against teams that can punish them for bad lazy defence and poor play in the middle, let me guess though that’s Given’s fault aswell, Martins failing to find the back of the net against Arsenal..Given’s fault again??
    Question when he makes really good saves and keeps Newcastle in the game do you get dissapointed?? Do you cheer if the other team scores, did ya cheer when he got injured last year..yes we get rid of him for a while..kinda thing. Not much of a fan like. What the hell did he ever do to you, except win Newcastle games or save them points.

    “city haven´t been gr8 offensively”..that’s funny, they’re flying this season. 3rd is it?? Arsenal’s second string is amazingly talented, just cause it’s their second string it doesn’t mean anything really like. I’ve no doubt that a lot of time is dedicated to developing football with them. They’re not a second string as such they’re another young team completley. Both teams outplayed Newcastle in the middle of the park and the weak defence was exposed. Other then that this season ye’ve played bottom half teams. That haven’t really challenged ye. But no everything that goes’s fault..right??

  • Jóhann

    Sep 30, 2007 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #17

    They are third because of their defense not because of their awesome offense, they are tight that´s it. Not much more to say, we´ll just have to wait and see how it pans out!

  • Sinead

    Sep 30, 2007 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #18

    Ya but they have been scoring..hence the 3rd spot. I love the way you don’t deny any of the stuff I said.

  • David M

    Oct 1, 2007 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #19

    Agree with Johann. Given never comes for crosses and doesn’t dominate the penalty area like, say Schmeichel did. THAT is the sign of a truly great keeper. It’s not enough to just be a great shot stopper (which Given is), it’s only 50% of the package.

    Sinead – you don’t FANCY Given by any chance do you???


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