Let’s not be too doom and gloom about the game yesterday against an excellent Man City side. That Elano goal is still engrained in my mind – what a strike!
At half time the game was nicely balanced and it was anybody’s game at that point. But just like at Arsenal we became ragged in the second half and City started to come at us. The defense wasn’t as good as on Tuesday night, and certainly Sam wasn’t happy with our defensive performance.
But we have to be patient, we’re not as good as we think – at least not yet 😀
We’ll get there – keep the faith. Now let’s take a look at what we learned yesterday and the good news is we learned a lot about our faults – which we can now start fixing.
Sam Allardyce – lots of problems but we now know what they are
- The headline yesterday after the game that Allardyce is under pressure didn’t really say what we were thinking. We don’t at all think he’s under pressure for the job. Only that we’ve now been beaten 2 times in a row and the pressure is one for a good result. There is absolutely no way we mean he should be sacked or we have lost faith in him. No way â€“ we just wanted to make that clear â€“ we are still very upbeat about our chances this season and the improvements we have seen under the Big man.
- We are not as good as we think we are â€“ at east not yet. I’m probably as bad as anybody in that regard â€“ but it’s only because I’ve lost some independence about Newcastle over the last 60 years because we want Newcastle two win so much. We’re in a big building job at Newcastle and we have seen phase 1 only with Sam’s 9 platers coming in. We have tremendous faith not only in Sam but as most people know on this site we have as much faith in Chris Mort and of course Mike Ashley.
- We do not like the 4-3-3 formation Sam plays and seems to like. Maybe we don’t yet have the players for this but we seem to concede the central midfield â€“ such an important part of the game. At some time we’d like to see a regular 4-4-2 with our young outstanding talent of Milner and N’Zogbia back on the wings together. They both look good and give us that little bit of menace and creativity â€“ at least out wide. Milner was great yesterday in the first half and it shows his character after his off game on Tuesday night â€“ which happens to everybody on occasion â€“ hey we’re all human and have faults
- Mark Viduka showed how good he is yesterday in the first half but we feel we need another big striker because Mark will not be able to play every game this year. We would hope that Shola will wake up and give us some good performances which he is definitely capable of. Can’t do anything until January unless there is skillful free agent somewhere, which we doubt.
- Geremi and Butt together in midfield are too similar and we need more class, skill and creativity in midfield. The only player fit that can give us that right now is Emre â€“ so maybe we should either start him against Everton â€“ or at least bring in off the bench â€“ but not with just a few minutes to play like yesterday. Come January â€“ as we had discussed in August â€“ we need to bring in a world-class midfielder. We don’t know who but Ashley has said he’ll make money available. Maybe then we can get away with playing 4-3-3 but not right now.
- Our defense is still not there. Whether that’s because they haven’ yet gelled is not clear although Sam thinks that. We were surprised that CaÃ§apa almost played but hopefully he’ll be OK for next Sunday and we expect him to start. We’d love to see the back line of Beye Rozehnal CaÃ§apa and Enrique but Sam is still holding Jose back. Once he’s ready we’ll see Charles push forward and his skill, energy and threatening play can have more payback for us.
- We can’t complain about Shay in his first league game back. How he turned over the shot to his top left hand corner we still don’t know but he’s so athletic and even got very close to Elano’s wonder strike after 87 minutes â€“ what a player. We really feel sorry for Steve Harper â€“ he’s too good to sit on the bench at Newcastle. He should be playing regular Premier League and if he does that how would he not be in the England squad â€“ well that’s what we think.
- We had no problem with our small striker yesterday and Oba produced a great goal and worked his tail off in the second half and was meaning and you could see every time he got the ball he was ready at any moment to hit a bullet at goals. There’s no way we should be staring Owen next Sunday â€“ maybe on the bench â€“ but it would not be class to leave Martins out â€“ but there’ll be pressure to play Owen for practice for the England game. Forget it.
Those are the major points we took from the game – what did we miss?
Comments and opinions are welcome – please keep the language decent because we have a lot of youngsters read this site – thanks 😀