Sam Takes Credit For Inspired Substitutions and Why Not?

Whether it was pure luck or not, Sam Allardyce’s substitution of Owen and Emre for Martins and Milner after 74 minutes completely won the game for Newcastle United against Everton.

Each substitute scored a goal and had an assist for the other’s goal – so if that’s not getting results from your substitutions we’re not sure what is.


Sam Allardyce – takes credit for inspired substitutions because – well they were inspired

This was a tough game to win for Newcastle, especially after they seemed to have thrown the game away after the interval, so let’s give credit where it’s due – to Sam, his staff and the players.

Sam has every right in the world to take credit for the double substitution he made with just 16 minutes to go with the game balanced at 1-1. It was his decision, and the managers take so much stick for things that don’t go right these days, we’re not sure why he wouldn’t take credit.

What it did do was transform what looked like one point for the Magpies into 3 points, and you cannot argue with that. In fact in our last 3 home league games, we’ve won them all in the second half and generally in the last 20 minutes.

That’s just a great habit to get into – it’s called a winning habit. Here’s what a delighted Sam said after the game:

“It was a double header for me with Emre scoring with a great goal low in the corner and Michael Owen with a terrific header, so our home form gets ever stronger.

“If we keep that home record, while at the same time improving on our away form, we will keep moving up the table.

“We were our own worst enemies after half-time having completely controlled the first period. We had so many chances in the first half and wasted them all, but we are happy to have won it, although it went right to the end.”

We agree with the last couple of sentences. It was like Newcastle were trying to commit suicide and throw the game away, after seemingly having it all wrapped up at half time. We have no idea what happened to the defense after the interval, when they they started to lose their composure.

It’s true the back four and goalkeeper haven’t played together at all, so in that sense it was great to get all 3 points. We expect the defense to get better as they get used to playing together. But they need more games to get  a better understanding.

But 3 points is 3 points – and we’ll take it – thank you very much.

Comments very welcome.

24 comments so far

  • Hammy

    Oct 7, 2007 at 10:31 PM

    Comment #1

    Just watched the first half on Football First……Smith, Enrique and Faye in particular all catching the eye…..lets see how the second half goes……

  • Big Geordie Poppa

    Oct 7, 2007 at 10:34 PM

    Comment #2

    Fair Play BS, you made the changes when they were needed, and you made the right ones too.

    Had the former Chelski manager done it prior to his exit the southern papers would be full praise for the ‘Special One’. They will probably put it down to luck seeing as it was NUFC.

  • Aussie geordie

    Oct 7, 2007 at 10:48 PM

    Comment #3

    Great game! The team selection turned a few heads as the attcking side we craved was missing and the Butt/Geremi combo was back in swing. They did a good job though and Butt’s nice lil goal certainly proved the difference. He had a good attacking game despite his usual crappy passing. We can see why the fans wanted Emre on though as he immediatly set the game on fire for us the same way Johnson did for Everton after half time.Good to see Enrique getting a run releasing Zog but all in all neither has a great game. Man of the match was Emre on for only 25 mins.

  • ChrisL

    Oct 7, 2007 at 11:19 PM

    Comment #4

    I think that the team plays better defensively as a unit with Harper in goal. But before anyone tells me off… I do think Shay is the better keeper, I’m just not sure which one should be in goal for our strongest TEAM.

  • ToonKing

    Oct 7, 2007 at 11:34 PM

    Comment #5

    @Chris, i’m kinda with u on this one. I feels strange saying this but imo today our worst player on the pitch was Given. I have no idea what Sam will do about this situation, but i have a sad feeling Shay may be leaving us soon.

  • bailey

    Oct 8, 2007 at 12:19 AM

    Comment #6

    I have had plenty to say about the Given/Harper situation and whilst I would still push for Given I have to say that if Harper had played like Given today then myself and countless others would have been shouting to have him dropped.

  • Rocky

    Oct 8, 2007 at 1:03 AM

    Comment #7

    Waiting 4 u Sinead to back up Given

  • Punk Skunk

    Oct 8, 2007 at 1:23 AM

    Comment #8

    Very true bailey!..3 games-2 losses-7 goals shipped!..That ain’t good enough, is it?..& to be brutally honest, Shay looked culpable for both…He needs to get his head together-Fast!..Otherwise ‘Stand-in Steve’ will, well, er, stand-in!..
    …Top goals by Butt & Emre!..
    …Howay the Lads!..

  • azza jones

    Oct 8, 2007 at 2:48 AM

    Comment #9

    I agree guys I think after this one shay has to be dropped because as stated if it was the other way around harper would be on the bench….
    Good performance should have been 3-1 the last goal was a comedy….
    Emre needs to start next week with butt I dont think geremi is playing well enough his long balls are shocking and I dont really think he wins that many challenges….
    Milner and Zog looked great when they switched……..

  • geordie_jordan

    Oct 8, 2007 at 4:28 AM

    Comment #10

    i agree that geremi should be the one dropped for emre. butt’s passing was again shocking but his defensive play and the goal for sure cemented his place, especially with smith out for spurs.

  • Tripp

    Oct 8, 2007 at 4:36 AM

    Comment #11

    What about Faye and Emre? I’m just glad that we have some different options this year. Anyone hear why Roz was dropped?

  • Doctapaul

    Oct 8, 2007 at 5:08 AM

    Comment #12

    Roz became a father this week so understandably had his mond on other things in the run upo to this game.

    Geremi and Butt are two samey for my liking. Neither are going to carve chances regularly enough in my reckoning. Butt edges it at the moment. It’s healthy to have two players of this calibre battlling for the same spot. Dropping the team captain might be somewhat embarrassing.

    That leaves Emre and Barton battling for the same spot too.

    I liked Smith up front yesterday. He’s key to carving out chances as long as we avoid the up n under game. A bit of chnage for Sam maybe.

    Martins blazes and scores OR blazes and misses. I can’t help but like the guy because he frightens the opposition.

    Owen is Owen and will score, score, score again – when fit and given the right sort of service – (usually the near post).

    Sam needs more time. He hasn’t found his most effective team or tactics yet.

  • SelangorFC

    Oct 8, 2007 at 6:54 AM

    Comment #13

    i totally agree with punkskunk
    I love to see Given back in action as our first choice keeper this season but his game yesterday show that he has lost all the passion that he used to have all this season before.strategically Harper should play and we might be seeing given leaving in January…….

  • Steve K

    Oct 8, 2007 at 8:25 AM

    Comment #14

    Shay Given should go to a club where the fans understand football.

    Keepers, more than any other position, need their run in the side. Shay Given has consistently been in the top two keepers in the Premiership for years. And Newcastle are hardly a top two side.

    End. Of. The. Argument.

  • apan

    Oct 8, 2007 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #15

    2nd goal was given mistake perhaps he shouldnt have touch it at all & his a bit short there during that goal but overall he played quite well, but againts spurs i think we need him because of the fast paced game spurs played, use harper on opponents like bolton….use their stregnth @ given for agile speedy & harper for another type imo, overall good performance

  • Toon Chicken

    Oct 8, 2007 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #16

    Steve K – I’ve been scratching my head all morning wondering how come you’re still posting comments on this blog, when you clearly know so much more about football than the rest of us. I really do despair that we have idiots like McLaren in charge of the national team when a brain such as yours is simply being wasted.
    Please keep posting your insightful messages – I don’t think i’ll ever truly understand the beautiful game without your help.
    We love you Steve K – you f*&^&%*g tosser.

  • Willowtoon

    Oct 8, 2007 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #17

    Given is a shot stopper and makes showbiz saves. In the past he has saved newcastle time and time again but since his injury to harwood he has lost some thing. He is still a great shotstopper but crosses and contact I believe he is nervous.

    This is understandable as its his first big injury. However no one has the right to play everygame and Harper should be reinstated.

    If Given can’t live with that and see his own failings then regretably he should leave for a fresh challenge. No player can live on past performances but what they are doing now.

  • ChrisL

    Oct 8, 2007 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #18

    @ SteveK

    I don’t know if you read my comment earlier, no argument was intended. I was stating a thought I’d been having for a while now & put it on hear in case people were interested in discussing it.

    With out doubt Shay has been just about the best keeper the Prem has seen over the last 8 years or so. However, he is not with out fault. His single biggest weakness since he’s been at the Toon, is his communication skills with his defenders. That remains to be his biggest weakness, it is also a weakness that leads to the opportunity for spectacular saves… when decent communication from Shay would have seen any shooting opportunity stamped out by his defenders.

    I repeat, ‘Shay is the better keeper, I’m just not sure which one should be in goal for our strongest TEAM’.

  • Ed Harrison

    Oct 8, 2007 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #19

    Given has not had good communication with his defense – so maybe he just needs time – but think you are right – Harper has looked more solid. Shay needs Sam to give him a bit more time – but the whole defense needs to play more games together. Faye was just great yesterday – so I have no idea what Sam thinks our best defense is – certainly Capaca – but thought Roz would be in there.

  • Toon Chicken

    Oct 8, 2007 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #20

    From what I’ve seen of Faye this season he looks very good indeed. He said only last week that midfield is his favourite position, and with that in mind I’d start him in place of Butt and restore that Cacapa-Rozenhal partnership at the centre of defence.

  • Punk Skunk

    Oct 8, 2007 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #21

    Well said Doctapaul, here, here!..Good points, well made!..
    …Steve K, mate, if Shay keeps putting in performances like that, no-one’ll wanna buy him come January anyway!?!..
    …p.s…I love Shay, he rules!..But, we gotta play the guy, for ANY position, that’s in-form, especially in defense!..

  • Dave Atkinson

    Oct 8, 2007 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #22

    I agree with most of the comments here. Given was well dodgy yesterday. That incident in the first half when big Everton guy beat Given to the ball and almost headed in was just typical. Given has never been comfortable taking high balls and has never, repeat NEVER, dominated his 6 yard box, never mind the rest of the penalty area.

    Without any doubt Harper should be brought back in and he given a long run in the team. We’ve never seen the best of Harper because he just hasn’t had that run. Every time he gets in the team, Shay bleats from the sidelines about how he may have to leave at some point. Let him go.

    As for saying he’s the best premiership goalkeeper in the Premiership over the last 8 years, that’s bull. Correct me if I’m wrong but hasn’t Schmiechal played during that time. Men against boys springs to mind. Given has been pretty reliable and injury free – maybe in the top 4 or 5 but never the best.

    Finally Emre was so positive yesterday. As soon as he receives the ball he’s looking to make a killer pass. He’s criticised for giving the ball to the opposition too often but that’s what you get when he plays the high risk/high reward game. He’s the creative spark we’re looking for and needs to be in the team.

  • ChrisL

    Oct 8, 2007 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #23

    Sorry Dave, I agree that Schmeichel was in a class of his own, I just thought it must have been about 8 years (about 1999) by now since he retired… it was a rough guess. Seaman was also probably better, till that last few years & Cech will be better & maybe already is.

  • leo

    Oct 8, 2007 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #24

    stand in steve, haha love that

    alan smith and martins was awesome together in the first half, and could have easily had a glut of goals. steve k. go fcuk a duck


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