Peter Beardsley, one of the best players ever to play for Newcastle United, has been comparing todayâ€™s seemingly solid side to the one of 10 years ago under Kevin Keagan, which is often referred to as the Entertainers.
Obviously the sides are very different, and Peter explains how.
Peter Beardsley – the two sides are very different – but St James’ Park is a fortress again
Peter told the Journal this morning:
â€œThey are very different sides in a lot of respects, but the one thing they have in common is that they both turned St Jamesâ€™s Park into a bit of a fortress,â€
â€œWhen Kevin was here, teams hated coming to St Jamesâ€™s Park and Sam is getting things like that again. Itâ€™s very important that every team in the Premier League hates coming up here because it eases the pressure on you away from home if you are winning your home games.â€
â€œThe thing with Sam is he made Bolton a hard place to go. Teams always knew it was going to be really tough to get anything at the Reebok Stadium and he is trying to do the same at St Jamesâ€™.â€
â€œWe look confident at home and capable of beating anyone who comes up here. That is so important when you are trying to be successful.â€
Beardsley is also full of praise for the way in which Allardyce has completely transformed the club in such a short space of time. Sam has also changed the atmosphere at the club by bringing in 9 players who are not only confident but most are used to winning, and thatâ€™s what they want to continue to do at their new club.
â€œFor me, the only blip this season has been the defeat at Derby. Manchester City have proved they are a top side and Arsenal in the Carling Cup, they are an excellent side, but anything could have happened and we could have won it on the night if Obafemi Martins had taken one of his chances. I think what Sam has done in a short space of time is excellent.â€
â€œThere has been a massive turnover in players, which there always is under a new manager, but particularly in terms of what Glenn left when he went.
â€œIf you look at the back four, itâ€™s completely different to last season. To have settled so quickly is brilliant and, without trying to put Sam under pressure, I think people are looking at Newcastle and thinking they are a top-six side.
â€œI almost would be surprised if they werenâ€™t, we look organized and we have a great situation where players like Steven Taylor, who was a regular last season, cannot even make the bench against Tottenham.
â€œThere is great competition for places again all over the team. There are a lot of good players in the squad. If people were skeptical about Sam before, they are sure now that he is the right man.â€
Things are on the up at Newcastle. Thereâ€™s just no doubt about that. But letâ€™s insert a little warning here. We were doing really great before we played Derby County and every fan was wondering how much weâ€™d beat them by. As we now know we produced the worst performance of the season when lots of players just didnâ€™t turn up â€“ shades of last season.
We cannot do that against Reading on Saturday and hopefully the lads have learned from the Derby game, that every match we play in we have to try to get all 3 points. Itâ€™s a challenge for us but a win at Reading looks very possible. If we can do that then Newcastle will be buzzing again, like in the days under Kevin Keagan.
For those of you who would like reminded of just how great Peter Beardsley was â€“ and haven’t yet seen this – hereâ€™s a wonderful video of some of Peter’s exploits. Peter was great, thatâ€™s for sure.