Sam Allardyce is building an extremely strong squad at Newcastle United and made a wonderful start when he brought in 9 good players in the summer for a net cost of just Â£15M.
Probably the best piece of summer business the club has ever done. You just have to look at the bench to see how strong the team must be on the field these days.
On Monday night the bench consisted of Harper, Rozehnal, Barton, Milner and Ameobi, an example of the strength that permeates on the bench under Big Sam.
England Under-21 Captain Steven Taylor – unlucky not to make the bench on Monday night
Rozehnal, Milner and Barton all got on to participate in the game against Tottenham. Barton came on for a tiring Emre to keep the midfield buzzing, Rozehnal came on with 12 minutes to go to mop up in front of the back four and did great – and Milner got the nod at half time to replace Nâ€™Zogbia, and scored a great 3rd goal to seal up the game for the Magpies. Each of the substitutes had a definite and positive impact on the game Monday night.
Thatâ€™s exactly what Big Sam would like to see, but there are also some good players who will not even make the bench in some games. It was noticeable that England Under-21 captain Steven Taylor was in that category on Monday night.
Manager Sam Allardyce talked about David Rozehnal and Steven Taylor to the Shieldâ€™s Gazette today:
“David’s done nothing wrong at all, and Steven Taylor hasn’t done much wrong either, and he didn’t get on the subs bench.â€ “That’s a measure of what I’ve been trying to get in terms of the squad.â€
“Keeping them all fit’s been a problem, but once they all do get fit then it’s going to be a battle for the team and the subs bench, and I think that’s really healthy.â€
“It’s going to frustrate and upset a few players, but if we’re winning games of football â€“ and that’s happening â€“ they have to accept it.â€ “When they get in the team, they have to fight to keep the shirt.â€
“That grows the spirit and culture of the club, and it grows the desire to play with that shirt and not give it up.â€ “That’s what a manager’s really looking for.”
The players have to accept they are now playing for a team on the up, and it would be a similar situation if they were playing for one of the top 4 teams. They wouldn’t start every game and some have to accept their chances may be few and far between. That’s especially true this season since we are not in Europe this season and are already our of the Carling Cup.
Hopefully, next season we’ll be back in Europe and have a good run so that there’ll be a lot more games for the players to participate in. We fully expect that to happen – and we also expect Big Sam and Chris Mort to push ahead in January to further strengthen the squad, by bringing in several new players to the squad.
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