Newcastle’s Strong Bench Tells the Story


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 £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.

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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 N’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.

That’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 Shield’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.” “That’s a measure of what I’ve been trying to get in terms of the squad.”

“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.”

“It’s going to frustrate and upset a few players, but if we’re winning games of football – and that’s happening – they have to accept it.” “When they get in the team, they have to fight to keep the shirt.”

“That grows the spirit and culture of the club, and it grows the desire to play with that shirt and not give it up.” “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.

Comments always appreciated.



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24 comments so far

  • indian toon

    Oct 25, 2007 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #1

    one thing id like to point out here is that sam’s been complaining about the fixtures and all that.. now we dont hav the carling cup or the uefa cup whereas other top 6 clubs all that.. they play week in week out without complaining because they hav quality and a big squad.. and thats what we hav here now. really now sam’s under presssure because we hav ltd no of games to play and no fatigue for the player’s . we should really take advantage out of that especiallly at home..

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  • hadrian

    Oct 25, 2007 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #2

    our squads no bigger than last season , and look what happened there .
    our squad size is tiny compared to the likes of the big 4 , we have nowhere near enough players not be worried about a large number of games in a short time .
    all sam did in the summer was replace the dead wood with good wood , we easily need a good 5-10 more players by the time we are in europe to cope with all those fixtures.

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  • steve

    Oct 25, 2007 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #3

    I expect some shipping out more dead wood for good come Jan – carr, babayaro, pattison, ameobi to name just 4 outgoing – top quality LB, RB, couple of midfielders (one creative, one holding) we’ll have Carroll back in Jan and Smith can also cover strikers role (even tho he aint a fave of mine)

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  • Rich

    Oct 25, 2007 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #4

    Totally agree Steve, id get rid of those four, bring in a quality lb and rb to compete with Enrique and Beye. Edmilson as a holding midfielder on a free and an attacking right sided midfielder then we should look strong.Who u think as a possible attacking midfielder?

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  • Tom_Toon

    Oct 25, 2007 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #5

    Kahlenberg pls, but i dont thik we need a attacking midfielde ror a holding, we need an experienced lb, a young promising rb and a right winger.

    I expect Darijo Srna to come in as the right winger.

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  • Bill f

    Oct 25, 2007 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #6

    I was under the impression Sam already had players coming in January. I would bet he also has others lined up regardless of who we would like to see. I would like to see that one big trophy signing and I would like it to Juninhuo or/and Berbatov. Whatever happens it’s looking good.

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  • Rich

    Oct 25, 2007 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #7

    Tom_Toon, thats what i meant sorry, Iv been saying for ages thast the 3 positions we need to strenghten. A young promising right back who can challenge Beye, a good left back who Enrique can learn from and a right winger, much more so than an attacking midfielder!Srna would be a good choice, he could also cover the right back position, i think wel bring in Edmilson also, good player but dont think we really need him either.

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  • Cockney Magpie

    Oct 25, 2007 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #8

    i think im gonna stop comin on this site and find a site where people actually support the team instead of just going on about the bad things everytime. people on here are so depressing no wonder st james’ park sound like a library now days if its full of un supporting kill joys like some people on ere, and that is not to everybody just the people who constantly moan about michael owen, the people who are on here every single day saying who to get rid of, and people who are just basically putting down the team i love. u no who u are and u should be ashamed of ya selves how can u call yourselves supporters when u are not supporting! and again most people on ere are fine im just talkin to the whingin, depresive, pratts. Ed is doing a great job with this site its such a shame its overflowing with arseholes who constantly put nufc down.

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  • Rich

    Oct 25, 2007 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #9

    Calm yourself down, we are not putting down the team, we are discussing the best way to move the team forward. I agree about the Micheal Owen issue, that pisses me of as well but some players are going to have to go, end of story. If you love Newcastle that much you should obviously know Ameobi,Carr, Babayaro are not good enough to play for Newcastle no matter what!You can hardly say these 3 guys have supporteed Newcastle and put in the effort required, with the exception of maybe Ameobi. Its not meant to come across as whinging, just a discussion.

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  • toonfan1

    Oct 25, 2007 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #10

    hey ed under ur newcastle stats about the match reports and highlights, it says portsmouth and sunderland games played in october when it should say november but keep up the hard work! very good website

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  • gordon

    Oct 25, 2007 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #11

    I think your wrong about the net spend Ed its more like 10M

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  • gordon

    Oct 25, 2007 at 4:19 PM

    Comment #12

    There is 2 players who will improve the team the blond haired czech midfield forward and the cska moscow right sided player i think we were linked with the czech player in the summer anyone know there names?

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  • Tom_Toon

    Oct 25, 2007 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #13

    Cska moscow player = Krasic? There are so many and the blonde haired Czech no clues mate. You might be on about Plasil, we were linked with him and he has already moved to Osasuna this summer and he was a fairly average player. Dont need another cm anyway.

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  • George

    Oct 25, 2007 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #14

    Yes we have a better squad than last year, but, once the Africa Cup of Nations comes round in January, what is our squad going to be like then!
    Half of the defence goes, and half of the midfield goes. Up front we lose Oba.
    Viduka seems to be injury plagued, we can not yet rely on Michael Owen staying fit. Suddenly it does not look as sunny as i first thought. Alas this is the penalty a team pays for having so many african players in their squads. This has been a concern of mine for some time with foreign imports. We do not get fixture cancelation except for world or european championships, not for the South American Cup or Africa Cup.
    Lets hope we escape injuries during this period, or i fear our season will end sooner than we all expect.

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  • leo

    Oct 25, 2007 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #15

    how much do you think our first team is worth ed??? maybe we should think about it, just for something to do, cant be bothered to study atm

    harper 4mil
    given 7mil

    beye 5mil
    faye 5mil
    cacapa 6mil
    enrique 8mil
    taylor 8mil
    rozehnal 6mil

    milner 8mil
    nzogbia 10mil
    geremi 4mil
    butt 3mil
    emre 7mil
    barton 8mil

    owen 15mil
    martins 15mil
    viduka 6mil
    smith 6mil
    ameobi 3mil

    didnt want to put players such as duff in their because we have to wait and see how well they play after coming back from injury.

    oh babayaro 50pence

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  • Bill f

    Oct 25, 2007 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #16

    Leo what about the value of Carr, higher or lower than babby

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  • leo

    Oct 25, 2007 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #17

    i actually reckon that carr is better than baba, he has shown some glimpses in the last couple games he played, maybe it is good management or the team, or maybe better defenders on the inside sweeping up his mistakes

    but he couldnt be anyworse mate, who could?

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  • Bill f

    Oct 25, 2007 at 7:31 PM

    Comment #18

    I have to say when the toon were thinking of buying him I said he was a carthorse. the defining moment for me was when Anelka went past him as if he was standing still. Having said that he has lots of heart which is more than you can say for Babby. Do you really think Shola could go for that much.

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  • leo

    Oct 25, 2007 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #19

    yeah i think derby will be desprate, and will sell us giles barnes we probly will have to put more money down than the 3mil that we get for strolla probly a further 2-3mil

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  • leo

    Oct 25, 2007 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #20

    maybe loan barnes back to them till the end of the season

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  • Hammy

    Oct 25, 2007 at 8:35 PM

    Comment #21

    Get rid of Taylor……. he is a greedy Bar steward……sometimes makes Boumsong look like John Terry too.

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  • Bill f

    Oct 25, 2007 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #22

    It’s funny how it’s all gone quiet with Taylor, do you think hs’s having second thoughts about his demands.

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  • Hammy

    Oct 25, 2007 at 9:04 PM

    Comment #23

    Could be Bill…I reckon Tayls’ dad dropped a bollock going to the press with his contact demands….

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  • Hammy

    Oct 25, 2007 at 9:04 PM

    Comment #24

    sorry…contract demands.

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