Sam – We Should Have Taken Point

Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce admitted that Reading were the better side in their 2-1 win earlier today – and he’s right about that.

However, Sam was also on the mark to insist his team should have claimed a point. That’s true, because when you are outplayed but the home side doesn’t take the chances they are offered, and you are level with 6 minutes to go – you should be only too happy to claim the point.

But we didn’t – instead we gave away a goal to Shane Long with schoolboy defending – but perhaps that’s being just too harsh – to the schoolboys.


Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce – has to be disappointed at the Newcastle defending

Michael Duberry did Newcastle a favor by putting through his own net to put Newcastle level – when they had no reason to be. That canceled out Dave Kitson’s great strike early in the second half and looked to have handed Newcastle a draw they didn’t deserve.

But when you cannot even take a point that’s handed to you – Newcastle have some problems to attend to next week. Allardyce rightly conceded Newcastle would have been lucky to come away from this game with a point, but the point was there to be taken if Newcastle could have defended reasonably for 6 minutes.

Sam, who has to be disappointed with the defensive display served up by Newcastle, said after the game:

“It is disappointing when you throw it away like that,” “Whether we deserved to be level – and you would probably have to say we didn’t – nevertheless we had got it.”

“Reading were nervous and it gave us our best spell of the game but if you are going to give stupid goals away like that then you are not going to deserve anything.”

“It was just such a basic error to concede a goal like that at that stage of the game.”

“We didn’t deal with the first ball but more importantly didn’t deal with the second either and the young lad comes on, runs behind and scores the winner for them.”

What Sam says id true but the deeper question is how reading outplayed Newcastle for large portions of the game. If we are not going to turn up for these away games we will throw away a lot of points this season – and that will be very disappointing. Sam and hist staff need to get to the bottom of why we are a different team away from St. James’ Park. That’s the real question that emerges from today’s game.

However, this poor display means we just have to beat Portsmouth next Saturday to keep our league position intact – and that will not be easy – but at least we’ll be at home.

Comments welcome.

25 comments so far

  • ToonKing

    Oct 27, 2007 at 8:04 PM

    Comment #1

    It’s gonna be real tough against Pompey, if we can get 3 point i would be ecstatic.

  • e

    Oct 27, 2007 at 8:21 PM

    Comment #2

    we shouldnt of had a point..

  • Alex

    Oct 27, 2007 at 8:35 PM

    Comment #3

    We didnt deserve anything from this game but, that said at 1-1 we should have at least forced the draw. Any upwards and onwards Pompey next a home game points in the bag.

  • The Big P

    Oct 27, 2007 at 8:36 PM

    Comment #4

    Negative tactics, negative result.
    With the likes of owen and martins around reading should have been afraid to push men forward. Whats to defend when the opposition do not get out of their own half or see the ball long enough to do something with it.
    We need to control posession and create chances consistently.
    Let’s see if things change, but it isn’t all about the defence.
    Will this season see us being beat by teams struggling???
    1st defence, keep the ball
    play too narrow and we will lose the ball consistently.
    play too narrow and we open the opportunity for our flanks to be exposed.
    We have the quality we should be using it.

  • Hadji

    Oct 27, 2007 at 8:44 PM

    Comment #5

    We are beating our Uefa cup rivals at the same time we’re losing from teams who are fighting against relegation(Derby) and teams who don’t have any ambitions for a a place in Europe(Reading).
    I really don’t understand this team at the moment.But if this drama continues then i wouldn’t mind sacking BSA and appoint a manager with international experience.
    Gus Hiddink anyone?

  • hadrian

    Oct 27, 2007 at 9:34 PM

    Comment #6

    to early to call for sams head , can we at least not give a manager a good run !!
    BUT , most peoples points are true . our defence sucks and our forwards are world class … so why play a defesive game when our back line isnt ready for a full game of pressure , and thats what sam set out todo , hold them for as long as he could .
    we’re all great armchair managers , but calling for sams head isnt going to help newcastle . he built his team to play his way at bolton, he’s had to come in here and adjust his game to the players we have .
    but sams the kind of manager who cant stand conceding goals , cant see him moving on from defensive tactics till he knows we have a tight back line .
    throwing our back 4 to the mob this next week isnt the right thing todo , they need to know we are supporting them and not giving more un needed pressure .
    lets pick up our heads and move on .

  • UTD111

    Oct 27, 2007 at 9:54 PM

    Comment #7

    Calm down girls!! Sam has been in charge for 10 games with a lot of new players. These things take time – give him the time………..he is a top class manager and he will get it right. Cheers

  • squaretan

    Oct 27, 2007 at 10:02 PM

    Comment #8

    Newcastle will always beat the teams where many think they will loose but will always loose to the teams where many think they will win. 🙂

    For Highlights for the match:-

  • Adam

    Oct 27, 2007 at 11:39 PM

    Comment #9

    I like BSA and believe he’s assembled a very good squad. BUT he said at the start of the seaon that we’ll be a different team at home to that of away: attack-minded at home, cautious and attacking only on the break when away from home.
    I just feel like we’ll never be a top side with that attitude/those tactics. We have players of a much higher quality to Reading (though Reading’s grit was admirable) and we should start away games with a far more positive mind. That can only come from BSA, otherwise we’ll be taking 3 steps forward, 2 steps back for quite some time to come.

    Very disappointed.

  • Hammy

    Oct 27, 2007 at 11:42 PM

    Comment #10

    Adam, totally agree…see my blog on the Coppell article…..

  • Ed Harrison

    Oct 28, 2007 at 12:00 AM

    Comment #11

    squaretan – thanks for the link to the video highlights. appreciate it 😀

  • Alan

    Oct 28, 2007 at 12:49 AM

    Comment #12

    Sam went for a clean sheet at it back fired. We should have played with Milner & Zogbia on the wings and attacked them. Yet again every time you think they are the verge of getting into the top 6 they let you down. I like big sam but he must take the blame and learn from it.

  • ChrisL

    Oct 28, 2007 at 1:11 AM

    Comment #13

    Sam has talked about players dropping themselves…. I wonder if Faye / Cacapa / Owen might all find themselves rested for the next match? Might be Roz / Taylor & Harper’s chance again, if Sam stays true to his word.

    I do think it would be harsh to drop Cacapa & Faye, but it was harsh when Roz was dropped on one poor game & Harper did nothing to warrant losing his place.

    Apart from Butt today, the midfield were poor today, but I think Sam needs to take responsibility for that one. Geremi is not a winger & Neither in Emre. Barton basically looked like a player in his 1st match back for a while, keen but rusty. I say get Milner & N’Zogbia on, even in away matches. Stuff trying for a clean sheet, try to get me 3 points.

  • Matt

    Oct 28, 2007 at 2:49 AM

    Comment #14

    I should be shocked, but i’m not, that there is a call for sams head on this page. on tuesday morning he was god now he’s a no one?

    That being said i thought sam got it all wrong against Reading. I think Geremi is a passenger in the side at the moment and he’s being accomodated into the side by Allardyce because hes captain. I was appaulled with no charlie & no milner on the wings. Clearly we need Emre for a spot of creativity- but through the middle not the wing. Butt deserves to keep his spot in midfield, while barton was energetic he’s still well rusty. I’m really not sure where Geremi fits into our side at the moment. The only time he looked half decent was when he went to right full back.

    Also, why is it Martins went off and not Owen? did martins get injured?

  • WelshWizard

    Oct 28, 2007 at 2:59 AM

    Comment #15


    Well said….

  • nasko skoplje

    Oct 28, 2007 at 3:23 AM

    Comment #16

    i cant understand you hadji,vtf you talking about?reading is better squad than new castle and you deserved to lose.

  • John

    Oct 28, 2007 at 4:08 AM

    Comment #17

    Why Big Sam used A.D-Faye instead of Rozehnal,I think Roz is much better than him…

    After this match,I think the failure of NUFC’s defence is not the fault of lack of ability for the defence players in over 10 year, it’s just like a wizard doing something on the NUFC’s defence,since we now have the top class defence but still play like pieces of “Tofu” (maybe I’m a bit superstitious)

  • Brisbane Mag

    Oct 28, 2007 at 4:11 AM

    Comment #18

    BSAs tactics were wrong; i.e. too defensive; going for a point!

    Too play without a winger (Zog and/or Milner) was a mistake and Barton’s just not ready for a full game at this time.

    The initial selection and substitutions against Spurs was excellent. Why change a winning formula?

  • dobbo

    Oct 28, 2007 at 5:10 AM

    Comment #19

    it was a piss poor performance by all, on the basis of taylor being dropped because sam said “he played crap”, the next 11 to play against portsmouth will be completely different.

    or is there going to be double standards

    we were outplayed, out thought, and i guess readings outlay for that 11 players compared to ours will be dramatic.

    fine them all for not turning up.

  • Reb

    Oct 28, 2007 at 6:10 AM

    Comment #20

    Why would Owen have “dropped himself” on the basis of this match? He had one of our few chances on goal, and I didn’t think the fact he missed it particularly condemning — in fact, I thought a penalty might have been well in order. The service to the forwards was shambolic. Neither Owen or Martins can/should be judged on this match. If Martins had missed that same shot, you lot would be on about how “at least he made a chance for himself, good positioning” whatever, trying to find a positive for his match while Owen gets quietly slated for it. Truth is, Martins did naught the entire match. Owen did little, but that’s still up from naught. Martins earned his substitution, just like he did v. Everton. And still, people boo the decision. Honestly, Martins will have sh**ters just like everyone else and deserves to be subbed off when he does. No one is above substitution or being dropped from the XI — not Given, not Owen, not Geremi (please BS?) and certainly not Martins.

    How on Earth does Martins have an utterly anonymous (at best) match like today, and still get plaudits? While at the same time, Owen works his tail off linking play (last week) and gets slated for it? I just don’t understand it.

  • ALEX

    Oct 28, 2007 at 6:39 AM

    Comment #21

    Again Spurs we were okay nothing more.
    We don’t have any style. Any class team has it, we don’t.
    The movement and the passing in the midfield are appalling.
    Geremy is bellow average, Martins and Owen playing in different teams.
    A lot of improvement required.

  • Craig Allen

    Oct 28, 2007 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #22

    agree ChrisL – most mentioned the lack of width before the game and this is really the first time Sam’s fielded a side like this. I’m sure he’d learn but he can only learn after trying out different combinations. It doesn’t take the disappointment away from the defeat, but I’d rather have a manager invest now (early) in different combinations to see which ones are effective in which situations and which ones are not than to play the same players in the same formation/strategy and make man for man substitutions. And then hit a problem with injuries.
    Faye+Cacapa were excellent against spurs. They didn’t look as tight against reading. Some clearances were so out of character, with so much experience. Hope Roz gets a look in now as he deserves it after being dropped after one mediocre game.
    Glad Sam persisted with the Owen+Martins combination – he didn’t just give up after trying it out on spurs and I believe he should try it again in the future as the lads need time to play together and we need attacking options. He should def try Smith+Owen at some point again as they didn’t have enough time to make a difference.
    So does the defense I suppose(needing time to play together), but he’s set a precedent by benching players after 1 mediocre performance so he has to follow through. We have so many combinations in defense and with 3 (ex/u21)captains , 2 keepers, 3/4 utility players (who can play across most positions) that it would take about half a season of playing all of them to see which combinations work where and when, but he doesn’t have that luxury really.
    Our lack of width was a valuable lesson – albeit a lesson most of us anticipated learning. Geremi has tried playing wide before, he just doesn’t have that sort of game within him.
    It’s not the first time we played 3 at the back but the lack of communication between Beye and Cacapa (both ex-captains) made for painful viewing in parts. It also doesn’t seem to be that effective without a strong/tall defensive midfielder – hope he tries Faye (in hindsight probably not the best person to take off at that time) or Roz/Cacapa (depending on who’s playing) in that midfield position the next time he tries playing 3 at the back.
    Barton needs more games to get up to speed but it was evident that he’d be a force in the coming weeks with Emre in a midfield that lacked creativity. Some nice passing at times – most promising. I also liked the times Zog pushed up – maybe Sam should try him out in the middle sometime.
    Disappointed with the defeat at reading, but not to the extent of calling for Sam’s head. I’ve been supporting NUFC too long to just demand instant success (sounds ironic-I know) during a building phase. Yes, it’s still a building phase, not matter how much we’d rather have it otherwise – the future is what I’m more interested in. Howay! The one consolidation I took out of this weekend was seeing Bramble’s lapses of concentration causing wigan all sorts of unnecessary problems.

  • bowsie

    Oct 28, 2007 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #23

    look at the midfield that was selected. no width, with two men who need better service more than ever.

    poor tactics.

  • bowsie

    Oct 28, 2007 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #24

    sam also doesn’t know his best team, he doesn’t even know good combinations. it’s not the alex ferguson luxury of not knowing your best team, it’s the “we’re getting spanked away from home how do we change it” dilemma. needs to be changed fast, because man city, portsmouth, villa, blackburn and everton won’t be waiting around for us to figure it out.

  • Matt

    Oct 29, 2007 at 3:57 AM

    Comment #25

    Alex, the perception that martins has played better in the past 2 games than owen is because martins gets the ball a lot more than owen. personally i cant recall owen getting the ball more than 5 times against reading, and only twice against spurs. im sure he does do a lot of ‘off the ball’ running, its just the crowd doesnt notice that as much as they do when players have the ball.

    CraigAllen. I agree that the martins/owen combo could work, but based on 2 games with it, the midfielders and the defenders are not helping them one jot. they need the ball played to feet and whipped around the flanks (when BSA chooses to play his wingers). particularly in the first half against reading and first half against spurs there were countless high balls hoyed aimlessly in the direction of the goals


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