It was a performance Big Sam had warned his Newcastle side he did not want to see. A performance that gave away sloppy goals and where some players didn’t turn up. It was shades of Derby Count and Manchester City all over again.
A poor away performance and a defeat was the result yesterday at the Madejski Stadium in Reading. What Sam didn’t want he got in spades yesterday – what’s going on?
Sam Allardyce – yes Sam – it was that bad
- We need to play our wingers so we have some width. When Milner and Nâ€™Zogbia came on we looked more balanced and threatening. Other managers have tried playing central midfielders on the wing and it doesnâ€™t work. If Geremi doesnâ€™t deserve his place â€“ put him on the bench.
- Letâ€™s play Zog and Milner on the wings for the Portsmouth game. In central midfield we need Butt or Geremi as defensive midfield and Barton or Emre as attacking midfield. That will give us a balanced midfield. Up front we need Viduka and Owen or Martins. Choose between Owen or Martins.
- The defense continues to be a big concern. The miscommunication between Cacapa and Given in the first half was a good example. To get over this hesitancy Given must take all the responsibility at the back. He cannot wait for balls to be played back â€“ he has to come for them or some how let the defenders know how he wants the balls played to him
- Owen and Martins up front reduce our options too much. The players were hesitating about playing any high balls in and it showed. It will be good to have Viduka back next Saturday but we need another good big man in January because Mark is injured too much â€“ and we donâ€™t think Shola can get the job done.
- It was good that Joey Barton got the full game in â€“ he will get better. We though Joey was OK and Emre also played OK.
- How long do we have to wait before we stop giving stupid goals away? We had not right to be in the game with 15 minutes to go and drawing 1-1. But even then we through the point away. Good teams yesterday could have grabbed all 3 points in a smash and grab raid. After our goal we thought Newcastle had a chance of actually winning â€“ but then that Lon goal was â€“ well pathetic.
- David Rozehnal should be reinstalled and Sam will need to rest some of his favorite players, like Cacapa â€“ who did not have a good game.
- Yesterday was a big let down for the fans. The players just didnâ€™t look like they would get the job done and then when Reading obliged to have us level with 15 minutes to go â€“ we still couldnâ€™t take the gift point that was on offer. The fans have every right to be frustrated.
- The Reading fans must be happy today. They donâ€™t have much money to spend and donâ€™t have too many really great players but as a team and individually they worked their socks off and it looked like they had more men than us on the filed just because of their work rate and refusal to be beaten. Thatâ€™s what we thought weâ€™d see from a Sam Allardyce side this season â€“ but they were outfought and outplayed yesterday. It was readingâ€™s real lack of a cutting edge that almost let them down â€“ but they got all 3 points â€“ and they deserved to on the day. What this says about our team yesterday is very worrying.
- Well we’ll have to get over this disappointment and we obviously got ahead of ourselves after the good win against Tottenham. But it will be important to get all 3 points against Portsmouth next Saturday – and Portsmouth have a lot better players than Reading. Even if we gain a good victory we’ll need to temper it by our away form. Until we turn up for away games talk of Europe is premature.
- Itâ€™s not easy being a Newcastle United fan. It never has been easy being a Newcastle United fan. 😀
Let’s have your comments – what do you think we should do next – which players now deserve a run out – which players do we need in January.
Your comments and opinions are always very welcome – keep it clean though – thanks.