Sam Disappointed in Newcastle Performance

Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce has admitted today that Newcastle‘s away form is now a huge concern for him.

That’s not surprising, because the Newcastle that played at Reading yesterday, bore absolutely no resemblance to the team that easily beat Tottenham 3-1 at St. James’ Park on Monday night.


Sam Allardyce – disappointed his players did not produce the goods

Newcastle have lost their last 3 away games and spurned 11 points from their last 4 away games, since beating Bolton on the first day of the season 3-1. It’s interesting that Newcastle’s next away game is at Sunderland – a game that we just have to show up for.

Allardyce said today:

“Our away form is obviously a huge concern after this result because a point, after the fact that we had lost the previous two away games, would have been very nice and given “us a bit of confidence.

“Now we get ever more edgy as time goes on because we have not been able to get a result away from home.”

“It is all very well playing well at home but sometimes away from home you have got to be able to dig in and we didn’t do that.”

Newcastle were outplayed by Reading for most of the game but should have captured an unlikely point when Michael Duberry gifted Newcastle an equalizer with just 15 minutes to go. But Newcastle still couldn’t hold onto that either and duly gave away a terrible goal from a simple high ball played into the box.

Apparently it was Reading’s best performance of the season and was hailed by manager Steve Coppell as like “seeing an old friend”. Allardyce was rightly disappointed in his players, after he had used a video of West Ham’s success at the Madejski Stadium as a blueprint to beat the Royals.

Sam said:

“The players should have been well aware of what they needed to do by the amount of time we spent through the week saying ‘this is Reading.” “We showed them the video where West Ham won by three goals by playing on the break but we never did that.”

“We just kept giving possession away and gave the opposition another chance to put the ball in our box so it was really disappointing. We ended up chasing them too much.”

The next two games will be important for Newcastle’s season. Next Saturday at home to a strong Portsmouth side, and then an away game at Sunderland. 6 points from those 2 games will see us well positioned – but that’s probably just a dream right now.

Comments very welcome.

43 comments so far

  • carl

    Oct 28, 2007 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #1

    i believe allardyce should blame himself, we should be going away to games like this and taking our home form confidence with was big sam who played four centre midfielders yesterday and it was sam who told them to go for a point. we should play a consistent team week in week out ,milner and the zog should of started , and we should of went for the win, home or away ,the game is the same, just differnt bloody grass. sort it out sam

  • George

    Oct 28, 2007 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #2

    Sam should be disappointed with the performance yesterday, but i also hope he is disappointed in himself.
    SA was the one who changed the team around from monday, we had a good balanced look about us then, then yesterday he changed the midfield to one were the players were out of position and getting under one anothers feet.
    It was not until Milner and N`Zogbia came on that we looked like doing anything.
    This is what i feared at the beginning of the season, making changes and upsetting the balance to accomadate others. It will not work.

  • Andy H

    Oct 28, 2007 at 4:20 PM

    Comment #3

    Normally when managers are struggling I would say that the players have to be held in some way responsible. Big Sam needs to see that he was responsible for that performance and all the other away matches because of his tactics and team selection. If he cannot see that his mindset is the problem with our away form then I can’t see us improving it.

  • ToonKing

    Oct 28, 2007 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #4

    In my view the blame is mostly on the players, as he said in the interview we were supposed to play on the break, that’s why we had 4CM, so they can feed balls to the fast little man up front and hit them on the counter. Problem was none of the midfield players turned up for this.

  • Leo

    Oct 28, 2007 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #5

    “Newcastle have lost their last 3 away games and captured just 11 points from their last 4 away games”

    does that make sence or have i read it wrongly??? bit hungover haha

    i would not soley blame sam alardyce on the loss, nzogbia was tired so could not make the team.

    milner, i would have played geremi because he was stronger, and with readings strong team it was the most obvious choice.

  • Ed Harrison

    Oct 28, 2007 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #6

    Leo – my fault – it should be we’ve spurned 11 of the last 12 away points – corrected it – thanks – I’m not at my best today 😀

  • Leo

    Oct 28, 2007 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #7

    always happy to help. hope u feel better soon

  • joshi

    Oct 28, 2007 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #8

    bring on the pompey i say!! lol if benjani takes penos against us we are in with a shout. would like to see a nicely balanced team for that 1, with the big aussie back up the front line.

  • Indian tøon

    Oct 28, 2007 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #9

    Catch them on the break.!? For a team to break into the top 6 . We should go all out attack against the opponent. Not sit and wait for them and score goals and attack at will. Will the top four sit and wait inside their half and let teams like reading dominate them.. Never.. When we hav so many attacking options why hesitate. Our team went to reading with a negative mindset. Sam should condemn some players to play in the reserves , for their performances as he did in boltøn. And offload owen for some striker who can make his own chances and a good goal assist ratio..

  • Indian tøon

    Oct 28, 2007 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #10

    Catch them on the break.!? For a team to break into the top 6 . We should go all out attack against the opponent. Not sit and wait for them and score goals and attack at will. Will the top four sit and wait inside their half and let teams like reading dominate them.. Never.. When we hav so many attacking options why hesitate. Our team went to reading with a negative mindset. Sam should condemn some players to play in the reserves , for their performances as he did in boltøn. And offload owen for some striker who can make his own chances and a good goal assist ratio.. Newcastle chak de

  • Jóhann

    Oct 28, 2007 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #11

    Okay I myself am getting tired of always talking about Given and how he clearly aint as able as Harper is. Some of you say Given is a great keeper but not just communication and that is why he should be dropped…ehhh and then play the worse keeper because just got some communication? The best keeper always plays and it´s very simple. Harper is the better keeper, maybe not as good as Given in reflection saves(not much between them there though). Steve Harper in my mind is just the real thing when it comes to being a goalkeeper. He aint doing the things pretty or let things look great he just does them and goes on with his job.

    I personally think a change in a goalkeeper should be obvious. Just tell me was the defense half as bad when Harper was in goal? We are ALWAYS getting goals and we are always reshaping our defense. Never once have people though about reshaping our goalkeeping department. I just think the time for Given to move aside for Harper has come. I´ve waited for a long time and I think it´s obvious for everyone to see(except for those in denial Sinead etc…) that Harper is better. The defense is a lot better. Newcastle always seem to get goals against themselves when Given play. The defense is just a mess like the second goal. The keeper SHOULD TALK, he should have went for that damn ball. Simple as that. In the last game you were saying here on the site that Given was commanding and going out of the box. Come on, he took 2 high balls that were really straight at him and no one was going to challenge him. Given reminds me of a primadonna, he doesn´t “sacrifice” himself for the team you could see that in the second goal. Long got around him and Given just waited, why not jump on the goddamn ball and close him down? I could go all day but when i´ve been reading here around I see more and more people are getting on the same opinion I have had for years

  • Jinal

    Oct 28, 2007 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #12

    Anyone watching the Liverpool Gunners game? Beautiful football by Arsenal! Thats more the kind of service that Owen and Martins need to score but I can only dream of us being able to play anything like Arsenal!!

  • ToonKing

    Oct 28, 2007 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #13

    There u go again indian toon………………get it in your thick head once and for all…were not a top 4 side…..Reading is a tough team at home, they have beaten Everton and gave Chelsea a run for their money at home. And they are a very frustrating team, they don’t let u pass the ball around and catching them on the break was a good gameplan, that’s how the Hammers beat them. And i’m not gonna get into an Owen debate again, the man is a Player of the Year and our best player, offloading him would be plain stupid.

  • Indian tøon

    Oct 28, 2007 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #14

    Now. Arent we tryin for a top 6 finish.. If a team has to be there. We should play attacking football both at home and away. We haven played the big four yet. So expecting us to get something out of these teams.. Is that too much to ask.. A point.. Everton are not in good form either. As far as chelsea are concerned they grind out results and keep clean sheets. At the end of the game they get 3 points . Why do you always hav to be sarcastic mr tøon king.:)

  • Eve

    Oct 28, 2007 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #15

    Jóhann..I read your comment, I can read it all right but none of it makes much sense. Come on, at the start of the season the team played well enough, the defense did well, everyone did but against crap sides and they all wanted to proove themselves to Sam. Now it’s like everyones in a funk. About your need to criticise Given did he do something to you or do you know Harper personally or something cause (LOL, maybe he turned you up) I’ve never seen so much spite towards a Newcastle player especially someone like Given who’s been their saviour for the last 10 odd years.
    I don’t know why you hate him like but em, Harper’s ok, but he’s not great. He’s a bit overated if you ask me. A lot slower, not as agile, not as good as a shot stopper as Given, not as reflexsive. Not as good as him at all.

    I’m not sure if you saw the game but for the first goal, there was no keeping that out and in the second goal, there was no stopping Long, it was the defense’s fault for not blocking Long, your saying he should have thrown himself at it but that’s what the defenders should have done. How was he supposed to know that the defenders weren’t going to do their job..even though it wouldn’t be the first time. I’ve never seen, nor are they supposed to jump at the ball unless there’s no other choice like one on ones which it wasn’t. There were defenders there who should have done that, not him.

    ” I could go all day but when i´ve been reading here around I see more and more people are getting on the same opinion I have had for years”

    Your saying more people are agreeing with your anti Given-ness..where are you reading?? Cause at the most including yourself there are, of what I can tell 2 maybe 3 other people who agree with you. SOme people think there are better keepers out there, I don’t know I think that Given is pretty dalm good like but there are deffinatley, including Given, keepers who are A LOT better then Harper.
    I don’t know where the hate is comming from though, he didn’t make any mistakes in the Reading game, he can’t instruct his defense to do something if they can’t understand him. Personnally I think Cacapa is part of the problem there yesterday, that and a very strange formation, Cacapa’s a good defender but like, no one can talk to him, communicate with him, he doesn’t have a word of English, that’s hardly Given’s fault. Try to be reasonable.

  • carl

    Oct 28, 2007 at 6:50 PM

    Comment #16

    indian toon i agree, its fat sams fault for giving the team a negative mindset before our away games, and why the f**k did sam try and copy west hams tactics?? we are our own team .end of day we have the players to beat teams like reading.getting sick of big sams shitty tactics.even at home we havent been very unconvinced, but hope they prove me wrong

  • wsq

    Oct 28, 2007 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #17

    not worth saying anything.. rome wasn’t built in a day right nonsense.. so let it build it self.. we might get rome after pissing away..

  • Sinead

    Oct 28, 2007 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #18’ve said some really annoying things over the last God knows how long, we both have directly opposite oppinions. You despise him and I like him. But to say that

    “Given reminds me of a primadonna, he doesn´t “sacrifice” himself for the team you could see that in the second goal”

    That’s just insulting to him I don’t know what he did to you like but no one deserves to be talked about like that.
    “Doesn’t sacrifice himself for the team”..oh, right and how many games over the last ten years have you seen apparently according to your comments not many.

    The second goal, the defense were the ones who just sat back and watched, they should have been the ones throwing themselves at it, that’s their job. How was he supposed to know that the defenders weren’t going to do it.

  • JP from The Rock of Gibraltar

    Oct 28, 2007 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #19

    Come on guys we lose one match after good results and you’re all against Big Sam and his tactics. Days before you were praising the man! We did play rather bad against Reading and I agree that we shouldn’t make too many changes away from home. But give credit to Sam for tighting it up, he is still getting to know our players and when and where they play better. We just have to be patient even though it really hurts sometimes, believe in Big Sam ‘cuz he will turn it around.

  • wsq

    Oct 28, 2007 at 7:16 PM

    Comment #20


    We need pace and width to play on the break! Sam has made a stupid mistake this weekend. If you can’t make the midfield connect with the forwards there’s no point. The more players you get upfront, the higher the percentage of scoring. He should know this with him being a percentage person. I guess the newcastle managerial seat makes a person stupid.

  • wsq

    Oct 28, 2007 at 7:17 PM

    Comment #21

    For the record, i’ve not praised big sam. I’ve been annoyed even when we are winning.

  • wsq

    Oct 28, 2007 at 7:21 PM

    Comment #22

    how do u expect mikel and oba to score from balls that are hoofed up 50m in the air every other time!! from the half way line or from the d box. how!! why can’t we score simple goals that come from an actual build up.

  • Alex

    Oct 28, 2007 at 7:51 PM

    Comment #23

    Lets hope that Sam is true to his word and changes the side for the pompey game. He said last week that if you play crap you will be dropped, well after yesterdays debacle it will be intresting to see who will be droped and who will start .Personally i would like to see Rozy recalled and maybe use Faye as holding midfielder and definately play Milner and Nzogbia.Well its a home game coming next so we know the performance will be beter than yesterday then on we go to the stadium of shite .

  • ChrisL

    Oct 28, 2007 at 8:53 PM

    Comment #24

    When Schmichael was in goal for ManU, would they have ever conceded a goal like Reading’s 2nd?
    No. It had little to do with who the defenders were at the time & everything to do with Schmichael keeping complete control of his back line at all times.

  • Eve

    Oct 28, 2007 at 8:58 PM

    Comment #25

    ChrisL..sorry to butt in like but I get what your saying (even though you can’t judge something like that) but infairness to Given how can he controll his defense if 2 of them can barely speack English, that’s hardly his fault now is it and also, he shouldn’t have to tell them to do their job.

  • valle

    Oct 28, 2007 at 9:20 PM

    Comment #26

    Toon King… Agree, playing on the break would mean we just packed ourselves in and just outside the box when they have posession, soak it up and then attack. It makes allot of sense to play that way when we are away till the team is much more organised. The players didnt do it however, and imo to many of em had a complete off day (Butt anyone?)

    To All the whiners… Whats up with the doom mongering?, allot of u have only shown ur ugly faces after our loss. I certainly didnt see half of u on the blog after the Spurs game… Kinda makes u wonder, dont it?.

  • valle

    Oct 28, 2007 at 9:27 PM

    Comment #27

    ChrisL… Being a Dane myself i know all about Schmeichel, and to be fair, he is one of the best keepers ever. But u cant say that he would never have conceded that goal himself (and i actually think that he himself would agree with that). Given is a great keeper, and tho he aint of Schmiechels level, he is still up there and one of the best keepers in EPL.

  • valle

    Oct 28, 2007 at 9:31 PM

    Comment #28

    On another note, half the whiners in here an mackems who try to rub salin whenever they get the chance, since its to painfull for em to read their own blog, with that relegation form going on (again).

  • Hammy

    Oct 28, 2007 at 10:40 PM

    Comment #29

    Ed, can you check the ip address of Eve and Sinead? looks like the same blogger to me…….

  • Tripp

    Oct 28, 2007 at 10:43 PM

    Comment #30

    valle, nice. The rubbish does seem to come out of the woodwork (how’s that for a mixed metaphor?) after a loss. Yes the away form is poor but it will improve. We’ve got plenty of talent on the pitch and in the management. Things will come around. This is a building season for chrissakes! We left point A, headed for B but we’re certainly not there yet.

    Howay the lads!

  • Hammy

    Oct 28, 2007 at 10:48 PM

    Comment #31

    I am fcuking sick of all the negativity, we lost so what…….lets move on……
    lets sack BSA……… get Mourinhio……he loses against Sunderland……fcuk it sack him……..hmmmn Fergie then becomes available…….we get him…loses two games on the bounce against iffy oppo……gets the boot…… who shall we get next hmmmnnnnn. Any lifelong fans are used to the toon scenario…..we could play for the next hundred years and win fcuk all, lets stop the whinging and get behind the team eh…….

  • Dirk

    Oct 28, 2007 at 10:53 PM

    Comment #32

    nobodys fault u carn blame any1 but the team for that performance we had enuf talent to win that game but nobody tried, geremi shouldn play as he is jus takin sum1 elses place on the pitch, martins and owen can play togetha bu play betta in the big man little man frontline, given should not hav been brought back into the team as harper played ten times betta than given is at the mo.

  • Andy C

    Oct 28, 2007 at 10:54 PM

    Comment #33

    Johan how the hell can you talk about Given being a primadona? He could have left us for bigger club many many times but has shown fantastic loyalty and is a great example to youngsters at the club.

    Have you just started supporting Newcastle this season? If not then you must have a very short memory, you talk about Given not sacrificing himself for the team. I seem to remember a certain incident not too long ago which left Given with what his surgeon described as car crash injuries.

    Now everyone is entitled to their opinion about who we should play and the glaring truth is that there is very little difference between Given and Harper. The bottom line is that more fundamental problems are contributing to our losses and anyone who finds it necessary to criticise either keeper is adding to the problem, Given certainly didnt perform to his best against Reading and the Toon fans who were giving him stick contributed to his the lack of confidence and nerves.

  • Oz Toon

    Oct 29, 2007 at 12:00 AM

    Comment #34

    COACHING MEMO: “Play players in their correct positions! If they can not hold down their position, do not, let me repeat, do not move them into another position just to give them a game and keep them happy.” Quoted from coaching 101.

    First, BSA is to blame, he picks the side, and he went into the game with no width. Zoggs and Milner our two best performers for the year sat on the bench while he persists in using Geremi wide right (Duh!) and Emre wide left… (I use the word “wide” very loosely.)

    Second, if we want to be amongst the big boys, it’s time we started playing like big boys. Going to Reading and trying to smash and grab is rubbish. We are showing way too much respect – play our wide men, and attack them, put them on the back foot, it’s not rocket science.

    Last of all, making Geremi captain was a big mistake – BSA clearly think he must play his captain, when his captain can not really hold down a place. Compromised, he then leaves out the young players (Milner and Zoggs) because he doesn’t want to leave out his captain or one of his other central midfielders.

    PS given the shambolic defending and average goalkeeping, I expect to see Harper, Rozendahl and Taylor back in the squad if BSA is serious about crap displays, it was hard to work out which was worse, Derby or Reading defeat.

    The Reading defeat for me cos I had my Uncle from Newcastle staying with us in Sydney with me Dar also, and we all watched the game together, it was depressing. My uncle got up in the morning and said, cam some one please tell me we didn’t get beat by Reading and that it was just a nightmare… I put the kettle instead.


    Oct 29, 2007 at 1:19 AM

    Comment #35

    No one is blaming Given, just an observation on his efficiency this term. He is undoubtedly one of the best keepers in the world and he has been the true gerneral for NUFC over the last decade. However, as a fanatic, as I am Newcastle thru and thru, I want us to win, win, win without any compromise and Emphasis on WIN. We have 11 great players at this club. Need I remind everyone, : GIVEN-BEYE-ENRIQUE-ROZENHAL-CAPACA-N’ZOGBIA-BARTON-EMRE-MILNER-OWEN and MARTINS, everyone else is subsequent to them. So having said that, NO EXCUSES.

  • vincent

    Oct 29, 2007 at 2:46 AM

    Comment #36

    Watched liv vs ars match yesterday.. the ars kids are simply class.. They are producing the real football style that every fans would love to see, neat passing breaking the opponent’s defence..

    i’m wondering when are we going to be at that level.. can’t our emre/barton do like frabegas? 😛

  • Magjp

    Oct 29, 2007 at 5:30 AM

    Comment #37

    Oooh, I am just glad the Reading game was not on Japanese TV, I had be severely deppressed for the whole week.
    I think its wrong Sam to leave Milner and Nzogbia on the bench. Geremi is not a wide man. Why not play Geremi and Emre in CM with Milner and Zog in the wings? Or whats wrong with seating Geremi on the bench?
    I have a feeling that Sam (just like Maka for England) will just have to STUMBLE on the winning Newcastle team. Lets wait and see our January perfomance and compare.

  • iain

    Oct 29, 2007 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #38

    anyone see sam on goals on sunday ? he said the coaches and him spent all week coaching the the team how to defend the way reading play and yet they mustnt have listened becuase the goals came from exactly that sort of football.

  • steve

    Oct 29, 2007 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #39

    we were awful at the weekend – the defence probably played better than the rest of the team and thats saying something – pumping long balls up just isn’t working with the players we have. We’re only 8th in the league due to the opposition we’ve played (i.e. no one above us) – the real test is over the next few games we’re we’ll see how much we’ve progressed
    I like everyone else on this blog have been guilty of getting carried away and was even thinking of a top four spot, realistically if we finish in top 10 it’s an improvement – anything below is treading water

  • paul p

    Oct 29, 2007 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #40

    if you go to an away game with the set up of how we did on saturday, then I would expect to be losing games. Why did we not start with charlie down one side, milner down the other. look what happend when we brought both of them on. we forced an equaliser and should have gone on to win the game at that point, but again for some stupid defending once again, we came away with nothing. For me, it is clear to say that since Rozenhal has been left out the side, we have shipped goals. 2 against everton, 2 on saturday, one against spurs. 5 goals in 3 games. I would play him with Faye. I think Cacapa is good, but he got ran raggered on saturday. Its worrying with the sunderland game now fast approaching. We need to get a result against Pompey and then we need to take that into the sunderland game. Instead of sitting back, lets have a go at teams, like arsenal and man u do. No good sitting back and letting teams attack you, trying to shut up shop because we can not do it away from home.


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