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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Sam Concerned About Inconsistent Form

10:38 am, Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 by Ed Harrison · 15 Comments

Sam Allardyce seems as frustrated as anybody at Newcastle’s inconsistent form. Good and strong at home but not good at all on the road.

Sometimes it’s just hard to understand why this happens – because obviously the team has proved they are a lot better than the one that played on Saturday at Reading.

And while we thought our defense would keep improving, they fell back again on Saturday and gave away two bad goals.

sam-allardyce11.jpg

Sam Allardyce - two cuurrent problems – defensive frailties and away form

The first goal wasn’t too bad since it was a beautiful shot from Kitson, but he had too much time and space for the shot. The second goal was woeful – just awful defending.

Sam will probably change things around at the back but just whether Steven Taylor and David Rozehnal will get back into the side is an unknown. Looks like Sam is not sure what his best 11 is at the moment either.

Sam told the Daily Star.

“I don’t know my strongest 11 just yet, but as each game goes by you get a little closer,”

Newcastle have only failed to win at home against Aston Villa this season so in total have 5 wins and a draw including the win against Barnsley in the Carling Cup. But Newcastle have to get tougher on the road and not be so easy to break down by the opposition.

Sam continued:

“We’ve been a dominant force at home and that’s encouraging, but my biggest concern is the away form.”

“It’s important the players take everything we’re telling them on board.”

“We need to become more determined to stop the opposition playing.”

Again, the most interesting thing about the game against Portsmouth on Saturday will be the team Sam selects. If he is consistent he will need to drop some of the defenders. But they may be the best back four we have. However, the season is young and it’s time for some players to stand up and play solidly both at home and away. They’ll be the ones who capture the first team places – especially in defense. After all, most places in the team are still up for grabs.

Comments welcome.



Tags: Newcastle News





15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jerry // Oct 30, 2007 at 11:09 AM

    There is no point in Sam making drastic changes at the back. Steven Taylor should sit on the bench – because that is where he deserves to be. Cacapa should play., but with Rozenhal. Beye and Enrique should keep their positions and Faye should be our defensive midfielder.

    No matter how good your defenders are, if you play defensively and Sam instructed the team to do last saturday, the defence eventualy cracks!!! Its not rocket science. Pressure must be taken off the back line and the best way to do this is to play possession football!!!

  • 2 Callum // Oct 30, 2007 at 11:16 AM

    I hope our away form improves soon, its amazing, its like watching a completely different team away from home :(

  • 3 Kash // Oct 30, 2007 at 11:31 AM

    I think Taylor may get the shout on Saturday as he’ll be up against Benjani. I thought Cacapa was poor against Reading. Enrique was OK, Beye was slightly shakey too.

  • 4 ALEX // Oct 30, 2007 at 11:40 AM

    Taylor as RB. Rozi and Faye – CB.

    But newer mind that Milner and Charles on the wings!!!!!!
    Therefore:
    Given
    Taylor-Rozi-Faye-Enrique
    Milner-Butt-Barton-Zogbia
    Matins-Viduka (if not fit Smith)
    Subs: Harper,Cacapa, Geremi, Owen, Emre

  • 5 Bryan // Oct 30, 2007 at 12:33 PM

    I am sick to death of NUFC managers making excuses for bad defensive displays. On Saturday we played right into Readings hands by feilding a defensive side. Why play Emre & Geremi, 2 central midfeild players, wide left and right when Milner & Enzogbia have played so well this season. Round pegs in square holes spring to mind. As long as we continue to hit high balls towards 2 very small strikers opposing defenders will lap it up. Emre & Geremi will never do themselves justice while playing out of postition.
    Defending is not just done by the 4 defenders, it is done as a team. If midfeild players can not protect their defenders as they should any team will struggle, not just Newcastle.
    Big Sam should take a good hard look at himself in relation to his tactics and team selection not just for the Reading game but for all our away games this season. Take Man City out of the equation and the teams we have played away from home so far this season will be contesting the relegation places come the end of the season. That is a sad inditment on our season so far. If we our unable to look like beating teams away from home from the bottom half of the league then what chance have we against the top sides. Sam has to take responsability for the bad away form, and unless he does and stops blaming the players all the time, then I am afraid he is going to end up like all our previous managers who did the same.
    Come on Sam we beleive in you, but stop thinking your still at Bolton and put out the team that wins you games. Our home form is great, whats wrong with playing, not only the same players but in the same attack minded way.

  • 6 iain // Oct 30, 2007 at 12:39 PM

    its not the back four imo that are entirley to blame. they get very little protection from mf and are always being dragged out of position to cover for misplaced passes in mf. the amount of times our wingers have been cut off out of position by short misplaced passes from cm is very worrying. butt/geremi dont have the pace to cover for there own poor passes so a defender is always dragged out of position trying to cover and after a while madness ensues becuase the team has lost its shape and noone in the back 4 is sure whether to close down or hold the line.

    the everton goals and man city goals are very similar in the way that our right flank is opened up. and for some reason nufc players never do what the best defenders always do and thats make a foul to stop play, although ive noticed beye has started doing it on the back of realising hes getting no help from mf. also the lack of pressure put on players punting long balls at our back four is poor, odds are that one will drop favorably for the opo cf.

    we also get caught short at the back post becuase the whole back line is dragged across the pitch when our wide areas are exposed. the fb cant see what is behind them becuase there is no winger covering behind to tell them either – why becuase they got caught up the pitch in the last attack that broke down from our crap passing.

    solution 1 – play quick wide players who can get back not geremi/emre and make sure our cm dont give away possesion on the halfway line all the time, best way to solve that imo is get some new cm who can pass and dont make unforced errors.

    solution 2 – play 5 defenders in a 532 formation (3cb 2wb 3cm 2cf)

    solution 3 – (my favorite) play roz in cm hes quick and can pass everything that is missing from geremi and butts game.

    solution 4 – play 5 defenders and roz in cm with barton and emre with 2 cf up top to occupy the opo back four. 1cf up top on his own would only leave 4 defenders to push up into mf and outnumber us.

  • 7 iain // Oct 30, 2007 at 12:48 PM

    ed – i think its time for a poll…

    - what should nufc do away from home

    options…

    1 – extra defenders ?

    2 – extra goalie ?

    3 – extra mf player ?

    4 – attack, attack and attack some more, who cares about defending.

  • 8 Leo // Oct 30, 2007 at 1:04 PM

    how many times does big sam have re-iterate the fact that he is concerned? haha

    i would play this team against pompey

    harper

    beye cacapa rozehnal enrique

    milner faye emre nzogbia

    martins smith

    bench given taylor barton geremi owen

  • 9 Pouch13 // Oct 30, 2007 at 1:32 PM

    Sam really looked as though he was managing Bolton again on Saturday against Reading, his original selection was chosen to not lose the game rather
    than put a team out that would dominate a lesser side. His substitutions were even more concerning when he took our best defender off, we actually lost the game through lack of height in defence with Faye sitting on the bench as Long collected the free kick flick on. Derby and Reading defeats reminded me of the Souness and Daglish era’s, negative management leading to quite disgraceful defeats. And doe,s Big Sam really need a cast of five to decide who should be brought off the bench, not something you would see from Fergie, or Wenger? Maybe it’s Big Sam who needs to show he’s got what it takes, before critising the players for poor performances?

  • 10 Bryan // Oct 30, 2007 at 2:45 PM

    Iain – Spot on mate. I can put up with losing if we are at least playing a passing game of attacking football. But to have to be told by Sam that away from home we have to keep things tight and if need be accept a 0-0 bore draw, is just not good enough. We have played like that all season away from home and only have 4 points out of 15 to show for it. You work the Maths out. Our fantastic away supporters dont fork out their hard earned cash to watch boring long ball football, hence the chats on Sat of “Attack,attack,attack”. Do Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool play that way away from home? certainly not, thats why they win more than they lose. I dont think Sam realises just how big OUR club is. Stop thinking in terms of the Bolton factor, your not at little old Bolton anymore. NUFC are a million miles out of the same league as them and always will be. Start thinking big and positive like OUR club and if you cant handle the pressure of managing a big club like ours I am afraid you are going to find yourselve back managing another team in the Championship very soon.

  • 11 Jaypro // Oct 30, 2007 at 3:19 PM

    Iain and Bryan spot on!

    BSA needs to take a long hard look at his negative tactics.

  • 12 Jinal // Oct 30, 2007 at 4:51 PM

    I do agree with Iain and Bryan that we also need to play attacking football away from home, however I don’t agree with the idea of Roz playing CM. Yes he is quick and he does get himself in good positions but he can’t create a pass or have a good shot at goal!

    As I said ealier, my changes for the next game :
    -Drop Cacapa and Beye and bring in Rozenhal and Taylor both as CD.
    -Play Geremi as LB and Faye as CDM.

    So the team would look like

    Given
    Geremi Rozenhal Taylor Enrique
    Milner Faye Emre Nzogbia
    Owen Viduka

    Subs : Harper,Cacapa,Barton,Butt,Martins

    Last time Faye played in midfield, we owned it. Even though he is a defensive midfielder, he fights for those balls and creates space which is when Emre can work his magic.
    I was hesitant to put Smith or Butt in the starting 11 because I think its about time we tried some other options. Butt has been playing well but he’s only on the bench for me.

  • 13 Jinal // Oct 30, 2007 at 4:56 PM

    I agree with Iain and Bryan that we do need to play attacking football away from home, however I don’t agree with the idea of Roz playing CM. Yes he is quick and he does get himself in good positions but he can’t create a pass or have a good shot at goal!

    As I said ealier, my changes for the next game :
    -Drop Cacapa and Beye and bring in Rozenhal and Taylor both as CD.
    -Play Geremi as LB and Faye as CDM.

    So the team would look like

    Given
    Geremi Rozenhal Taylor Enrique
    Milner Faye Emre Nzogbia
    Owen Viduka

    Subs : Harper,Cacapa,Barton,Butt,Martins

    Last time Faye played in midfield, we owned it. Even though he is a defensive midfielder, he fights for those balls and creates space which is when Emre can work his magic.
    I was hesitant to put Smith or Butt in the starting 11 because I think its about time we tried some other options. Butt has been playing well but he’s only on the bench for me.

  • 14 iain // Oct 30, 2007 at 5:21 PM

    “Yes he is quick and he does get himself in good positions but he can’t create a pass or have a good shot at goal!”

    no less than butt or geremi and he wont give away possesion playing simple short passes like butt and geremi are and as you agree he is quick. his prioirty would be winning the ball then playing a simple pass to to barton/emre in cm or zog/milner out wide. the point of a dfm isnt to score goals or create chances for strikers. you might as well not bother with one if they cant pass simply becuase what good is winning the ball back if you give it away straight away ??? the best dfm in the world for years was/is makele and he couldt score for love nor money but you could count the times he gave possesion away in a season on your fingers.

    rozehnals only goal for psg came from outside the box after playing a one two then hitting his shot first time. hes our weakest ch in the air and would of got slaughtered even more at reading with there tactics.

    if sam doesnt think he can play there why does he keep bringing him on late in games instead of putting a mf there or putting roz in ch and putting cacapa/faye in mf ???

  • 15 iain // Oct 30, 2007 at 5:25 PM

    the best weve looked attacking from fb imo was when taylor was at rb becuase he didnt just hump the ball 30yards in the air every time he got possesion.

    given isnt claiming enough in the air either hes sticking on his line too much imo, hes not doing his usuall sweeper keeper role as much either, i still think hes worried about getting hurt whihc is bad for a goalie.




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