Unchanged Newcastle Defense Tomorrow

It looks like Abdoulaye Faye will keep his place at the back against Portsmouth on Saturday, since Big Sam thinks aerial dominance will be the key factor in tomorrow’s game.

Faye’s big strength is his heading ability of course, so now he’s recovered from the illness that forced him off against Reading, we expect to see Abdoulaye line up at center-back tomorrow.

But we’re not sure who his partner will be – but we’d not be surprised if Big Sam kept with Claudio Cacapa, even though the Brazilian probably had his worst game for Newcastle last week.


Abdoulaye Faye – has great heading ability – his big strength

Sam told the Shields Gazette this morning:

“In this game, there are more balls kicked by a goalkeeper now, either out of hands or off the floor, than ever in the history of the game because of the rule changes.”

“When they stopped the goalie picking it up and throwing the ball out at the back, they actually changed a rule to stop more football being played from the back.”

“The long kicks from the goalkeeper are more and more apparent in the game and because of the change in the ball, they are kicked far longer than ever before.”

“A ball now drops in your own 18-yard box from a goalkeeper, which never used to be the case in my time, a goalkeeper could very rarely get it past the halfway line.”

“That point of attack has to be one of the major areas that you stop first, and Abdoulaye Faye’s aerial dominance is one of his strengths.” “In the game against Everton he won 21 headers, and that’s an astonishing amount.”

Allardyce has several options at the back – Steven Taylor is now pushing to regain his place as is David Rozehnal, who has always played very well for the Magpies this season. But Sam has kept with Habib Beye, Faye, Claudio Cacapa, and Jose Enrique in the last 3 games. We think a surprise tomorrow may well be an unchanged defense – to give them a chance to atone for their terrible display last week, at least for that second goal.

What do you think? Let us know what you believe the defense and overall team will be – certainly Big Sam has lots of players to choose from right now.

Comments always very welcome.

29 comments so far

  • Arthur Prince

    Nov 2, 2007 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #1

    What about Roz instead of cacapa ? or the following team :-

    Beye Rozehnal Cacapa Enrique

    Milner Barton Faye Zog

    Smith Owen

    subs Harper Emre Taylor Martins Butt

  • Arthur Prince

    Nov 2, 2007 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #2

    Forgot Geremi !! pity we cant 12 men . I suppose the Ref might just notice !!

  • nomis_jade

    Nov 2, 2007 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #3

    I think BSA should make a change at the back, if he is to keep his word after dropping talys and roz after city game. I think faye should be in there cos he is great in the air which will be important agains kanu and benjani. Earlier in the season when he had roz and cacapa at the back, it seemed like we lost every header, it may have been the derby game.
    I would take capapa out, and put roz in. He is quick and comfortable on the ball and he hasnt had a chance to play much wit faye. I would prob keep beye and enrique although taylor could replace beye.
    Butt has been class, so him in the middle wit barton, and bring emre on later as an impact player. Milna and zog on wings.
    Smith up front with martins?? what do people think of smith up front?

  • Kash

    Nov 2, 2007 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #4

    Let’s look at it objectively, Portsmouth are most like to play Kanu and Benjai up top. Therefore a mixed game of pace and power. I would say that either Rozey or Taylor maybe back in for Cacapa with Faye retaining his place.

  • rod

    Nov 2, 2007 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #5

    Ok, I think Big Sam is the man for the job. I jut want to get that out of the way first. But surely, after what he said the reasons were behind Taylor and Roz gettin dropped he has to do the same now and drop Cacapa or Faye, or both.

  • malaysian youngster

    Nov 2, 2007 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #6

    must keep faye!!! he is awesome. i like him alot. why rozenhal doesnt look attacking when he is playing midfield?when he play defender he sometimes play like holding midfielder.

  • Dirk

    Nov 2, 2007 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #7

    would lik to c roz or taylor get there place back from cacapa , i think sam needs to find the best cb pair and he wont find it if he picks favourites, he seems to favour faye in defence which could be a problem. keep enrique and beye in the squad as they didnt do too much wrong last week, and they are performin highly for us, would like to c milner and zog back in the squad and geremi to b dropped as he is not performin and has not performed.

  • Jerry

    Nov 2, 2007 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #8

    Rozenhal has got to play. No matter what! He is too good to sit on NUFC’s bench. So that would mean Faye coming in to play defensive midfield, which he himself says is his favourite position.

  • sparetheman

    Nov 2, 2007 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #9

    Not a bad idea that – Rozenhal as the holding midfielder. He’s got good ball control and quick on his feet, as well as the experience of a defender, so he’ll be hard in the tackle. I’d give him a go.

  • Cockney Magpie

    Nov 2, 2007 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #10

    it gotta be :




    Harper, Cacapa, Emre, Geremi, Owen

  • Hadrian

    Nov 2, 2007 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #11

    i sometimes wonder if faye wouldnt be better sitting infront of our defence , that area screams out for some height , and Butt doesnt offer us that .
    not that id like to drop butt , his closing down play can be exellent … when he’s the only guy assigned to that part of the park ,throw smith and geremi in with him and it all gets a bit to crowded .
    anyway , the thing that stands out with the toon is our lack of height , add that to sam trying long balls and its no wonder our away form sucks .

  • true

    Nov 2, 2007 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #12

    You have to keep the same back four that started last week.
    Owen will never be dropped if he is fit he will play so Looks like Martins will be dropped for smith.
    Beye Faye Cacapa Enrique

    Milner Barton Emre Zog

    Smith Owen

    subs Harper Taylor Martins Geremi Butt

    Martins will come on for smith second half after smith has been booked and he will set up owen for the winner……

  • toonmad

    Nov 2, 2007 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #13

    as long as geremi isnt playing i will be happy, the bloke cant tackle, has no awareness of what is around him and cannot pass for toffees, plus every game he leaves the mascots on their own just wondering around, you never saw Shearer do that. The bloke is not a leader and should not be club captian.

  • Bet Blogger

    Nov 2, 2007 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #14

    I’m really not sure about Cacapa. good goal against Spurs but very little else for me to convince me he has what it takes to be a success in the Prem. Faye is fine and experienced but Cacapa lets the defence down at the moment.

  • indian toon

    Nov 2, 2007 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #15

    the only guarnateed places are of beye , enrique and faye.. and in every other position it’s anyone’s guess..

  • yemozone

    Nov 2, 2007 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #16


    beye rozehnal cacapa enrique

    milner faye emre n’zogbia

    smith owen/martins

  • Hadrian

    Nov 2, 2007 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #17

    Great 10 min owen video on bbc site , comes off really well . the timing of the interview has been great , so great infact it just makes me wonder if the board asked micheal to get it out the way . hopefully this will help shut the southern press up for the whole transfer window with regards to owen , and probably why its been done .
    are we right not to even offer owen a new contract yet tho , and whats happening with oba and that stupid 13mill clause , id expact that sorted before january .
    owen’s right about home/away form when it comes to derbys aswel , we must NOT lose to the mackems , its just not acceptable , the away defeat to derby will seem like a drop of sand in the ocean compared to losing against the mackems .

  • UTD111

    Nov 2, 2007 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #18

    The main point for a home game is that Milner and NZogbia MUST play – and we must attack in strength! I’d like to see Alan Smith up front – where he had an excellent game against Everton – with either Oba or Owen

  • Secretzone

    Nov 2, 2007 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #19

    i felt beye seem to be a bit off form lately, i would drop him for taylor.

  • indian toon

    Nov 2, 2007 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #20

    shocking… http://www.nufc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10278~1158242,00.html

  • indian toon

    Nov 2, 2007 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #21

    lee clark is a very good coach and a excellent scout… please dont leave.

  • Leo

    Nov 2, 2007 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #22

    arthur prince, i couldnt agree more with your choice for team

    maybe the only difference would be martins and owen up top…

  • Leo

    Nov 2, 2007 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #23

    am gutted about lee clarke like… hope he stays or we get some wiz coach in.

  • Tom_Toon

    Nov 2, 2007 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #24


    Beye Faye Rozehnal Jose Enrique

    Geremi Barton Emre N’Zogbia

    Smith Martins

    Subs: Harper, Butt Milner, Capaca, Owen


    Nov 2, 2007 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #25

    how can people suggest dropping nicky butt he’s been our best player all season

  • Rich

    Nov 2, 2007 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #26

    I hope Sam plays this team:

    Beye Rozenthal Faye Enrique
    Milner Butt Emre N Zogbia
    Smith Martins

    Subs: Harper, Taylor, Barton, Geremi, Owen

    I feel barton is still just short of match fitness and should be given the 2nd half. Ive also dropped Cacapa, ive no doubt hes a class player but if Taylor was dropped for mistakes the same should happen to Cacapa.

  • Rich

    Nov 2, 2007 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #27

    I think but hope not tho that Sam will go with this lineup:

    Beye Rozenthal Faye Enrique
    Geremi Barton Butt N Zogbia
    Smith Owen

    Subs: Harper, Cacapa, Emre, Martins, Milner

    Id be willing to put money on Sam going with this line up!

  • UTD111

    Nov 2, 2007 at 10:22 PM

    Comment #28

    And another thing……….the correct spelling is defence!! Its our game and our language!

  • UTD111

    Nov 2, 2007 at 10:24 PM

    Comment #29

    Not bothered about Lee Clark leaving. Its a good move for him – and will have no impact on United at all.


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