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.
Fayeâ€™s big strength is his heading ability of course, so now heâ€™s recovered from the illness that forced him off against Reading, we expect to see Abdoulaye line up at center-back tomorrow.
But weâ€™re not sure who his partner will be â€“ 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.â€
“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.â€
“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.â€
“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.â€
“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.â€ “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 â€“ 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.