Sam Happy with Away Point

Newcastle’s manager Sam Allardyce seemed quite happy that his side claimed a point after a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light with Sunderland this afternoon.

Given Newcastle’s poor form of late, especially away from home, it’s not too surprising that Sam would be satisfied with a draw, since it does end a run of two successive defeats.

A loss to Sunderland today would have been catastrophic for the Magpies.


Sam Allardyce – happy with an away point in derby game

Sunderland took the lead when Danny Higginbottom headed home in the 52nd minute when the Newcastle defense had been caught upfield and were trying to get back for a quickly taken Sunderland corner. Then Newcastle increased their tempo and then James Milner equalized from a wide position out on the left, with a low cross that crept into the net off a post.

After 82 minutes, former Newcastle player Michael Chopra hit the underside of the crossbar with a header, and Taylor was there to somehow clear the ball off the line. That was as close as Sunderland got to a win.

Sam said after the game:

“We deserved it for our response after going a goal down.” “The fear of going another goal down at that stage is the reason we picked our game up and took the game to Sunderland.”

“I thought when we scored we might have gone on to get another chance and maybe win it.”

“Up to then, Sunderland outmuscled us and we couldn’t get our passing game going, but that happens in a derby match.”

“In the end it was a fair result. We’ve gone behind, it’s away, it’s a derby and we haven’t lost.”

Sam will be happy with the away point, because there were also some good things to take away from the game from a Newcastle viewpoint. The defense was a lot lot better than last week and Abdoulaye Faye was outstanding at the back, before he had to go off in the second half, after he strained a hamstring. We hope it’s not too serious.

The back four played quite well but they gave away another poor goal. Emre had a good game for Newcastle and Barton looked better than last week and got a lot more of the ball in this game.

But our next game will be a big challenge, at home to Liverpool in 2 weeks time, with another early 12:45 pm kick off.

Comments welcome.

40 comments so far

  • Latex

    Nov 10, 2007 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #1

    Reading this after the Sunderland game, watching the Derby – West Ham game and I’m left wondering if the right man is managing Newcastle United.
    Managers need time but if the wrong manager is given 20 years there’s nothing we’re going to achieve. He can’t keep being happy with draws, we need a winning manager and a winning team.

  • dan

    Nov 10, 2007 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #2

    I disagree. Sunderland were there for the taking in the second half once we equalised. Sam failed to spot this and didn’t put our best attacking force on to go and win the game until 82 minutes.

    How on earth Mark Viduka played the whole 90 minutes is beyond me!!! Even Ameobi would have been more useful up there than him!
    and yet again Milner was on the left which is absolutely crazy.

    Lucky to get away with a draw after quite a bad display, and simply aweful tactics in my opinion. I know i’m not the only one who is staggered by sams selections. He’s losing alot of support game by game becasue of this.


  • Sinead

    Nov 10, 2007 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #3

    See THAT is the difference between Keane and Sam.

  • Johnny T

    Nov 10, 2007 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #4

    Derby1-0 NUFC
    Derby 0-4 WHU
    The game ain’t finished yet. When are we gonna WAKE UP!

  • Johnny T

    Nov 10, 2007 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #5

    Derby 0 5 WHU ……. FFS

  • toonfan1

    Nov 10, 2007 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #6

    solano is having a good time at west ham it looks like

    derby 0-5 west ham!!! solano scores 5th goal. shouldn’t have sold him absoulte legend and great player. if only we still had him.

  • toonfan1

    Nov 10, 2007 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #7

    derby are pretty much the shittest team in the premiership and i cannot believe we lost to them 1-0.

  • Steve

    Nov 10, 2007 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #8

    Will take a draw, but was thrilled to see the boys play with passion and pride. Smith, Barton, Faye, Viduka, Owen, all these boys thrilled me with their passion, lunging for everything..
    dan, how on earth you’re paying Viduka out is a disgrace. The guy brings the ball down from very awkward situations and manages to do some outrageous things.. The service to him is poor, not his performance… We finally have someone holding the ball up in the final third. To suggest he was poor would suggest to me you were watching a different football match. Give Dukes some credit…

  • toonfan1

    Nov 10, 2007 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #9

    omg i forgot that with west ham winning, we will slip down to 11th. first time bottom half of the table i think? not sure

  • dan

    Nov 10, 2007 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #10

    I think you were watching the different match steve. Viduka is up there for his strength/holding the ball up/ and for his heading ability.

    Not once did i see him win a header.
    Not once did i see him show any kind of strength.
    In fact, not once did i see him do anything to suggest he should be in the team!

    I’ve got nothing against the lad, i’m sure he’ll play some great games for us. But how he is keeping players like Martins and Smith out of a strikers role amazes me. Especially since he’s just come back from injury.

  • iain

    Nov 10, 2007 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #11

    bottom half of the table for us tonite.

    thank god our run of fixtures after the next 3 (lpool home, burn away, arsenal home) is …brum home/fulham away/derby home/wigan away/ and chelsea away.

    even more so becuase in january we play arsenal/man utd/man city with bolton at home looking as our only possible points in january the way we are playing.

    id say despite mort and ashley saying sam isnt under pressure if we dont get results (12 points needed imo) in that run of easy games before xmas, imo he will be looking for a new job come jan. as we could easily go from chelsea at new year to boro in feb picking up only 3 points from 15.

  • toonfan1

    Nov 10, 2007 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #12

    dan, viduka win a lot of headers in the first half but i agree to some extent about viduka being in the team but i thought sam was right to start him but i thought why not take viduka off instead of owen and then chuck on martins for pace? i thought viduka peeled out of the game about 70 mins onwards but overall first half performance was poor but we had a few oppotunities and the second half was an improvement except for the one mistake which cost us a goal. i think faye was a rock at the back but his decision making when he has the ball i think failed him at some points in the game and these mistakes lead to the goal as faye gave a silly pass away and rozenhal should have done better to kick the ball for a throw instead of an attempeted backpass but again one defensive error let us down but fair play we battled back and got summat from the game

  • dan

    Nov 10, 2007 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #13

    Toonfan1, Yeh i agree, faye played really well. One of our best players in my opinion.
    Maybe i am being harsh on the duke – i just feel so bad for martins being kept out while Viduka doesn’t seem to be doing an awful lot up there. I thought martins could have won us the game today with his pace.

  • yh

    Nov 10, 2007 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #14

    Faye was basically good but I think it was his screwed up pass which led to Rozenhal scrambling to clear the ball…

    Yes and tactics.

    Why the hell is Barton on the right? Milner should be there Enrique should’ve started at left back because Zogbia really shouldn’t be playing there. Emre Barton in the middle would have done well enough cause Smith was just being Smith again…

  • sparetheman

    Nov 10, 2007 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #15

    “I’ve got nothing against the lad, i’m sure he’ll play some great games for us. But how he is keeping players like Martins and Smith out of a strikers role amazes me. Especially since he’s just come back from injury.”

    What amazes me is this statement. Viduka brings something unique to the team up front – he’s much better than Smith up front. He’s scored nearly double the amount in the premiership than Smith has in his career, and that is a fact! 88 goals over 7 seasons for Viduka compared to Smith’s 45 goals over 9 seasons. In total Smith has played about 50 games more than Viduka in premiership (despite his leg break that one season for Man Utd). Viduka is also better at keeping the ball in my opinion. I really can’t a case for Smith ahead of Viduka.

    I’d like to see Martins playing, but it’s clear he’s competing more with Owen than Viduka. The Martins and Owen combination will never work in my opinion. It’s very rare you see two “small” men up front working well, and the big man – little man combo isn’t the conventional way to play for nothing – it’s effective.

  • Rob kirton

    Nov 10, 2007 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #16

    I am glad Sam is happy with the point. I don’t think many others will be.Today we had 5 players playing outside of their natural positions and agame plan to go for a draw against a team near the bottom of the table who rarely beat us. We were outplayed for long sections of the game. Mike Ashley whilst sitting behind the goal today will have picked diehard fans views on players, formation & tactics today.

    Meanwhile the rest of us can look closely at the table. We’ve played mostly teams below us and apart from against Bolton, our team appeared to have been briefed that they were playing Brazil and that it would be a stern test and rear guard action. Looking above us we’ve managed to scrape points from Everton & Villa whilst been humped by a Man City and Portsmouth. We’ve yet to play the rest. On that basis, and continue with our form over the last 11 games we will be very lucky to hang on t0 11th.

    Kevin Keegan took over this club, stopped us from going down then saw promotion next season. Bobby Robson took over this club, stopped us from going down, saw us to mid table next season before pushing on for Europe the next.

    Talk of Sam Allardyce being given time (i’ve heard people say 4-5 years) to turn us around has to be realistic. Two former managers had an immediate effect and took 1-2 years to make us a potent force. We had two absolute duck egg managers in the shape of Souness & Roeder. Irrespective of whether they were the right appointments, they were shipped out quickly enough. The end of this season will determine which of the categories Sam Allardyce will fall into. Moving forward or being a real duck egg.

    I wish him luck. He is going to need it

  • toonfan1

    Nov 10, 2007 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #17

    yh- i actually think that smith played well today. when he was given the job of guarding the back 4, he did it pretty well and then he passed the ball decently enough and i think it was smudge who played a one-two with milner on the goal so overall i think smith was pretty good not outstanding but did his job well

  • Marty

    Nov 10, 2007 at 6:51 PM

    Comment #18

    I agree that smudge played well but Viduka should have been on the bench as he`s just back n not fit.
    Poor tactics from sam again n we`re so lucky with the goal.
    Milner disappeared from the game after the goal n many times throughout the game.He was exactly the same while at Villa.

  • Alex

    Nov 10, 2007 at 6:51 PM

    Comment #19

    I also thought that smith had a good game.Sam give him a job to do and he did it well the team performed a lot better than the last couple of games so things are looking up, it was never going to be easy today.Apart from the goal the defence looked a lot more solid today .Its a shame that sam waited so long to bring Oba, on after the equaliser it started to look like we were the ones that would score a second goal. If oba had more time ithink his pace would have done them.Maybe this could be the turning point of the season in terms of picking up away points.

  • dragoner

    Nov 10, 2007 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #20

    i am really getting angry with sam now, his choices amaze me. why do we play taylor at right back when beye is much better??? why play zoggy in lb when he is better in midfield and enrique is better in lb??? why play owen when martins is our top scorer and possess greater pace and skill???? owen has really let me down since he has come back. people keep trying to sugar coat it, but the fact of the matter is he just aint good enough any more, hes not clinical, not fast on OR off the ball, not skillful…whats the point in him getting in the right place at the right time if he cant finish??? he couldnt even finsh the easy chance against portsmouth, he is a has-been, flog him now, let martins play, martins created more in 10mins than owen did the whole match.
    sam is a hypocrite, why does he keep playing owen no matter how little he does??

  • dragoner

    Nov 10, 2007 at 7:23 PM

    Comment #21

    anyway, i thought we were supposed to filter out all the big wage bloodsuckers, is owen not one of them.??..the guy says ‘oh im happy to be here’ and everyone gets all happy even though he has been clearly putting off contract renewal….i see right through him

  • Leo

    Nov 10, 2007 at 7:30 PM

    Comment #22

    has anyone heard about the rumour that big dukes has a drinking problem???

    we should never be happy with drawing with the unwashed

  • Leo

    Nov 10, 2007 at 7:31 PM

    Comment #23

    i wasnt happy with the team and tactics tbh

  • Andreas

    Nov 10, 2007 at 8:38 PM

    Comment #24

    The biggest problem is that we didn’t play to win the game, a draw was the main goal for BSA and that’s not good enough imo.

    I really thought that BSA was a manager capable of chaning tactics accoarding to the players at his disposal rather than being a die-hard long-ball luck based manager with a very dubious selection policy. Unfortunetly it seems likely that this view was wrong and the ppl critizing BSA for dull football were right.

    I sincerly hope BSA prove me wrong. One more thing, I am not saying that loosing with style is a better way to go about things and I could easily live with crap football if it actually meant that we won games, but at the moment that’s not the case.

    Please, sort the tactics and player selections (God Damn it!)!

  • micepie

    Nov 10, 2007 at 8:43 PM

    Comment #25

    As always our fans are unable to see anything other than at one extreme or the other. There is a LOT of very hard work to achieve and major improvement needed all round, but it’s crazy when only a small handful of games ago after beating Spurs we’re all about how great BSA is and that we can make the top 5 and now all is gloomy and despondent! I think BSA should take the squad away from it all for a week training, somewhere like Austria again, try to lift the spirit and confidence.

  • Hadrian

    Nov 10, 2007 at 9:33 PM

    Comment #26

    you ask for 3-5 years to turn a championship team around , not a team who on paper has been a real force in the prem , we’ve had more top 6 finishes than most .
    you cant ask for 3 years to turn a team around full of million £ players .

    lets be honest , all this best start to the season malarky …. we’ve had a decent fixture list these past few month , s0mething that we needed to take full advantage of to get us thru the harder fixtures to come . our points in the league are missleading .
    bug’s the hell out of me when managers come in and try and change to much to soon , fair enough we needed players , but to go straight to long ball is killing us .
    just look at bolton , they are only getting their arse into gear just now as megson realised you dont change everything straight away , you take what you have got and add to it . in our case , we have some skillfull players who can take people on , yet all they see is the ball winging over there heads .
    and for god’s sake play oba !!!!!!

  • PK-Norway

    Nov 10, 2007 at 11:44 PM

    Comment #27

    I wonder how much time Sam needs to get the team to win some games..We loose against DERBY,loose home against POMPEY,DRAW against Sunderland..we even havent met the good teams yet..omg.. i cant imagine we against Arsenal, Man U and Chelsea…And if Sam doesnt use players in their natural positions soon…things will really go baad,Why dont sam play OBA..he scores..i am from Norway..and i tell u one thing..Rosenborg’s players arent better than ours but still they beat Valencia twice..i dont think Sams Newcastle would have done it..i mean..we doesnt play football that match our players..simply as that..Barton on the right..yea rite..and Zogbia on left back what is he doin..Enrique have played well…Roeder did better than this..if u look at how many players was injured last season..

  • Steve c

    Nov 10, 2007 at 11:54 PM

    Comment #28

    SMITH whats the point

  • Bill f

    Nov 11, 2007 at 2:22 AM

    Comment #29

    I watched the highlights and didn’t even realise Viduka was playing I don’t think he got a mention. Smith Looked as if he was working his socks off, Harper looked totally lost. The defence looked lost and we should have lost. Sam has got 2 weeks to sort it out or Liverpool will thrash us.

  • Andreas

    Nov 11, 2007 at 2:33 AM

    Comment #30

    PK-Norway, agreed – we actually do have a quite nice squad (would have liked some more pace in mf but ok) and no matter what ppl (including BSA) says it’s not ok for a team like ours to go to places like Derby, Scumberland etc and search for a draw (with a potential luck win). Even though we might be regarded as a team in transistion we should be able to clearly out play teams like that.

    As for games against Arse, Manure, Liverpool etc. I actually think that our present “try to scrap a draw tactics” will work better against those kind of teams but I would ofc prefer if we actually tried sincerly to win even such games instead of searching for draws.

    Don’t know if BSA (and others) have realized that we nowadays have the 3-point system which mean that draws are pretty bad. WLWL = 6p and I prefer that to WDDD (with this dull football we’re playing). It’s winning games that will take us places, not avoiding loosing games.

    Ofc it’s important to shore up the defence and make us harder to beat but that shouldn’t be something that automatically means we stop aiming to win games and settle for draws.

  • Brisbane Mag

    Nov 11, 2007 at 2:35 AM

    Comment #31

    We’re not playing good football , nor achieving good results against the poor PL sides.

    Bring on Liverpool, Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea as we need to improve dramaticaly to gain a single point against this type of opposition……..

    BSA has made big changes since his arrival and will change-out several more during January!

  • Bill f

    Nov 11, 2007 at 2:38 AM

    Comment #32

    Yeah starting with his defence coach.

  • evildick

    Nov 11, 2007 at 4:02 AM

    Comment #33

    stop your moaning people, we won’t win the league this season. top half is realistic.

  • craig chisholm

    Nov 11, 2007 at 7:46 AM

    Comment #34

    what a bunch of moaning tossers. reading this blog is much more sad than getting a draw yesterday. you people are the reason we get no stability ever at newcastle. you demand instant sucess constantly and when you dont get it scream to sack everyone. you are pathetic. i thought it was a good game to watch and we got a result which could have easily gone against us and its stopped the mini loosing run of two games.

  • Nobby's dad

    Nov 11, 2007 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #35

    dragoner – Do you actually watch Owen? He (almost) never gives the ball away. The bring down for the run through near the end was top class – unfortunately he had to go to his left. It’s our play that doesn’t suit him. Imagine his goal return if he was at Arsenal /Man Utd. Goal scorers need SERVICE!! He gets none – FACT.

  • Bill f

    Nov 11, 2007 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #36

    Craig moaning is what this is about. We moan when we lose and rejoice when we win. If you don’t like it go to another blog.

  • yh

    Nov 11, 2007 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #37

    This is moaning? We’re criticizing BSA because his choices baffle us (ala Benitez style) and definitely not screaming for him to get sacked…

    C’mon, look at it – the issue with the natural full backs – okay perhaps Taylor was allowed to play because of his Geordie background etc but Zogbia instead of Enrique is really a big question mark.

    Owen starting is fine but bringing on Oba only in the 83rd minute was another head-scratcher…

    It’s been mentioned over and over again – simple and obvious points that we as supporters just want to make.

    ‘i thought it was a good game to watch and we got a result which could have easily gone against us and its stopped the mini loosing run of two games.’

    Yeah sure it was a good game to watch…
    If you were a mackem. I swear my heart nearly stopped beating.. At least 5 times.

  • Bill f

    Nov 11, 2007 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #38

    Probably should have added a 🙂 in my reply to Craig.

  • Macas

    Nov 11, 2007 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #39

    It was a dreadful game to watch. Two very poor teams but they were slightly less poor than us. The annoying thing is that with the right tactics we could have caused them problems as their defence is worse than ours. Awful negative football will get us nowhere, and it certainly isnt giving us the clean sheets Sam is after.

  • Newcastlefan

    Nov 11, 2007 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #40

    I think we will be able to improve when we going to take liverpool on the next game.

    Sam did very well against the big guns when he was in charge at Bolton.

    Good defending, and creative counter attack, good passes holds the key to our next home win againts liverpool.


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