Sam Allardyce has been in charge of Newcastle United football for 14 games now. That number includes two Carling Cup games in addition to two Carling Cup games.
Our record is won 6, drawn 3 and lost 5. In the league weâ€™ve now played 12, won 5, drawn 3 and lost 4 for a points total of 18.
Thatâ€™s not a great start for us but itâ€™s not too bad either, when you look at the dispirited squad Sam took over in May.
Sam has proved with little money he can build a side that is very hard to beat at Bolton. What Sam is obviously concentrating on first on Tyneside is to build Newcastle into a similar team that is hard to beat. To do that you have to first concentrate on defense.
Sam Allardyce – needs time with Newcastle but is doing all the right things
Thatâ€™s especially true for Newcastle, who have never had a strong defense for many years, and some would say our defense has been comical at times with some of the stupid goals we have let in over the last 10 years, by stars we paid far too much money for.
Sam has come in and bought 9 players and 6 of those can play in the back four. They are Beye, Faye, Rozehnal, Enrique, Cacapa and Geremi. The other players Sam brought in are Viduka, Smith, and Barton
If you look at these 9 players, each one of them is pushing for a starting position this season, which shows that Sam spent well during the summer. Are we doing as well as we would have hoped right now? No, and the defense is proving much more difficult than Sam thought, in tightening it up so we donâ€™t give silly goals away.
Weâ€™ve conceded 18 goals in our 12 league games so far and thatâ€™s far too many and we still just have two clean sheets in the league. Sam has rightly said he will gauge our defensive performance by the number of clean sheets we can achieve. Thatâ€™s a good target â€“ as many as possible this season. Sam points out that the team with the most clean sheets usually wins the league so thatâ€™s a good measurement for us to follow. We havenâ€™t done well so far.
We still have a way to go to sort out our defense but if you look at our overall performance this season, itâ€™s really just the last 3 games in which we have let ourselves down badly. One point from away games at Reading and Sunderland and a home game against high flying Portsmouth.
If you ask Newcastle fans about Samâ€™s buys in the summer, a large percentage will say itâ€™s what we needed. Strong big players that will not crumble under pressure. But we know (and Sam knows) we will have to keep building and the January window is approaching and having judged how weâ€™ve done so far leads us to be able to identify the players we need and those we can now let go.
We can allow Babayaro, Carr and Ameobi to leave in January, if we can get buyers and thereâ€™s a simple reason for that. Theyâ€™re not good enough for where we want to go.
We can then bring in a bunch of youngsters that Chris Mort has promised and weâ€™ve already reported on four of them we are linked with. The four are Red Bullâ€™s 18 year-old striker Jozy Altidore, Real Madridâ€™s 20 year-old Polish Under-21 international Krzysztof Krol, Ajax Amsterdam 21 year-old defender Urby Emanuelson and Wesley Ngo Baheng, an 18 year old striker from Le Havre.
But also we need 3-4 more experienced players who can immediately be drafted into the starting line-up. A midfielder, a big striker up-front and a top class defender.
- For midfield â€“ letâ€™s get Andrei Arshavin, the captain of the Russian national side or Villarrealâ€™s Riquelme â€“ or both.
- For striker we could do no better than get Nicholas Anelka who would jump at the chance to join us, or Peter Crouch, who is hugely under-rated at Liverpool
- For a defender we can bring in Barcelonaâ€™s center back or defensive midfield player Edmilson
Those 3 or 4 players would be just what the team needs. A player to challenge Mark Viduka, who is injured a lot and we seem to miss his presence when heâ€™s not there. We can also add some extra creativity in midfield, and bring in another top class defender to our ranks.
The Newcastle fans will have to be patient, and while weâ€™ve been told that so many times before, Sam and chairman Chris Mort are building up steadily, and let’s not get too down because weâ€™ve had 3 poor results on the trot.Â Hopefully, this time, we have the right people in place who know exactly what they are doing.
We think so.
Comments very welcome.