Final Reflections on the Newcastle Sunderland Game



Newcastle United dodged a big bullet on Saturday when they survived the Tyne-Wear derby by getting a fluke equalizing goal after 65 minutes, against local rivals Sunderland, who were simply the better side on the day – and that’s the bitter truth for Geordie fans.

  • James Milner’s goal was probably the most important goal for Sam Allardyce so far in his Newcastle United managerial career. To have been beaten by local rivals Sunderland, on top of two previous defeats against Reading and Portsmouth, would have started a storm of press reports asking for Sam’s head. Sam was relieved no doubt with the draw as were most Newcastle fans
  • Newcastle didn’t play well and were again second best through at least the first 55 minutes. It was only after Sunderland scored that the team seemed to come to life. That’s probably because Newcastle upped their game, and maybe Sunderland also went more on the defensive to try to protect their lead.
  • Newcastle should have started the game the way they reacted once Sunderland scored. Why don’t they do this? Is it so hard to start a game attacking the opposition?  That’s what a lot of the good teams like Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and the like do every game. That’s how we started the season against Bolton – and look what happened, 3-0 up after 27 minutes. At least we need that attitude, especially against weaker teams like Sunderland – and that’s not meant to be a slur to Sunderland in any way, but they haven’t yet spent the amount of money on players Newcastle have.
  • It’s surprising to lots of Newcastle fans that we look second best against teams like Reading, Derby and Sunderland, because we have much better players. We keep being told it needs time for the team to gel but Manchester City have lots of new players and they have gelled very quickly. They have 26 points from their first 13 games, not too shabby at all. This excuse gets weaker by the week, and Sam just has to start getting the very best out of what is now a solid squad.
  • The Sunderland game ends an easy 12 games in the league for Newcastle, in which we have gained 18 points. But now we face some of the top teams before the end of the year. Logic would say we’d get fewer points, but that will not be good enough. We need some good results against these top teams – and it would be nice to start with a home win against Liverpool on 24th November, a 12:45 pm kick off.  We’re good enough to beat Liverpool at home,m and that would give the whole team, not to mention the fans, a tremendous boost
  • Newcastle looked like they were happy just to hold out on Saturday but that’s not good enough. We need to go for all 3 points in every single game, both home and away. That’s the attitude we need, to be able to finish in the top 6 in the league. Some bad results before the end of the year could make a top six position out of reach – and that would be unacceptable this season. We just don’t seem to be getting the best out of our players over the last 3 game
  • In closing these are the games we have starting on 24th November and ending 2nd January next year:
    • Liverpool H, Blackburn A, Arsenal H, Birmingham H, Fulham A, Derby H, Wigan A, Chelsea A, Manchester City H

They should be good games. Anyone like to guess how many points we’d get out of these fixtures? We’d go at least for a home win against Derby. We should be able to smash at least 5 goals past Derby to make up for the miserable away defeat at Pride Park. That’ll make us all feel a little better.

Comments welcome.

29 comments so far

  • Jóhann

    Nov 12, 2007 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #1

    We should in my opinion win all those teams except Arsenal, I don´t think we really stand a chance there.

  • Bobby Ollox

    Nov 12, 2007 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #2

    It is a sign of how far we have slid, that we are even considering a draw as a good result. Undoubtedly, Sunderland are a better team than in previous years, and were extra-motivated to do well on Saturday, but even so, we should be putting out a team that can comfortably win matches like this.
    To every contributor of this blog, who said that they didnt mind grinding out 1 goal matches, that it was the result that mattered, not the way we played – Saturday was what you asked for and I hope your happy.
    Compare that to Sunderland, who played with spirit, with industry and with heart. Compare our performance to West Ham, Spurs over the weekend, knocking goals in for fun. Compare Saturdays huffing and puffing, booting the ball up the field for Owen to chase, to the drama we used to put on – wingers slipping past defenders, free kicks bending into the top corner, inch perfect passes playing a striker through.
    OK – its a different game now blah blah , but even so we deserve better than what was served up this time.
    I am throughly thoroughly depressed by Saturday

  • aaron d

    Nov 12, 2007 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #3

    Liverpool H, Blackburn A, Arsenal H, Birmingham H, Fulham A, Derby H, Wigan A, Chelsea A, Manchester City H.

    Should beat Birmingham, Fulham, Derby, Wigan and Manchester City. Liverpool and Arsenal at home will be very tricky game, but could get a result. Blackburn away looks like a hard game too. Chelsea is the hardest fixture of them all.

    If we get 18 ish from these fixtures i’ll be happy.

  • aaron d

    Nov 12, 2007 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #4

    Thought Martins should have come on earlier or even started. Owen really doesn’t look right at the moment, looks misable in a Newcastle shirt, hopefully he will score some goal and that will be the turning point of the season. Faye, Beye, Geremi and Martins going to be absent for up to 5 weeks in January, any ideas for possible replacements/backups?

  • indian toon

    Nov 12, 2007 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #5

    stop the god damned tinkering and play the damned 4-4-2 which the palyers are comfortable with.. experiment u r line up and formation in the cup games… we want results or ashley’s gonna really show you the door.. especially the way he’s cheering the team nowadays.he’ll want to keep on winning… play the best player’s in their favoured positions.. forget your favouritism..

  • true

    Nov 12, 2007 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #6

    8 points at best out of these these:-
    Birmingham H, Fulham A, Derby H, Wigan A
    And 4 points out of these
    Liverpool H, Blackburn A, Chelsea A, Manchester City H

    Remember it WILL take a WHOLE season to bed in a new defence unit – FACT
    we will win NOWT again this year – FACT
    next year we will be stonger – FACT
    BSA needs time to learn how to manage a bigger club – FACT
    we have waited too many years for a sniff of a cup so whats the problem of waiting a few more?…..
    Nahhhh time to sack BSA he has had long enough 😉

  • aaron d

    Nov 12, 2007 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #7

    yeah 18 points is a bit to much really!

  • Ross

    Nov 12, 2007 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #8

    i’d say maybe 9 or 10?
    going on current form, we wont take anything from liverpool,blackburn,arsenal,chelsea or man city.

  • Rich

    Nov 12, 2007 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #9

    15 i think would be decent:

    1 Liverpool H
    1 Blackburn A
    0 Arsenal H
    3 Birmingham H
    1 Fulham A
    3 Derby H
    3 Wigan A
    0 Chelsea A
    3 Man City H

    Anything less than 12 is not good enough!

  • bowsie

    Nov 12, 2007 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #10

    true doesn’t understand what a fact is – FACT

  • John

    Nov 12, 2007 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #11

    I think our expectation levels are far to high at the moment. I think at the end off the season if were in the top 10 its an improvement on last year is’nt it.

    Our expectations should then move onto another level next year once we have a settled team and board and managment. Look at Martin O neil last year for Villa. They just consolidated there position and club last year after a take over aswell, and now there properly challenging for Europe this year.

    I’m personaly hoping for maybe inter toto cup or top ten finish this year and expecting a real challenge on the top 4 and at least Europe next year.

    Im like every fan, I want success now and to be challenging top 4 but being realistic top 10 would be good and then challenge next year for those places with a big spend in the summer.

  • Bill F

    Nov 12, 2007 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #12

    Saturdays let off may just be the lucky break needed to start a good run of results. On this basis I also think 15 points is is a good possibilty. Starting this week with 3.
    Might be an idea if every body at the match take a lucky charm of some sort. 🙂

  • Bill F

    Nov 12, 2007 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #13

    Not the Liverpool supporters.

  • stjames

    Nov 12, 2007 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #14

    People keep mentioning Roeder. Roeder doesn’t compare too badly to Sam. Newcastle’s achievement in Roeder’s first halfseason was the best since Keegan. Only Liverpool got more points from Feb 2005 to the end of that season. His accomplishment during last season, without backing from the club and with a ridiculously thin team (because of injuries and total numbers), was at least surprising. How many times did we start with numerous reserve players on the pitch and only reservists on the bench? But he always tried to play football.

    I knew very little about the players that Sam brought in. Of the 7 foreigners I only knew Geremi and Viduka, I hadn’t followed Barton’s carrier and I thought Smith hadn’t sparkled since Leeds. But Sam always seemed to say the right things so I put my trust in him.

    Now I’m beginning to think if those chaps can really play football. Or is Sam to blame? Against Sunderland I was also wandering if there was a Newcastle player on the pitch that actually wanted to win. After consideration I came up with Steven Taylor. We got almost a third of the season behind us and we still have to play most of the top teams. Not too rosy is it?

    As me and many others have recommended in our comments Ed, Newcastle truly has to start playing football. It’s my feeling that we played better at the start of the season than now (I wonder if anyone can agree with that?). We don’t have to be the best over night but we have to show some signs we can play the game. Me and other fans are starting to doubt if we can and a genuine blame game is about to begin. That is often the first sign of a downfall.


  • Rich

    Nov 12, 2007 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #15

    stjames – I have to say to a certian extent i think Roeder did a decent job in many ways including the back end of the 05/06 season which was superb, he never moaned about injuries either or made exscuses and for that i admire him! Still hopefully Sam will get it right!

  • John

    Nov 12, 2007 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #16

    you cant be serious..Hes were he belongs now..Championship

  • yemozone

    Nov 12, 2007 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #17

    I would have preffered roeder than sam with this new board

  • Bill F

    Nov 12, 2007 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #18

    FACT, Factually Activated Conceptual Turds.

  • ToonUSA

    Nov 12, 2007 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #19

    I will be honest i was hoping for a win this week after waching Pompi distroy us last week. I get to watch 1 game a month if i am lucky and to watch that with my mates moking me was painfull. Then that was followed by a performance that was very suprizing. Sunderland could have won the game easily with amount of chances they had and the few that fell to Owen well he looked like a school boy trying to shoot a ball. I dono what the solution is but i hope Sam figures it out soon. And as for Martins well whats the point he is not going to be starting any games anytime soon now that Owen is captain.

  • John

    Nov 12, 2007 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #20

    dont know why i come on this site….Its soppose to be a sopporters site ..Not a Anti Newcastle one

  • stjames

    Nov 12, 2007 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #21


    I hope so too. Sam is doing great things for the club. For one he seems to have broken the injury curse. I don’t want to loose him. Thats why things have to get better.

  • shearyadi

    Nov 12, 2007 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #22

    3 Liverpool H
    3 Blackburn A
    3 Arsenal H
    3 Birmingham H
    3 Fulham A
    3 Derby H
    3 Wigan A
    1 Chelsea A
    3 Man City H

    Now that is positive thinking 😀

  • Leo

    Nov 12, 2007 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #23

    i think that our record recently has got something to do with given not being playing, and when he is playing i believe he is suffering from anxiety from the groin injury, cant wait till he is back to his good old self

  • stanley

    Nov 12, 2007 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #24

    i feel enough to see the lining up lost balance again.Taylor should not appear at the right back because the line up we’re playing without a right wing,as the same time,we have no reason to see him keep attracking all the time .He should get back partnership with David.Faye can be one of the sub choice if we’re facing the kind of team like Everton or Portsmouth.N’zog at the left back are completely wasting his skills .And hence,his attracking mind let us lost postion all the time as we goal we lost.But the most i am concerning about at the mid-field.I suggest to use 2 defensive mid-field + Emre .I found that we’re so difficult to get the loose ball after we use Barton on the first team because he repeat with Emre,as the same time,Joey can’t make a killing pass as Emre.i miss geremi at the mid-field…finally,please leave martins a chance to shine…i am feeling so sad to see him like that….we should play 4-5-1 formation to balance the player we have

    Any command for my dream lining up?

  • Hadrian

    Nov 12, 2007 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #25

    the lads need more time , they ALL have ability , but need to work as a squad .
    its out of our hands people , but what we can do is get behind them .
    i like a good moan myself , but i refuse to walk into the southern media’s trap , there printing masses of the sack sam stuff and at the same time calling every geordie worse than shite for being impatient .
    were being set up here if you couldnt work it out , we all need to put a curb on it somehow , news of the world are the biggest culprits but they are not the only one , they already helped move jol and jose out of their jobs and now their sights are set on sam , but who loses at the end of this? not the media .

  • Alex

    Nov 12, 2007 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #26

    Maybe its time to look for a new keeper, Givens injury problems seem to be growing ever worse .It looks like its truely affecting his confidence and as good a start to the season as Harper made ,i wonder if Sam belives in him after dropping him as soon as he could for no good reason.

  • ChrisL

    Nov 12, 2007 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #27

    14 points from that possible 27 would be good going, for where we are & where we hope to realistically finish this season.

    Also, as someone who would be happy to see the team grind out some results this year, I’m a little confused by Bobby Ollox comments. I didn’t see us grinding out a 1-0 victory so I’m not sure at all how I got what I asked for? Please do enlighten me?

    I believe Mr Ollox, that you might have missed the point being made by people who were happy for the team to grind out results for a season or two in sacrifice of any hopes of ‘Keegan’ style football. The key is, you must get the result. I’m not happy with the result & I saw a real lack of anything resembling ‘grinding’. But with the absolute crap that Newcastle have played since Bobby left, we’ve hardly gone down hill have we? If we keep on at about the rate we’ve started, we’ll finish in the top half of the table… Will that make anyone happy, I doubt it, but it’s progress on the last few years (including the fluke 1st finish under Roeder when Souness left).

  • Bill f

    Nov 12, 2007 at 8:46 PM

    Comment #28

    Now let me think, attractive football, lose, lose, lose, or grind out a few wins. mmmmmm difficult choice. Having said that the players have to defend their hearts out to achieve it. Remember that both Arsenal and Chelsea were labelled as boring for a couple of season grinding out results. Once they had developed a winning mentality they suddenly looked more free flowing and attractive. I think that is what Sam is trying to do it just aint coming off “YET”

  • FyzZ

    Nov 13, 2007 at 1:53 AM

    Comment #29

    hey guys, just think a +ve result..ashley spends a millions of his money to newcastle not for loser squad!!

    1 Liverpool H
    1 Blackburn A
    1 Arsenal H
    3 Birmingham H
    3 Fulham A
    3 Derby H
    3 Wigan A
    1 Chelsea A
    3 Man City H

    I’m predicted, max 19 points.

    forget all the bad result, stop blaming to who doesn’t expected a mistake. we’re toon supporter right? let’s do our job, support! not blaming!


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