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 Milnerâ€™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 Samâ€™s head. Sam was relieved no doubt with the draw as were most Newcastle fans
- Newcastle didnâ€™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 donâ€™t they do this? Is it so hard to start a game attacking the opposition?Â Thatâ€™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 thatâ€™s not meant to be a slur to Sunderland in any way, but they havenâ€™t yet spent the amount of money on players Newcastle have.
- Itâ€™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 weâ€™d get fewer points, but that will not be good enough. We need some good results against these top teams â€“ and it would be nice to start with a home win against Liverpool on 24th November, a 12:45 pm kick off.Â Weâ€™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 thatâ€™s not good enough. We need to go for all 3 points in every single game, both home and away. Thatâ€™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 â€“ 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.