Sam has been talking today about Arsenal and the game tonight. There were some encouraging signs at Blackburn that the players are getting their confidence back, and certainly the second half on Saturday was great to watch, even though things eventually went against us.
Let’s see what Sam is saying about tonight’s game – the thing we want to see from Sam is a game plan that can get us a win tonight.
Sam Allardyce – this could have been Sam at any one of our last 5 games
Sam talked to the Newcastle Journal this morning:
â€œThe encouraging thing was the amount of chances and dominance we showed at Blackburn in all areas apart from the final result, which is the biggest one you want to have at the end of the day. But, if we can go on performing like that, we will win more games than we lose.â€
â€œSo itâ€™s that kind of performance and level of commitment I want against Arsenal and tactically, be ready to deal with their talents, then we will get a chance to try to get to some of their weaknesses. They are obviously few and far between, but there are some.â€
â€œI never expect to win any game, never have. You canâ€™t expect, you have got to go out and make sure you put the right things in the right places and know that if you do certain things right and make fewer mistakes than the opposition, then you will have the opportunity to win any game.”
â€œThere are some games that are more winnable than others and, obviously, this is not one of those games, by the fact they are the best team in the Premier League at the moment â€“ but they are not invincible.â€
Of course one of the success stories of the Premier League is just how well this young Arsenal side have fared so far this season. As we found out when we played their second team in the Carling Cup at the Emirates on 25th September, the Gunners have talent galore to call on outside of their starting eleven.Â And we all know they have some tremendously talented youngsters in their squad.
Arsenal are currently 3 points ahead of Manchester United with a game in hand, which is tonightâ€™s game, and have a slightly better goal difference, so they are extremely well positioned so early in the season.
â€œI know there are a few fears and trepidations because results are not going right, but these are the games you should be going into and producing your best with a big crowd against a big team and showing what you can do against a side like Arsenal. If that brings the best out of them, then great.â€
â€œHopefully, that will get you a result, but that is all you can ask for. Certainly, at my previous club, the players lost any fears they had for the team they were playing against which was fantastic because they had the belief, they had done it once, they could do it again, did it again, and then it grew from there.”
â€œThat brought doubt in the opposition team, which was good from a mental point of view. But I am at a completely different club now with a different set of players that are going into a game they should look forward to.â€
While at Bolton Samâ€™s team always seemed to give the high-flyers a difficult game. They were very difficult to beat, and then when it got late in to the game, they had a chance to win those games, and often did. Obviously we have different players at Newcastle, and as we know some of them are still adjusting to the English way of playing football. But weâ€™ll get a better chance to see tonight, just how much theyâ€™ve progressed.
Even though Arsenal are undoubtedly a good side, we have to have a game plan that can deliver us all 3 points. Then weâ€™ll just have to see how well the players can execute that plan.
Comments are welcome.