Defense is the area where Newcastle United have once again failed this season, at least up till now. Itâ€™s a long long time ago since we had a strong defense and we thought with all the seemingly good defensive captures Sam made in the summer, we would have a much better defensive record this season than in seasons past.
Sam Allardyce – lack of clean sheets a problem
But that hasnâ€™t been the case, and while the defenders Sam has brought in have looked good, they have made individual mistakes which have cost us both goals and points. And the defenders had also had problems getting used to the Premier League and geling together as a unit.
We still have hope the defense will improve as the season progresses, but thereâ€™s no doubt they have been a big disappointment so far, with very few clean sheets to show for it. We have to go back to September 1st against Wigan Athletic since we registered our last clean sheet.
Sam talked about this today:
â€œAt home and away, our lack of clean sheets is a massive problem. It is both at St Jamesâ€™s Park and on the road. It is my Achilles heel.â€
â€œIf we put that right, we would have an extra six to eight points on the board. We have not been resilient enough to hold on to a lead or to hold on to a draw that has ended in a defeat.â€
â€œThe away form is an Achilles heel as well. The home form is top eight, the away form is down there in the bottom eight. So that is where we have to put it right and we have a chance to do that against Fulham.â€
Fulham do not have a good record at home and if we are to register our first win since the first day of the season, this could be a big opportunity for us. The London side have won only two Premier League games at Craven Cottage this season and Newcastle, seemingly, will have few better opportunities to secure an away win. How about a clean sheet and a win, it’s a long time since we had that – it was the 1-0 win at home to Wigan Athletic on 1st September. So, in a way, time is one our side with this one, we’re due something like that, but we’ll not go too far unless we put a curse on today’s result. 😀