Woeful Display From Sam’s Newcastle Team


In what looked very like a relegation dog-fight at St. James Park today, this game probably did more damage to Sam Allardyce’s reputation with Newcastle fans, than any other game this season.

sam-allardyce-986.JPG

Sam Allardyce – had too many players out of their natural positions

The reason this was a woeful performance by Newcastle is that we know Derby County are not a good team, and they don’t have many quality players. That’s not meant to be nasty criticism of Derby County, who did just great today and can be very proud of their performance, as can manager Paul Jewell and his staff. Maybe one or two of Derby’s players (Miller, Barnes …) would even make it into the Newcastle United side.

But after the game, we thought Derby were a touch unlucky not to capture all 3 points in a wonderful fighting display from the team. So what does that say about Newcastle United?

The problem is Newcastle have good players – there’s no doubt about that. Mark Viduka’s two goals were a joy to watch and he had a classy game today. But you cannot expect players to play at their best, when they are out of position and Sam had most of the team playing out of position today. Yes, we know Shay at least wasn’t used as a striker.

There were so many players playing out of position that Sam had to take the responsibility for leveling the playing field before the game even started. If we had started this side in a 4-4-2 formation, surely we would have done so much better against Derby today:

Given
Beye Taylor Cacapa Enrique
Milner Barton (Emre) Butt (Geremi) N’Zogbia
Martins Viduka

But Sam played 4-3-3 yet again and had Smith, N’Zogbia, Martins and Milner all playing in odd positions, which couldn’t possibly have brought the best out of them. A good coach is one who can bring the best out of the players and therefore the best out of the team. Sam Allardyce didn’t get the job done today.

We’re not even going to blame the players too much because it was obvious they were doing their best in a woefully unbalanced and unnatural formation. Martins was trying too hard and always did that little bit too much.

The bottom line is the class of Mark Viduka saved us from a very embarrassing defeat today – make no mistake about that. It could have been much worse – but it was bad enough for us as it was, especially after last week’s terrible display.

Comments welcome.



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35 comments so far

  • iain

    Dec 23, 2007 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #1

    ed there isnt really anything to add to what youve said there.

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  • looney toon

    Dec 23, 2007 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #2

    well said ed

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  • goalcentre.com

    Dec 23, 2007 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #3

    Newcastle always disappoint when they play clubs lower then them. Over confident maybe? This fixture seems an easy three pointer but Newcastle ended with only 1 point. They even lost to Derby if i am not mistaken this season. Basically 5 points lost rather then 1 point gain. =(

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  • Shane

    Dec 23, 2007 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #4

    Rubbish. 1 word.

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  • carl

    Dec 23, 2007 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #5

    thats it, i went to the fulhan game last week and thought that was shit, now this!! sorry but big sam is NOT a good manager, he is an absolute f****g idiot with no tactical awareness at all and cant even get the team playing a system they all know, it was all over the place today, ill only be happy when mort and ashley get rid of this fool and bring in a world class manager , for now, ive had enough of this , f**k them all

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  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 23, 2007 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #6

    if he actually took the blame i would be inclined to give him more of a chance. His pig ignorance and arrogance annoys me.

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  • goalcentre.com

    Dec 23, 2007 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #7

    I guess it is not Big Sam’s fault. Criticism is always towards the manager when the club dont do well but not for Big Sam i think. I guess it is more of the players poor display on the pitch.
    It is just like a voodoo carl, Newcastle can have the best coach on planet but will never do well against smaller teams. Just could not fine the answer.

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  • Hadrian

    Dec 23, 2007 at 5:34 PM

    Comment #8

    our league position flatters us , were a bottom half team these days , such a fall from grace .

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  • carl

    Dec 23, 2007 at 5:34 PM

    Comment #9

    i agree tom toon, id love to hear his lame answers if asked why he plays people out of position? i honestly beleive that 50 000 people would and could of picked a better team today and won. i actually hate big sam now

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  • wozza

    Dec 23, 2007 at 5:37 PM

    Comment #10

    Basically, if we would have beaten Derby in both our games like we should have done we would be 6th just behind Liverpool.

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  • carl

    Dec 23, 2007 at 5:38 PM

    Comment #11

    goalcentre, agree but big sam has to play players in their natural positions and hes formations and team selections raise big question marks over his capabilities. i wouldnt be so bothered if we played a balanced team , played good and came away with a point.oh and also, did you actually read this article goalcentre?? as ed says and many of us agree, it wasnt the players fault today, and if you watched the match youd of seen this

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  • jon

    Dec 23, 2007 at 5:39 PM

    Comment #12

    Sam allardyce is stubborn to the point of idiocy. Theer’s a lot of big talk about player’s having to earn their place in the team, yet Smith retains his place despite constantly providing no contribution at all, whilst emre seems to always provide attacking impetus but still finds imself on the bench. Enrique has one bad game against the best the team in the league and suddenly ouir only recognised left back can’t even get on the bench.

    Its hard to doubt Sam after all the tactical knwoledge he demonstrated at Bolton but the same tactics aren’t woking here and doesn’t seem the least bit interested in trying something different.

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  • Dragoner

    Dec 23, 2007 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #13

    I watched the match and players should take the blame also, carl maybe if YOU watched the game you could see that players who were played in their natural positions still played awful. i.e. rozenhal & barton

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  • iain

    Dec 23, 2007 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #14

    they played bad becuase they were exposed no protection from mf whatsoever. who was defending infront of beye it cant have been martinsd who was clearly told to hang far out wide to collect long passes then beat two men on his own and either score or set up someone by crossing on his weaker foot.

    you dont help players find form or adapt to a foriegn league by playing formations that not even the current lot of players understand. maybe if you have millions upon millions to spend and a few wc players to start with maybe you can.

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  • steve

    Dec 23, 2007 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #15

    We’re lucky to have won any games other than Bolton – they’ll probably thrash is in the return
    its hard to believe how poor we are – I’ve seen most games this season and just can’t see anything that gives me hope

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  • carl

    Dec 23, 2007 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #16

    dragoner yes i watched the match. point is the other players ie rozehnal and barton, were playing with the rest of the squad all over the shop, yes they were poor but what can you do with pretty much 50% of the team out of position and no understanding of the formation whatsoever.

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  • carl

    Dec 23, 2007 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #17

    steve i agree, our league position flatters us.

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  • Cockney Magpie

    Dec 23, 2007 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #18

    I have always stuck by Sam and said he is the right man for the job but after what i saw today there is nothing i can say to stick up for him this time and people may say its not sams fault but to be honest it is!

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  • Cockney Magpie

    Dec 23, 2007 at 6:26 PM

    Comment #19

    but i seriously think taylor and faye should be our centre backs cacapa n rozehnal donot look like they can handle the pace of the premiership

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  • looney toon

    Dec 23, 2007 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #20

    WOZZA – u noe u r rite if we had beaten derby we would have been 6th – so basically if BS werent playin such rubbish tactics n we had beaten the likes of derby, portsmouth maybe or a draw, sunderland we would be in champions league position or at least 5th

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  • carl

    Dec 23, 2007 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #21

    well said looney toon, hit it right on the spot, weve got the squad capable, just not themanager, oh and has anyone seen sams response on sky sports? it reads, we were to blame for draw!! WE SHOULD BE I. and how long before the stubborn c**t admits it

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  • Toon Toon!!!

    Dec 23, 2007 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #22

    The only positive thing BSA has done for NUFC is bring Beye to the club, he is fantastic player!

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  • Tom

    Dec 23, 2007 at 8:05 PM

    Comment #23

    get him out

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  • Faroe Geordie

    Dec 23, 2007 at 10:19 PM

    Comment #24

    Big Sam has to go! Tactically he got it wrong today, as he has on so many occations this season. You play at home against the basement team and Butt is included?!?! The recipy has to be attack, attack, attack. Butt is good against better teams away from home. Why not start with the creative Emre?? Enrique doesn’t make the squad, a left winger plays at left back, a right winger plays left winger, a striker plays right winger and then there is Alan Smith. He works his socks off to be fair, but he doesnt influence games. When did he last score a premiership goal??? Sam, your time is up. Get lost!! Let’s get an attack minded manager in the hot seat

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  • peter

    Dec 23, 2007 at 11:48 PM

    Comment #25

    Guys, all of you are right that BSA is playing people out of place and so IS the one responsible for some miserable results so far this season. So…why! He is clearly not a fool, nor a bad tactician. He must have his reasons, and I think they are not aimed at making the fans totally angry and fed up. I think he is showing Money Bag Man Mort that he needs more people to fill the gaps in our understrength squad. If Enrique cannot play out a full game, then who fills in ? Zog! …who takes the left wing, well Miller is probably the best bet, as others can go to right wing, who cannot go to the left, and with Viduka barely fit, Owen missing, Martins about to leave, Smith is about all that’s left, and not being quite so natural up front, needs the opportunities to get on song, etc, etc… I guess BSA has written off this season as the one to take us (back) to Europe and is taking a longer term view – pushing the squad for weaknesses and trying to extend current players to be multi-dimensional. It may all settle down after the January buying window closes and Duff picks up fitness to share left back left wing duties.

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  • Ausgeordie

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:29 AM

    Comment #26

    Big Sam is doing with Smith what roeder did with Duff. To justify spending 6 mill on him he has to play…. How cant mort give him more money if he spends that much on a squad player. Fact is we should never have bought Smith. He is probably on massive wages and a five year contract so we are stuck with a player that cannot score and whinges like Bellamy. Pathetic choice as Captain and should never have been given the role as that is not the style of football we want to play.

    Why cant we see the boys playing in their position. Enrique, Zog and Duff on the left, Beye, Milner on the right. Viduka and Martins in the middle up front. Barton and Emre in the middle. Butt or Geremi as a DM. Not that fruckin hard Sam.. This is not the man to guide us to silverware.

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  • p

    Dec 24, 2007 at 6:56 AM

    Comment #27

    We were sh!te.

    Pure and simple.

    Watched it here in Irish pub and was DEEPLY embarassed and ashamed…..

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  • azza jones

    Dec 24, 2007 at 8:18 AM

    Comment #28

    F*ck is all I have to say. I have been a patient fan but this is utter shite….

    I was against his appointment from the beginning I was for Sven and look at Man C. Forget the league table but look at the football they play…..

    I truly believe we have the best squad outside the top 4 and we are struggling against rubbish sides. In the last few weeks we have been lucky against Bir, Fulham to take the 3 points, but against good sides like pompey, villa, liverpool we have been shite!!!

    Im sorry but big sam has to go…..Jose Mourhino anyone. Get Mike Ashley’s cheque book out and sign him up!!!! $4-6 Million a season and $25 mil tansfer kitty and he will have us in the champions league in 2 seasons……

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  • azza jones

    Dec 24, 2007 at 8:22 AM

    Comment #29

    And I have to mention I hate his big fat c*nt interviews. He has pleaded for time to bring in his players and Barton, Smith, Cacapa, Roz, Beye, Viduka are all his signings. Thats half the f**kin team and were rubbish.

    I want someone to make a massive sign at the next home game saying “JUST PLAY THE PLAYERS IN THEIR POSITIONS YOU MUG”

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  • azza jones

    Dec 24, 2007 at 8:24 AM

    Comment #30

    Someone please make a sign at the next home game which reads….

    “STOP PRETENDING YOUR A MANAGER AND JUST PLAY THE PLAYERS IN THEIR POSITIONS YOU MUG”

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  • Stami

    Dec 24, 2007 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #31

    these players are Professionals…they should be able to play ANYWHERE on the pitch…this has always been the case with all the clubs i have played for over the years! i think we squandered far too many chances, bottom line! Sams job is to get the ball into the box, the players need to do the rest on the pitch. too many times did we see crosses going straight to defenders, or far over our strikers. how is that the managers fault i ask you?

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  • steve

    Dec 24, 2007 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #32

    Stami – this isn’t pub football although we are doing a fair impression of it – this is most definitely sams fault, if he can’t see that the players can’t play in other positions he should change it – thats his job for fvcks sake, playings martins as a right winger is pointless as is playing smith anywhere.
    He’s trying to get them to play a style of football that they aren’t comfortable with and fair enough given enough time I’d imagine he’ll sell Emre, N’Zogbia, Martins and Milner and bring in more rough n tumble types – I for one do not want this style of football even if it takes us to sixth.
    We the fans pay hard earned cash to be entertained, the press can take a running jump saying we’re expecting to much, I’m pretty sure we’d rather end up mid table playing decent stuff than sixth playing this sh!te every week

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  • Dragoner

    Dec 24, 2007 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #33

    stami you are spot on, and although steve has replied he hasn’t actually answered your question. Its true, sams job is to get us into their box, which we did, the players need to do the rest. how many set pieces did n’zogbia and milner waste yesterday?? i literally count corners and freekicks as the oppositions goal kick now as it always goes straight into the keepers hands. Milner and N’zogbia can’t cross a ball to save their lives, especially milner whos step overs and skill in general only seem to beat the worst of defenders, no pace and bad passing from both feet…yet everyone on here says “milner is great blah blah blah” he wastes our wide opportunites with poor delivery, same with zoggy. now duff is back left mid should be ok but we still need to get a proper right winger to replace milner. Both milner and zog are prospects and nothing more, it is embarrassing that both go straight into our first team when they cant yet do things vital to being a winger i.e. cross a ball.

    Now to Martins, i have never loved and hated a players so much as i have martins. He is great and exciting player, but he needs to get the basics right as he wastes more and more attacking opportunites every game. more importantly, he doesn’t seem to be improving. considering how young he is you think he would improve fairly quickly.

    But i suppose it is much easier to blame the manager than blame the popular players like those i have mentioned isn’t it. oh well, i stand behind sam and i feel he will deliver if we give him time.

    People need to realise we will be a bigger laughing stock if we sakc him then if we keep him. Have faith in our manager people

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  • Dragoner

    Dec 24, 2007 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #34

    pub football, and professional football are fundamentally the same sport. Anyway, if pub footballs can play in various different positions then professional footballers hould be even more adept a it as they are getting paid magebucks

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  • Dragoner

    Dec 24, 2007 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #35

    mega bucks

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