Defense Still Newcastle’s Achilles Heel

Sam was justifiably disappointed with the defensive errors yesterday against Derby County. Youngster Giles Barnes, who looked good, and Kenny Miller both punished the Newcastle defense for some poor play at the back.


Sam Allardyce – defense let us down yet again yesterday 🙁

Allardyce talked to the Shields Gazette this morning:

“Mark Viduka’s goals shouldn’t have been to bring us back to 2-2, but obviously they were and that’s the real disappointing thing.” “Mark Viduka’s scored two very important goals for us, and instead of them getting us on the way to victory, it’s brought us back to get a disappointing draw.”

“We know we should have won this one on the balance of play, but we only have ourselves to blame by not scoring first, and not putting enough fear into the opposition.” “We completely bombarded them in the first half, but didn’t convert them, apart from the hardest one.”

“Early in the second half (our defending) was our Achilles heel again, and it meant we had to come fighting back again instead of going on to win the game.” “Our basic defending let us down. They had two shots on target, and scored two goals.” “We had numerous shots on target, and scored two. It should have been enough for us to win the game, but it wasn’t, and that’s the disappointing thing.”

Sam is absolutely right to say that if our defensive work had been better yesterday, we would have won the game. How long we’ll be giving poor goals away like yesterday is anybody’s guess.

But we thought we’d be much stronger in defense by this time of the season. As we said earlier today, we’d like to see Taylor and Faye at the heart of Newcastle’s defense at Wigan.

The two central defensive positions are still up for grabs for the two players that take their chance and play solidly at the back. Wonder what the chances of a clean sheet at Wigan are. If we can keep a clean sheet at Wigan the chances of us winning the game have to be extremely high. 3 points would be very nice indeed, especially after yesterday’s big disappointment.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

10 comments so far

  • chris

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #1

    chances of a clean sheet are slim to none against wigan… we all know that newcastle’s defence has never been the greatest but my other concern is the lack of goals and clean cut chances… Fair enough we leak goals but in the past we always scored more… Derby were there for the taking and by far the worst team in the league.. we should have smacked at least 5 past them…personally Viduka is a good goal scorer and finisher but he doesnt play enough games and its the same with Owen…. If I were there .. as well as bringing in a new left back , right back for cover and at least 1 new center back i’d ignore the midfield as they are good enough but I’d get rid of everyone up front except martins and bring in some FIT players who will at least play every week… and the Viduka / macarthy swap deal sounds like a good start…..

  • JoshI

    Dec 24, 2007 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #2

    Send this to Sam as our permanent medium term side:


    Beye – Taylor – Feye – Enrique

    Milner – Barton – Nzogbia – Duff

    Viduka – Martins

    >Zog could be class in the cam postion.

    >Rozehnal needs a permanent rest.

    >Cacapa is to old and slow, let faye bring in the experience.

  • valle

    Dec 24, 2007 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #3

    I would like to see Faye and Cacapa get a partnership going.

  • JoshI

    Dec 24, 2007 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #4

    Nahh i think we need to keep taylor as first choice CB now. I mean he has the ability and he is now old enough to prove his potential on a regular basis, he should start ahead of cacapa in my opinion.

  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 24, 2007 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #5


  • valle

    Dec 24, 2007 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #6

    Well, he will properly get the chance in January. And if he can take that chance without any stupid mistakes like the ones he have been at fault at earlier in the season and last season then i would agree (I must admit that he has looked strong in our last 2 games).

  • Dragoner

    Dec 24, 2007 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #7

    Cacapa is a much smarter centre back and despite what everyone is saying, he didnt play bad yesterday, he made maybe one or two mistakes the whole game. There were plenty of times where barnes and miller tried to use their pace and his lack of speed to their advantage but he outsmarted them almost everytime by simply putting himself in the right place at the right time. Everyone is shouting Taylors name forgetting some of the horrendous mistakes he has made in several games earlier in the season.
    Memories are short on here i see.
    I think faye and cacapa are our best two centre backs. Also, rozenhal is a good centre back, he is still adjusting to the premiership and clearly looked tired in the last two games. You have to remember these new players are not used to playing so many games

  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 24, 2007 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #8


  • Andreas

    Dec 25, 2007 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #9

    Sigh, always “ifs and buts” from SA… Well, IF we hadn’t conceded the 2nd goal we might not have scored our 2nd either.

    What pisses me off most is that SA can’t admit we play/ed crap and that our two recent wins have been luck based.

    I have said many times before that I thought SA was a good enough manager to change HIS tactics based on the players at his disposal (and to some extent the type of club he’s managing), but sadly he has proved he doesn’t have that ability (or else he’s just to stubborn to change).

    Hence, it’s extremly frustrating when SA persists to talk crap (i.e. “individual errrors cost us…”, “we must take our chances…” etc.). The problem is we play like utter crap and all we do is trying to destroy the opposing teams play instead of focusing on playing out game. With a change in mentality we would (in my opinion) have conceded less goals too.

    In my opinion it would be bad to sack SA at the moment, but not casue he’s a über manager (as some fans tend to belive), rather because there isn’t any better (realistic) option avaiable and it would hit the club with yet more turmoil.

    However, if the stubborn man does not change asap and persist with this “destroy for the opposition, play my favourites at all costs, hope for a lucky goal” approach I wish we get a new manager.

    One other thing which I don’t think I have read on this blog. It seems quite clear that SA indeed is good at sorting a clubs back room staff, creating a good infrastructure (scouting network etc.) and to quite some extent good at buying/selling players. However, in my opinion he has yet to prove (as stated above) to be a good manager. Hence, a possible solution might be to “kick” SA up a notch and have hime oversee things at a higher level (NOTE: not tactics, selections and similar) and bring in someone responsible for the managing/football side (ofc this won’t happen but still and interesting thought in my opinion since SA undoubtely have some good qualities, albeit not as a top-level manager it seems).

  • Brisbane Mag

    Dec 26, 2007 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #10

    We need a settled back four and with Beye and Faye leaving for the African Nations Cup in January we have serious problems that need resolution.

    Hopefully, we’ll buy a Wes Brown type player who can play FB or CD and will provide added stablity to the guys around him.

    My back four would be:
    Beye-Faye-Taylor-N’Zogbia; although looking forward to seeing Enrique establish himself at LB.

    I expect Taylor to cover at RB in January and Cacapa, Rozenhall (plus W. Brown or other) fighting for the CD positions…..

    I still see Ameobi, Carr and possibly Owen leaving in January with 2 or 3 class replacements brought in to push us up the PL.


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