Reflections on Newcastle Derby Game


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Sad to say that defending let us down again yesterday. Here are some reflections the day after the disaster, that was Newcastle only getting a draw with bottom-placed Derby County at home yesterday. Before the game yesterday Derby had one point and scored only one goal on their travels this season. As we said – it was a disaster from a Newcastle point of view.

  • Defensive errors cost us yesterday yet again. The second goal was taken nicely by Kenny Miller but we had our two central defenders, Cacapa and Rozehnal, and one of them should have stopped Kenny. Bad goal to give away for Newcastle but a good goal for Derby County – only their 3rd goal away from home all season. They had already scored their second through Giles Barnes after just 6 minutes.
    Why don’t we buy him in January?
  • We wouldn’t be at all surprised if Sam plays Taylor and Faye as our central defenders against Wigan on Boxing Day and gives Cacapa and Rozehnal a rest. Rosehnal has played too many games recently, and he deserves a rest and it will do him the world of good. Don’t even have him as substitute on Wednesday.
  • As well as some poor defending we are not taking our chances when they come. It’s true that most of them are just half chances but we should still be putting a higher percentage of these away
  • Our major beef with Sam is that he is playing too many of our players out of position. We had Smith, Martins, N’Zogbia and Milner not playing in their favored positions yesterday. You can’t expect to get the best out of the players when you do this. It’s something Graeme Souness kept doing and it just never works. Many managers have proved that over the years – the best 11 players don’t always make the best team.
  • We don’t like a 4-3-3 formation because we don’t believe we have the players that can play that system effectively. But we do have players who can play 4-4-2. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, play N’Zogbia and Milner on the wings – and that means Charlie on the left and James on the right.
  • We’d even be happy to play 4-4-2 on Wednesday with Duff and Milner on the wings and Charlie still at left back. As long as we go with an attacking formation against Wigan, who are second bottom of the league and a team we should defeat.
  • Don’t play Smudge Smith on the flanks. We’d like to see him play in central midfield or as a striker, or have him on the bench.
  • We moved up one place in the league yesterday, thanks to Blackburn being beaten 1-0 by Chelsea at home. We stand 9th in the league so just imagine where we could be if we had been playing well this season.

In fact maybe we should play Viduka and Smith as strikers in this attacking team for Wigan Athletic:

Given
Beye Faye Taylor N’Zogbia
Milner Butt Barton (Emre) Duff
Viduka Smith
Subs: Harper, Capapa, Emre (Barton), Martins, Enrique

That looks a strong team and has a lot of goal scoring capability, and make no mistake about it, the only way to make up for the draw yesterday is to get all 3 points from our game at Wigan on Wednesday. That’s certainly a possibility and it’s what we are now hoping for, that’s for sure. 😀

Comments welcome.



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55 comments so far

  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 24, 2007 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #1

    Shit

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  • adam

    Dec 24, 2007 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #2

    sack sam allerdyce. hes out of his league and tactitcally inept. hes failed too many tests put forward to him and its not acceptable anymore. time to go

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  • steve

    Dec 24, 2007 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #3

    Smith will never score on a regular basis, he just aint good enough – he’s a squad player and should be on bench
    Butt & Barton cannot play together, in fact due to Bartons lack of form I’d have him on bench as well and play Faye alongside Butt with Cacapa and Taylor in defence or Emre if we want to try and have some creativity in midfield

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  • adam

    Dec 24, 2007 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #4

    i mean sack sam in the summer. so then we can get the best manager for the job

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  • ourman

    Dec 24, 2007 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #5

    Smith in attack ahead of Martins? You have got to be kidding.

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  • valle

    Dec 24, 2007 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #6

    A finger has to be pointed at the players too. U can chose to differ on Sams tacs, and in some cases he does makes strange decisions (or so it seems). But players such as Milner, Butt, Martins and Roz played absolute crap and must take their fair share… On the other hand, Barton seemed good along with the ever improving Beye and Emre must surely have done enough to merit a start ahea of “pass to the oposition Butt”

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  • Phil

    Dec 24, 2007 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #7

    The defending was shocking for the goals, but that isn’t the only problem or even the main problem.

    We just don’t know what we are doing. We rarely string a few passes together and if we can’t get the ball to milner we have no imagination at all in attack.

    Barton lost the ball four times yesterday in a space of 10 minutes because he took too long on it. Did nobody tell him? Surely they have got to give him a shout? But also, he should know that he isn’t going to get that much space in the middle of the park in the premiership.

    I agree with what you said about 4-4-2. I think everyone who has seen any newcastle games this season would agree. Why does SA see this? Why does he persist when it’s not working?

    In some ways, I wish we hadn’t got these three last minute goals as it seems to be doing enough to let SA off the hook and paper over the gaping cracks.

    I don’t see why he took off rozenhal. It wasn’t going to help us get back into the game and isn’t going to help the lads confidence. If he was the only one I could accept it, but he isn’t. There is mistakes all over the team.

    i pray that he plays 4-4-2 against wigan, with martins and viduka up front.

    given
    beye taylor cacapa n’zog
    milner butt emre duff
    viduka martins

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  • Phil

    Dec 24, 2007 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #8

    barton had a good game? i must have been watching a different game then.

    it’s not fair to say martins and milner played shit because they are being forced to play out of position. martins is not a winger. why can SA not see that?

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  • valle

    Dec 24, 2007 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #9

    Phil… U must have

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  • ourman

    Dec 24, 2007 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #10

    Barton was awful.

    I worry about Martins because I think he is our one World Class player but the sad fact is that Kevin Davies would suit our style better than Oba.

    As a result Martin plays second fiddle variously to Owen, Viduka and sometimes even the woeful Smith. When he does play he is either out of position or horrifically unsupported.

    To go back to the original point – Valle – what game were you watching? Bartin had an absolute shocker. I’m not saying he wont come good but let’s not pretend he has achieved anything in a black and white shirt.

    Unlike Smith, who has had too many last chances already, I think Barton will prove a good buy, but so far he has offered nothing and Emre has looked far the better player.

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  • Toon Barmy

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #11

    He’s looking to walk away with a big fat cheque, he’s shepherds last kick in the teeth.
    If he doesnt want the sack why wouldnt he play our strongest team in their correct positions and try to play the game positively!, the way fans want to see the game being played,if we lose at least weve gave it a go, the players have said they dont like the way we play, neither do the fans. Go For It!. stopped fulham playing – F@ck off. wont get anywhere tryng to stop other teams playing try to make ours play.

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  • Phil

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #12

    what did barton do that impressed you so much apart from getting repeatedly caught in possession?

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  • valle

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #13

    Barton was our best fighter out there, he was everywhere and at least he tried to attack… Calling for Sam again once it dosnt go our way are u?… pathetic

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  • Phil

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #14

    i’m not calling for sam to be sacked but he has to change something.

    it has not gone our way again. we never got it right. we had a good battling game against arsenal and got a couple of lucky results. however if you watched those games then you would know how poor, inventless and clueless we have been playing.

    things have to change, just because we got some points with last minute winners doesn’t mean we have turned a corner. we are playing shit football. we can’t defend. we are making too many simple mistakes.

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  • thelongshanks

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #15

    I think rozenhal has lapses which he will only elimanate with experience in the prem,cuz he is decent.Barton gave away loads of passes and spends to much time with the ball.THIS AINT ITALY.I saw him play for man city and the man was class.Time to play milner on rite he always gives 100%.Viduka and martins to partner against wigan.

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  • mark

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #16

    Emre should start, he has a creative spark that no other play in the team has at the moment, if Emre doesnt start, lets spend it January.

    Note to a few people of here, including pi55 off sam.

    Your morons if you think sacking another manager is the right solution. you guys need to sit back and think about this. Yes, the football isnt great, but rome wasnt built in a day. yes, in hindsight, Sven probably was the better choice. However, we sacked Gullit, got nowhere, we sacked Kenny, got nowhere, sacked robson, then employed Souness and Roeder, do i need to tell you we got nowhere?

    So we got Sam in, 6 months in, people call for his head, think about this for f**ks sake, if we sack him, who are we going to get in? Coleman? Sanchez? MCLAREN?! because from where Im sitting, there is no world class manager in the world who would come here, before people start shouting Lippi et al.

    Newcastle has a reputation for sacking managers, sack sam, and then that just shows we are the most idiotic fans in the world, passion is over ruling the head in cases like this, you need to realise we have to give a guy time, Souness was appointed in 2004, but our downfall started in 2003. So thats 4 years, fixed in 6 months? get real lads. Support Sam, and if it doesnt work out, f**k it, we were never good to start with so what have we lost?

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  • sparetheman

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #17

    Why is it pathetic?

    I’ve actually been a supporter of Allardyce for most of this season. When he was under pressure before the Arsenal game I thought it was a joke that people were calling for him to be sacked. Since then though, he’s shown to me he’s clearly not learning from his mistakes. He persists with the same formations and, in my opinion, he’s been playing the wrong team and playing players in the wrong positions pretty much all season. Despite the fact we haven’t lost since Arsenal, the performances against Birmingham, Fulham and Derby have been pathetic and only strengthened my view. A good manager learns from his mistakes and changes things when it’s not working. I suspect Allardyce is too proud to sway from his “battlers” mentality unfortunately, so now I do think it is time his job was put on the line.

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  • mark

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #18

    and to toon barmy, find me a piece where the players said “I dont like the way we play” go on mate.

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  • iain

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #19

    on reflection what has changed under sam that has made us better than when roeder/sounness were in charge ?

    we still play shit and scrape points through good players rather than good team play. bar the few excellent games roeder squeezed out the team vs everton/az only showing how good the football can be with these players mainly emre/duff/zog/milner/martins. and he didnt have the good defenders in beye/faye/enrique.

    sam is using excuses to hide the fact we were blatantly shit in games. at least if he admitted some of his mistakes he might get some more time.

    he has his favorites that damage the team by playing. yet a lot of his signings look shit tottally wiping out the good work hes done bringing in beye/faye/enrique. also he hasnt replaced the teams best mf player weve had since rob lee in solano. if geremi is his replacement then its no wonder sam is in the shit.

    the players might be fitter but his tactics negate that by making players perform poorly in positions they dont understand. if zog is a better lb than enrique than sam has lost it.

    overall useless get the waste of space out. for all his coaches etc that we are no doubt paying top dollar for he cant organize 11 players and make it look like they know what there role in the team is.

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  • iain

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #20

    also sam talks out his arse saying he wants to keep owen.

    he must think were f***ng stupid as we can all see owen cant play in a 433 yet thats the formation hes persisting with and failing with.

    if hes so keen to keep owen we would be playing 442 every week but that limits how many of his favorites he can fit in so it wont happen.

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  • Mal

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #21

    Valle – I think you are out on your own if you think barton has been playing well. I’ve lost count of the number of times he’s been caught in possession in the last few matches. If only he could rediscover his man city form he would be a great asset though.
    I agree to some extent about the problems of playing players out of position but we lost yesterday because those playing in their proper positions weren’t doing their job. The players have to take responsibility for yesterday’s shambles – they were terrible (viduka apart).

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  • iain

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #22

    i know the defence is copping some stick for derbys goals but again the chocolate fireguard that is our mf was no where for either goal.

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  • iain

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #23

    “Emre should start, he has a creative spark that no other play in the team has at the moment, if Emre doesnt start, lets spend it January.”

    er aye whatever mate becuase if you believe that you cant possibly believe sam is the right manager for us.

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  • Toon Barmy

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #24

    Mark was it not the big man himself who said certain senior players came to see him about tactics it was in every newspaper where have you been, his quote was thats why i am the manager and they are players?
    he also said that 50,000 fans could pick a better team he’s right.

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  • stjames

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #25

    Now now. What’s all this negativity? We, the readers of Ed’s blog, know there is not much to worry about.

    The team spirit is good, the lads love playing for Newcastle and are eager to sign new and better contracts. The team is gluing and the individuals are bonding well. They show up week after week for training and for matches and are working so hard. 🙂

    Some of them for a meager 10k/week. Oh my. 🙁

    Now we only need a little team play, some decent passing, team tactics and a dash of creativity maybe. That should do it very nicely along with clean sheets perhaps. 🙂

    The future certainly looks rosy. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Except for the vicious nagging supporters who can so spoil the fun. Who needs them anyway. I bet the Derby supporters think more of our team than the Toon army does. 🙁

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  • mark

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #26

    why did my name in comment 16 change to f**k?

    and to Iain, how cant i possibly believe he is the right manager by saying Emre should start? fact is, I said at the moment, as Joey barton starts ahead of him, he has a creative side to his game, hence the at the moment, you nonce.

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  • mark

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #27

    Toon barmy, when he said 50,000 could, its because thats what the fans were shouting, he was being sarcastic. he said players went to see him about the tactics, where was it said, that they went to see them because they were unhappy? Papers, if you read and believe the papers, your more of an idiot than i thought.

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  • iain

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #28

    milner played crap becuase he was being double marked, as was martins as they were isolated as the team cant play the system are some people to blind as to see that. its not rocket science.

    even if they did beat two men the chances are only player would get into the box viduka is too slow, smith not good enough, oba/milner out wide.

    people say we wasted chances but its the type of chances you create and which player it falls to as well that count. you wouldnt expect owen to socre many outside the box in the same way obas never going to score many cutting in from that far out wide.

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  • Ed Harrison

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #29

    mark – I fixed it – sorry. I’m working overtime on the f**cks today. Guess that’s one way of saying it.
    We need a win and clean sheet at Wigan.

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  • mark

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #30

    Iain: “er aye whatever mate becuase if you believe that you cant possibly believe sam is the right manager for us.”

    explain how, i said at the moment, JB starts ahead of Emre because he is creative, but at the moment Emre is the more consistent at starting moves, so how, tell me please, can i not believe he is the right man? This is amazing.

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  • mark

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #31

    Cheers Ed mate, all the best for xmas and new year 🙂

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  • Toon Barmy

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #32

    now now mark its my opinion you wouldnt call me an idiot to my face so please dont hide behind your computer and try to abuse me.. it was even on the local news that players went to seek a meeting with him roumers were shay & steve harper with 1 other.
    If your happy with whats being served up ok then, im not.

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  • iain

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #33

    mark becuase sam will never start emre ahead of barton, emre has already done more than barton this season then i expected he would under sam. he cant even dislodge geremi/smith in mf for gods sake.

    and even funnier is emre looks the fitter of the two players right now. and fitter than he ever has for nufc.

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  • Nobby's dad

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #34

    Some of the general comments on this web site week in week out about Martins are laughable. To state as some do that he is World Class is ridiculous. He had another shocker yesterday – he isn’t a right winger – but he’s a footballer and should be able to control the ball when it comes to him. Compare the touch and vision of Viduka – when he’s interested he is class, but Martins….never!

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  • mark

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #35

    Shay, Steve Harper came out and said they didnt have a go at sam, they issued a joint statement. And how do you know i wouldnt say it to your face? I would meet you just to call you it to be honest, you from the toon?

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  • mark

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #36

    but iain, that doesnt explain how i dont believe in sam, i just think emre is playing better than barton, but sam picks barton, thats 1 criticism, im not saying sack him.

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  • Toon Barmy

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #37

    Mark you canny sad

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  • Dave Atkinson

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #38

    Some of you stop having a go at those who want Big Sam sacked. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that he’s doing a lousy job. He bought well in the summer for sure but he’s already fallen prey to the bad habit of failing managers – that is picking players he likes rather than picking a team that will win matches. Smith is good but not a better striker than Martins or The Duke so, bench him. Barton not doing it so, bench him. Emre must start – some don’t like him as they see him as wasteful. Well I’m sorry you have to break eggs to make an omlette. Emre’s a trier and he takes risks. Just what we need right now. And for God’s sake play Enrique at left back. Charlie will protect him by putting the opposition’s rigt midfield and defence on the back foot. If Sam persists in playing players out of position, he deserves the sack….and that’s not impatience, it’s simly recognising that dickhead behaviour, a dickhead makes.

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  • mark

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #39

    great argument, toon barmy 🙂

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  • nightfall

    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #40

    sam must be sacked… he keeps playing smith as a midfielder and we all know that doesn’t work, we play disconected…

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