Skipper Confusion Shows Sam’s Stress

There is still some confusion with Newcastle fans over just who is the Newcastle United captain.


Big Sam – under pressure from Newcastle fans

Is the pressure getting to Big Sam that he has handed the captaincy to Alan Smith, even though Geremi is still here and started the Boxing Day game at Wigan? Or is it that Big Sam has been unhappy with the performances of Geremi of late and wants to give the armband to a player who all can see is committed 100% to the cause in every game.

The Cameroon international is due to represent his country at the African Cup of Nations next month and talked about the decision:

“The manager told me the decision was to get him (Smith) ready for the responsibility while I’m gone.”

However, Smith is earmarked by almost every referee these days, and it just takes a couple of his sliding tackles and that angry look he gives the referees, for him to end up in the referee’s book. Smith has most cautions this season, eight in all, along with Nicky Butt, his former Manchester United team mate. Once that number gets to ten, it’s an automatic two game suspension.

It seems that a number of the changes Allardyce has made since his appointment as manager in May just haven’t come off, and one of those seems to have been selecting Geremi as his captain.

We need a better explanation from Big Sam on just who the Newcastle United Captain will be once Geremi returns from the African Nations Cup. We think it will remain as Alan Smith, and to us this seems like a typical knee-jerk decision by Sam, during a time of great stress.

Comments welcome.

26 comments so far

  • valle

    Dec 28, 2007 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #1

    Well he did come into a new club and had to decide without knowing how Geremi would perform over a season if first choice, so he cant really be blamed for tinkering with the selection. You could argue that he shouldnt have sold our former captain, but its no coincidence that West Ham now posses the worst injury record after taking Parker and Dyer of our hands (15 mil for those 2 were GREAT buisiness by us).

  • Zx

    Dec 28, 2007 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #2

    It doesn’t matter who will be made captain after the African Nations Cup. Key thing is that, judging on current form, SA will be gone by then and the NEW manager will appoint the captain.

  • Ausgeordie

    Dec 28, 2007 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #3

    I think this is a terrible decision. Whether it is because Ashley is wearing his shirt or that Sam feels he must play a big part in the team to justify both his price tag and Sam’s reputation for reviving older players is irrelevant. Smiths performance and form is not good enough to justify first team selection let alone captaincy. I’d like to see a new gerenation of players given the chance with Zogbia given the captaincy as he is one of the few players thats seems to lead by examply making the very best of Sam’s somewhat bizarre formations.

  • A geordiedoonsooth

    Dec 28, 2007 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #4

    I think we should get Jack Sparrow he’s a good captain, or Captain Jack from Torchwood. Like these choices NUFC under SA are a joke.

  • Matthew Tom

    Dec 28, 2007 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #5

    There would be less of a problem in selecting a captain if Allardyce had the first clue about who his best players are. At the moment he chops and changes so much, the question of who should be captain is fraught with the potential embarrassment of the captain being dropped for numerous games. There just isn’t anyone in the side (except maybe Given and Beye) who can be guaranteed to play in the first team.

    This is a problem of Allardyce’s making, but Alan Smith wouldn’t even be the right choice if he could guarantee selection every week.

  • Paul

    Dec 28, 2007 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #6

    I am not so concerned as to who should be the captain of Newcastle United as I am about who should be the manager. It certainly should not be S.A. Sam rates with our long list of worst managers. His tatics, team selection and his abilty to buy the right players is in question. Also what is an injured player doing out at 5am in Liverpool other than getting arrested. Come on Newcastle, Get rid and do it now.

  • Arty

    Dec 28, 2007 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #7

    Nicky Butt, no one else!

  • andyc290

    Dec 28, 2007 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #8

    NZogbia for captain – dont be so stupid – it was only last season he got dropped for texting during a teamtalk – hardly mature enough to be captain. He possesses no captain qualities at all from what i can see and it would only put unnecessary pressure on him.

  • andyc290

    Dec 28, 2007 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #9

    As for sacking Sam, is that really gunna help – do we really want to start all over again with someone else – besides who is available to take over? – suely this season was always gunna be written off as a season of transition?

    Im sick of NUFC being a pantomime club and all sacking SA will do is give endless ammunition to the press to shoot at us with.

    Can we not be patient enough to stick by him at least until the end of the season – there was alot wrong with this club when he took over and it was never gunna be a quick job to turn it around.

  • steve

    Dec 28, 2007 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #10

    Stop saying there was a lot wrong and he needs time, he’s brought in 8 players of his choice, 23 back room staff and they’ve had 6 months to show a tiny bit of improvement, we’ve simply gone from bad to worse and sticking with Sam is like a losing gambler sticking a horse on his back and continuing to stay at the poker table.
    The only way is down, which is exactly what FFS would have wanted to happen to the new regime. Sam was never the right man for the toon, Steve Bruce and Alex Mcleish have done better jobs at so called smaller clubs without spending any money or bringing players in.
    We need to bring in a better manager , period! whether we can actually attract someone is another matter

  • Mart

    Dec 28, 2007 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #11

    Sack Barton immediately. We gave him another chance and he’s blown it. He’s had enough time to get fit, the fans have stood by him and how does he repay us ?
    I’m sick and tired of wasting my hard earned season ticket money on highly paid players who are taking the piss out of each and every one of us.
    If only they all had the same attitude as James Milner we wouldn’t be in this mess…..

  • stjames

    Dec 28, 2007 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #12

    What the hell was Barton doing dead drunk in Liverpool at 05:30 on Thursday morning. After the fiasco in Wigan on Wednesday and with a big match coming on Saturday he surly should be fit for training on that very same Thursday.

  • Black Caesar

    Dec 28, 2007 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #13

    6 months is enough time for Allardyce to show his worth at Newcastle.

    In 5 or so months Errikson has done wonders at Man City and look at Ramos and what he’s done for Spurs? He’s gone in there and made an instant impact without even bringing in a single player!!!!!!

    No nonsense excuses about needing time.

  • andyc290

    Dec 28, 2007 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #14

    Yeah granted he has brought in 8 players but most of them lacked prem experience and it will take a season for them to raise their game. Henry is the best foreign player to have played in the prem he has said many times how difficult it was to adjust to the english game.
    As for the backroom staff – 6 months is not a long time in football – alot of the ideas Sam has brought in will be about gradually improving the players and team. Granted weve seen no improvement but sometimes you have to take 1 step back to take 2 forwards.
    I am amongst the most loyal newcastle fans – I go to every away game I can afford (most of them) and all home games and I really do think we shoot ourselves in the foot sometimes with our impatience.

  • Bosck

    Dec 28, 2007 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #15

    I have been one of SA strongest defenders so far but even i am starting to wonder what the hell is going on tactics wise. what i will say tho is that his signings in my opinion will prove to be succesful in the main irrespective of whether he stays or not. faye, beye, and cacapa have all been top signings, enrique i believe would be if sam would give him a chance, and rozenhal will adapt given time i think. Smith is a great squad signing tho not necessarily a guaranteed starter. barton up until this incident i was in support of but again losing patience.

    For me our team at the moment should be:


    Beye Cacapa Taylor Enrique


    Milner N’Zogbia/Emre Duff

    Viduka (c)


    The Duke skipper if quits international football.

    Smith/Owen in for martins during AN, Taylor for Beye, and Butt in for Faye

  • Moy

    Dec 28, 2007 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #16

    Why not Given for Captain?

    Barton is a big signing by Sam , and this just reflects badly on his questionable signings.

    I think Rozenhal has been a flop as well , and don’t understand why Enrique hardly plays.

    To be fair , Cacapa and Beye have been decent though.

  • Moy

    Dec 28, 2007 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #17

    I suggest Given. Or if Sam doesn’t want a Goalie , then Steven Taylor.

  • Bosck

    Dec 28, 2007 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #18

    would be between given and viduka while players are away at AN. Don’t like goalies as captains tho.

    When they are back from AN. Faye or Beye should be captain.

    Rozenhal to me has not been a flop and will prove a good signing if he gets regular game time. Maybe a couple of months as reserve captain would get him up to speed with premier league style football. Think the problem is that he is in and out of the side so can not get a run if games going to develop his consistency.

  • Dragoner

    Dec 28, 2007 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #19

    Black Caeser you aint got a clue about football mate. Stop judging all managers on what a few exceptions have done. Go support City if you want Sven so much. By the way, Tottenham already had a great squad when Ramos took over and im sure if Martin Jol was given more time he would have turned it round for them. And i know enough Tottenham supporters who would back me up with that statement. Tottenhams problem was low confidence. A new manager with a fairly good record is obviously going to boost the teams confidence isn’t it. Get a clue mate, you sound like someone who has been watching football for only a couple of years.

  • Dragoner

    Dec 28, 2007 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #20

    Andyc290 there is no point talking to Black Caeser, he aint got a clue, he is one of those annoying “Chelsea style” fans.

  • Pouch13

    Dec 28, 2007 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #21

    Dragoner it’s you thats missing the point, Sven and Ramos were top flight managers with top clubs, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear – Fat Sam managed Bolton. His lack of tactical common sense borders on the farcical,
    he’s a joke, and he thinks, ‘I’m a top manager”.
    Like anyone in any job, the cream comes to the top, and the dross sinks to the bottom. Thank God Boro, and the Makems are worse than than the Magpies – but only just mind!

  • Pouch13

    Dec 28, 2007 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #22

    Sorry, Butt is the only choice for captain – Fat Sam clueless again!!! And if you are a Chelsea supporter doe’s it mean you have half a brain, and you enjoy success?

  • Ross

    Dec 28, 2007 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #23

    arty’s hit the nail on the head.
    nicky butt is our captain.
    he should be the one playing every week, with the armband every week.

  • mo_nufc

    Dec 28, 2007 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #24

    Selling parker was a mistake at least he always gave 100% and stats showed that he had the best tackling success rate in the league last season. He wasn’t fit towards the end of last season thats why some of his performances were poor. You will never loose a game with a team full of parkers.

  • Eve

    Dec 28, 2007 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #25

    Ya but surely Given deserves the captaincy, even for a small while, he’s been here for 10 long years and he’s been loyal and brilliant, he’s experience at it and surely he deserves it more then someone who’s only come this season, has no experience captaining a side and has a terrible temper or someone who know one (the players) respect.

    Anyway I actually have come to the conclusion that Harper and Given probably set up a beth each time a new manager comes and the bet on how long he lasts, if they aren’t they should, they’d know better then anyone, they’ve seen it all before, and they’d make a decent amount of money outta it, lol!!

  • Chris Bunton

    Dec 28, 2007 at 10:08 PM

    Comment #26

    I hear u ceaser…dragoner u talk crap…SAM OOOT!


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