Allardcye – No Instant Cures at Newcastle

Sam Allardyce seems to talk some good sense this morning, about what he is trying to do at the Newcastle United Football Club.


Chris Mort with Sam – some good things going on behind the scenes

We are well aware that some Newcastle fans have already given up on Sam, but we are the eternal optimists, and to be brutally honest, whoever is in the Newcastle manager job at any time, we just hope they are going to be super successful for the sake of the club.

We’re not alone there, and nothing is different with Big Sam, and we’d certainly like to see him be successful at Newcastle. But at the very least we think Sam deserves some time to get his act together – instant success is never easy at any club, and we honestly believe some of the changes he and Chris Mort are making behind the scenes, will stand the club in very good stead in the future. And that cannot be too bad.

Sam said today:

“It was never going to be an overnight job here. It is important that supporters get a clear picture of what the club is capable of in the short term and have the patience to accept that the famine that Newcastle have gone through for years in terms of results will not end in a season.”

“There are no instant cures. Success has to be built over a period. I believe I am putting a structure in place which will serve the club well in the years to come.”

“We are competing with clubs who are spending more than ever before. We had to do some short-term buying in the summer. Some have worked, others haven’t, but there were players at the club who came here for big money but had no residual value when it came to moving them on.”

“Their departures did not generate money to spend in the transfer market but our net spending deficit is still only £9M, which is low when you compare it with other clubs.”

“Clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea have benefited from signing young players and developing them through their system and we’ve started to do the same.”

“We want to exploit that kind of market to be able to produce first team players of the future. But it has to coincide with an improvement in your current senior players.”

“We have some very good players at Newcastle but, for different reasons, principally the absence of the more experienced ones for long periods, we have been unable to make the impact we are capable of.”

Good words from Sam, and whatever happens, it’s going to be interesting to see just who Big Sam tries to bring to the club next month. After our solid display yesterday, we need the same again on Wednesday night against Manchester City.

Although City are doing well in the league, most of their points have come from their home games, where they’ve dropped only 2 points all season. They have 35 points in total, and of their 10 home games they have 28 points. However, in their 9 away games they have but a single win and just 7 points. So they are there for the taking, and we just need to secure all 3 points on Wednesday evening. That will keep us in touch with 6th place and up that table.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

36 comments so far

  • Edd Case

    Dec 30, 2007 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #1

    Sam is wrong.

    With our squad of players and playing a 442 with players in their correct/best positions – I believe we would have instant success.

    Long term, Sam is spot on and I like what he says.
    In the short term though, he has to accept that his style of football, his brand of thumping long balls up to a lone striker and hoping that Milner will run all day to support, isn’t working and certainly wont provide instant, if any, success.


    Keep it simple Sam.

  • StevieA

    Dec 30, 2007 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #2

    I agree with what Sam is saying about building the team for the long term.

    BUT I believe our problems now are due to a lack of performances at home. I wouldn’t mind playing defensive away to pick up draws but at home we should be steam rolling most teams. That’s what we used to do so well. You would be surprised how high in the league you can go with good home form! 🙂

    We need to concentrate on getting some good quality players in. We also need to introduce Enrique into the side at home. I think we need a creative midfielder (maybe Arshavan) and someone who can play on both wings. We also need a quality striker too, I would be tempted to go for Anelka or someone like Miroslav Klose. Someone who is good on the ball and offers us a different option upfront.

    If we get those players and start to perform at home (AT LEAST) then we should do OK. I don’t think we should sack Sam, I think Sam needs to just adapt to the club and I think he will given time.

    Just to add that I would like to see us sign Diaby and if we could David Bentley. I think he’s a fantastic player who can play on both wings and upfront too. A real prospect for the future. 🙂

  • Steeley

    Dec 30, 2007 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #3


    And Ed, although you may be in love with Allardyce, you will seem from most of today’s and yesterday’s thread comments that people are starting to tire with your blatant one-sided obsession with retaining Allardyce and his negative style/tactics at the club! Please try to look at this from other angles otherwise you will start to lose readers!!

    The fact is, Sam may have got an OK performance out of the team yesterday but just look at our last set of games – a couple of half-decent ones, but the rest were crap! Have you learned nothing from the Arsenal performance….good and then horrendous afterwards!!

    I’m not even going to start on the off-the-pitch situation, but Sky Sports ran a great commentary of the situation this morning and they summed it up! He’s losing the dressing room, he’s losing his mind, and he needs to go before he turns us into a boring Championship side!!

  • Indian toon

    Dec 30, 2007 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #4

    i hate commenting after losin matches. because everyone is absolutely furious at that time. but i support the teams tactics at chelsea. packin the field with faye, butt. and stoppin them play through long balls . was terrific tactics. hav u wondered how the big 4 teams struggle against long ball tactics!. but unfortunate that we lost. cmon sam we are behind ya as we were behind every nufc manager.

  • steve

    Dec 30, 2007 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #5

    Fair points from Sam, seems Ashley and Mort aren’t going to throw cash at the problem for an instant fix.

    While he has a net spending deficit of 9 million, he did spend over 20 mil, he effectively wasted most of that money on Barton and Smith, then spent 6 million on a defender he won’t even put on the bench.

    I think the fans would get behind him if we could see some attacking football in a 4-4-2 formation, especially at home, seems we only put any effort in against the bigger teams.

  • Nick Dryden

    Dec 30, 2007 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #6

    Ed – SAM nullifies our threat at every turn. He is so negative and dourly defensive, he makes Dalglish look reckless!! It must be heartbreaking for what is a more than useful squad (Barton & Smith aside) to try and implement his long ball, negative, kick people, everyone out of position tactics. If you want 3 more years of the same, I truly despair as you are obviously one of our more cerebral fans.
    What’s the point of setting up a production line of talent if they all become indoctrinated in Sam’s dark age ”style”?

  • Edd Case

    Dec 30, 2007 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #7

    Indian toon – you clearly cant see the bigger picture.

    While I agree with you in the sense that packing the midfield to stop big teams like Chelsea is sound – yesterday was another example of how poor at picking a team Sam is.

    Smith is not a holding midfielder. Butt is, and Faye can be brilliant there.

    Our midfield should have been, Milner, N’Zogbia on the wings, Butt, Faye in the holding roles and Emre as a central but roaming midfielder, allowed to attack when appropriate.
    Thats still 5 in midfield but shows some form of ability to counter attack effectively.

    Martins shouldn’t be played up top on his own, he’s not good enough, Viduka should have started as he can hold the ball up.

  • Indian toon

    Dec 30, 2007 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #8

    @ edd case :a shrug from essien is enough to rattle mere. emre is a flair player. btw smith is a battler. he diggs into defence and wins tackles. for me playin faye butt, smith is completely justified.

  • steve

    Dec 30, 2007 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #9

    Ed – wish you would take Barton out of the image, every time I see his face it makes me angry!

    Off topic but watching the game yesterday made me think that we really need a decent captain, Smith most def is not it, there was no one on the pitch trying to organise the midfield or defence, I like Cacapa and Beye but they are def not captain material as they seem unwilling to shout at people and tell them what they should be doing.

    We really need to buy a leader in Jan (hopefully CM or CD)

    @indian toon – you are so wrong about Smith next time you watch him see how often he stays on his feet when tackling, he’s really easy to beat or get a free kick from

    @Edd Case – Yup – I’d go with that team selection for away games

  • Stamford Toon

    Dec 30, 2007 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #10

    Steeley its negative supporters like you that are helping to undermine the confidence of the team. I take it you are one of the boo boys. If you believe all you hear on TV and read in the press then you are a fool. They have their own agenda thinking only of contraversy to increase their viewing and reading figures. To expect Sam to have instant success is totally unrealistic. Your comments are wonderful fodder for the media. As AF said it creates a poisoned chalice that will discourage potential players nad new managers. Sam will get us there just give him time and lets give the lads the support they need

  • Edd Case

    Dec 30, 2007 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #11

    @indian toon – as steve rightly points out, you are wrong.

    Alan Smith is not a great tackler and a very poor midfielder all round. That’s because he’s a striker.

    I actually thought a while back that perhaps Sam saw a Barcelona match and thought of Smith as another Eidur Gudjohnsen type midfielder.

    Eidur’s been playing very well in an attacking midfield role for Barcelona on occassion – but Smith simply hasn’t got the creative flair of Eidur, so that doesn’t work.

    You can’t argue about Smith’s passion for the game – but there’s only so much running round a pitch like a headless chicken you can before you become a liability to the rest of the team, ask Jermaine Jenas.

  • Steeley

    Dec 30, 2007 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #12

    On a totally new comment (hopefully we might see an articl on it soon) – what the hell has happened to Martins? I know it’s not totally his fault as Sam has effectively nullified his chances by playing him alone upfront, but when he gets the ball, he seems to fall apart nowadays! I remember his absolutely terrorising defences in the past when he ran at them, or pulled out a staunning shot at the edge of the box! Strange that it all seems to have gone tits up since Sam arrived! Bet Oba is well happy with the long ball loser in charge….NOT!!

  • Indian toon

    Dec 30, 2007 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #13

    @ edd case: fair enough

  • Edd Case

    Dec 30, 2007 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #14

    Steeley, you are indeed right to point this out about Martins.

    He is definitely a different player these days, and not a happy one at all.

    But can you blame him? One week he’s out on the wing…the next a lone striker up against Alex, who’s nearly twice his size and being asked to chase aimless long balls with little or no support.

    All of this comes back to the same thing – we must play a 442.

  • Steeley

    Dec 30, 2007 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #15

    Stamford Toon – I hardly believe that potential players will be reading these threads first of all! Secondly, if for some mad reason they were reading them, it would only be fair for them to see what we all think. They can read your opinion just as they could read mine.
    Your point about me being negative is fair enough – I am negative at the moment, but only because the team I love is being stifled by someone stubborn-ness to change – even when his tactics are blatantly going wrong!
    To say that he should be given time is a totally fair proposal, but what do you propose we will be giving him time to do? At the moment, the only thing he is doing is making us a long-ball team with no attacking style at all. He is playing players out of position, and keeping certain mongs (Smith!) in the team despite the fact there isnt room for them (and they play crap!).

    I totally agree that he is taking the team forward with respect to youth and the scientific approach to the game – cant fault him at all for that, but to say he needs time is very narrow minded when he seems to going backwards down a very steep hill! If he was playing positive tactics and showing that he knows how to make positive changes when things are going wrong then I would be behind him every step of the way! Things are not, however, going that way! Hence my call for him to leave!

    I may be negative, but please bear in mind the approach the manager of your football club is taking before making that issue with anyone else!

  • Indian toon

    Dec 30, 2007 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #16

    just cant believe we didnt do enough to keep nobby solano at newcastle… solano is absolutely firing at west ham .

  • Stamford Toon

    Dec 30, 2007 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #17

    Steeley you like many of the contributors to this site are obsessed with flair and attack. All teams that have risen in the PL have first of all learned how to defend then followed this with flair and attack. I think you are overestimating the number of long balls the team have been using based on Sam’s press reputation. Although I have to admit I have not yet watched the Chelsea game. There has been a lot of very good play along the ground. I sometimes think I am going to a different game to many commentators.

  • luke

    Dec 30, 2007 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #18


    talk is cheap.

  • Rob Kirton

    Dec 30, 2007 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #19

    Sam is right. There are no instant fixes in life. However making a difference and bringing about an improvement often takes very little.

    Sam has 32 (yes THIRTY TWO incase you thought a misprint) backroom staff. So applying the principle of “many hands make light work”, you would have thought some improvement has taken place over the last 6 months.

    If Glenn Roeder was really that poor at his job, without changing backroom staff or even bringing in new players – a better manager would have been able to effect to some form of improvement simply by means of motivational techniques or better ideas.

    Bringing in better players and obtaining more back room staff would bring about further improvements. So given time, eventually a fix would be brought about and all would be hunky dory.

    So far the only apparent improvement has been in the reduced number of injuries. This could of course only been attributable to good old lady luck; however giving Sam’s team benefit of the doubt – it should mean more players to choose from each week which should bring out an improvement in team performance.

    Sorry for using the word “improvement” so much. The thing is, thats all I was ever looking for and it shouldn’t really take that much to bring about.

    He is right when he says a fix will take time. However as he cannot deliver any improvements for the time being – He’ll never be able to find the elusive fix.

  • Indian toon

    Dec 30, 2007 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #20

    glen roeder did an excellent job for us given the lack of funds he had. the injuries , and all . and am not not at all suprised that he;s doina excellent job at norwich.

  • Steeley

    Dec 30, 2007 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #21

    Stamford Toon – not obsessed with Flair and Attack, but just a little of it would be nice!!

    I take your “overestimate the number of long balls” comment as a joke…it must be!? I’ve seen all but one of the last 10 games and but for the odd game, all the others are set to a basic mould:

    Keeper punts ball long, CF has no-one to help win the ball so it inevitable gets headed back into midfield by the opposition. Then there are two possibilities: 1) It lands at a Toon players feet – they arent confident enough on the ball so they pass back to a defender who isnt confident enough to pass or run the ball upfield so they pass it back to keeper who punts it long upfield. Option 2) it lands at the opposition’s feet and Smith drives in a two-footed challenge and gives away a free kick.

    OK, so I may be exaggerating with the second option, but the whole point is, the whole team either lack any sort of confidence going forward (except for Milner (on the wrong wing!) or Emre (never plays!)) or they have instructed not to (i.e. play defensively).

    This may be a good tactic when you have a solid defence behind you, however, despite Sam being at the club on what fast approaches his first year, our defence cant keep a clean sheet!! While I fully understand that injuries have played some part in the changes, you must see that Sam has chopped and changed the back line so many times that there is never a chance that the team will start to gel.

    Also, for a fully effective defence, you MUST be confident that your midfield are aware of their role in the game when the team are under attack. To have so many players out of position (and clearly not happy with their new roles) can not help the situation one bit! Playing Smith as a sweeper is preposterous!!! Playing Milner on the left wing is as mad! Playing Geremi on the right of midfield, or Martins as a left winger….it all screams of a manager who hasnt got a clue! For any formation to work – whether it’s 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 4-3-3….whatever – players must be in the correct positions! WHY DOES SAM NOT UNDERSTAND THIS!!!???

  • Steeley

    Dec 30, 2007 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #22

    I had much more to say, but got bored of hearing my own keyboard tapping! 🙁

  • Leo

    Dec 30, 2007 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #23

    i remember back in the summer when ashley bought the club, i was soo excited about how much money would be spent and how great the year would be, and it just hasnt, maybe if sam is given any real amounts of money he would do well. look at man city. amount of money compared to sam no wonder they are doing soo well. sam worked well under a crap budget because of the previous regime.

    lets hope that ashley realised that you have to spend in this game to make in this game….

  • stjames

    Dec 30, 2007 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #24

    Rob Kirton:

    Spot on pal.

  • carl

    Dec 30, 2007 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #25

    its f**king commen sense about the long term sam you mug, you think we dont know that!!

    but short term???? excuses excuses excuses

    it could and can be fixed, a balanced team, 442,and people in correct positions. its that god damn easy, then and only then would i be patient with him.

  • Steeley

    Dec 30, 2007 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #26

    Rob Kirton – an excellent point! I must say that one thing I am eternally grateful to Sam for is his overhaul of our defence. The effective sacking of Babayaro really has gotten rid of the rotten players at the back for us (The Carr issue to be debated!!).

    I know that the players in the defence now have made some errors, but I think those errors have been focused on specifically due to the reputation of our back line in the past. A lot of other defences in the Prem this year have made mistakes, but they dont seem to get focussed on like we do. Hell, Bramble has had some howlers this year, but they arent being highlighted as much now that he has left the Toon!

    Rozenhal, Cacapa, Beye and Faye all seem to be some great solid players of quality – they just need more EFFECTIVE support from the rest of the team….and that doesnt mean Smudge running around in front of their line like a headlss chicken!

    I would love to say that Enrique has been a great player, but Sam – in his great wisdom – has decided not to bother playing him, and instead using an out and out Left Winger to do the job instead!! CLASSIC!

  • Rob Kirton

    Dec 30, 2007 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #27

    Steeley: Of course you are right. Sam has made some difference to the defence however without “improving” results. What has saddened me is how Roeder brought the likes of Edgar into the team last year with great effect (albeit being in a backs to the wall position).

    Hell I am sure with combinations of

    Roder / Pearson and now
    Allardyce / Pearson

    We should have been able to spot a few of the chinks in our armour at the back !!!

  • Neil A H

    Dec 30, 2007 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #28

    I like his ideas for the future, but for God’s sake play a decent formation and we would have success now. No one expects us to be in the top 4 after half a season, but play 4 4 2 with wingers on the proper side of the field and we would be fighting for UEFA cup place. How can Man City, Portsmouth, Blackburn, West Ham, and Everton be so much better than us? Now with the managerial change I would hate to face Hotspur. They would hammer us! We need a manager who attacks not goes into matches looking to survive for a point. We were putrid against Fulham, Derby, and Wigan. All three have managerial changes this year and we were lucky to get a result from two of them. Yesterday’s team choice and tactics were ludicrous and I think Sam is doing it just to spite those who criticize him. I think this is an extraneous circumstance and Sam should be fired because we are boring and a laughing stock. Nick Webster on Fox Football Fone-In said that good players don’t just become bad players when talking about Roque Santa Cruz, and then Steven Cohen replied unless they go to Newcastle United. They wouldn’t even talk about us. They just giggled about how pathetic we are. It was embarassing!

  • mrat18

    Dec 30, 2007 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #29

    well, if Sam want to be a scout or youth team coach – no problem, just leave FIRST TEAM position for someone who at least know how to pick the team.
    I supported Sam for long, but now it’s enough. It looks like he is going to earn some points talking about young youth talents, blah-blah-blah. it’s not your bussiness, Sam! You have to pick starting XI, choose some tactic to play and win bloody matches!
    don’t see City at home as given points, no matter what their away form is, we already played Derby – result is known.

  • john

    Dec 30, 2007 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #30

    why does everyone rave on about martins he possibly the quickest striker in the league but when it comes down to one on ones hes the last person you want with the ball. when he plays upfront with viduka or smith he reacts to slow unlike bellamy and shearers partnership

  • stk

    Dec 30, 2007 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #31

    this sums it up for me, i also heard a rumour sam selects his teams on fitness stats from the weeks training rather than the best team. not helping.

    for me its so blatently obvious whats going on at all levels im so shocked that allardyce cant see it.

    self praising, good ideas, negative football, baffling tactics and subs, starnge transfers, and something thats so obvious, we dont have a leader on the field.

    sams future and the state of nufc is all over the papers today, some really really good commentaries on our current state of affairs

  • Roger - W/Bay Mag

    Dec 30, 2007 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #32

    Stamford Toon…all fellow Newcastle fans that I talk to do not demand or expect miracles, instant success or silverware. How on earth could we after so long!

    In fact you are missing the point completely…under BFS the issue is that the performances are not to put too fine a point on it…shite. If we had the same set of results but with better perfomances there would not be the current level of dissatisfaction. The reality is that we have effectively ceased to play football but instead just lump the ball forwards at every opportunity. BFS must be scared of all the other teams as his game plan against even the poorest teams is to nullify them first. Don’t even get me started about systems, players in the wrong positions, substitutions, etc.

    Having said all of that I will be there again on Wednesday night against Man City willing the team on vocally. But get real man…under BFS the types of performance that we have seen are the norm and will not change…he has made that clear in all his interviews. Both Rob Kirton and Steeley have summarised the situation very well.

    Valle…if you read this…a quick question. Are you a blood relative of the Allardyce family?

  • Dragoner

    Dec 30, 2007 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #33

    whingers whingers whingers, if you dont like it, dont go. simple

  • GalloMate

    Dec 30, 2007 at 7:16 PM

    Comment #34

    As the majority of you all seem to want SA out the door may I ask you all who you would like?

    I already have;
    Martin Jol
    Marchello Lipi

    Oh and nominations for a number 2 as well.
    Any more?

  • Adam B

    Dec 30, 2007 at 8:33 PM

    Comment #35

    sam is spot on.

  • Stamford Toon

    Dec 31, 2007 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #36

    Sam’s the man for me and time will prove me tight. The whingers just simply have not given Sam any time at all, is this just because he was appointed by Shep? How many of you have watched the other games at the weekend? If you did then tell me, how effective was the long ball for so many of the prem teams. Then why do you not like it when we play long balls. Are they OK for the likes of the Gunners but no good for us?


You must log in to post a comment.