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Sam – Clean Sheet and Away Win – Fantastic

Sam Allardyce today praised his Newcastle United players for their determination to keep going, after a second successive last-gasp win at Fulham on Saturday.


Sam Allardyce – happy with 3 points and the players’ spirit

Newcastle had Habib Beye to thank last weekend for his injury time header which snatched all three points against Birmingham City. Beye had another excellent performance for Newcastle today, as indeed did Claudio Cacapa at the back and the Brazilian made some crucial interceptions, especially in the second half. That was good to see since the last time Claudio played was for 16 minutes against Portsmouth a few weeks back, when he was responsible for giving away 2 bad goals. It looks like he wasn’t fit for that game, and today he looked a very good and experienced player at the back.

This week it was Joey Barton’s turn to be Newcastle’s last minute match-winner and hero, with a 91st minute penalty at Craven Cottage today.

Afterwards, Sam Allardyce, who must have been frustrated during the game (we certainly were), nevertheless hailed his players:

”I have to give credit to the lads for keeping right at it until the end for the second week running.” “Our fitness levels are beginning to tell at the moment and that has showed in the last two games.”

“It’s fantastic to get an away win and keep a clean sheet.” “It’s a vitally important three points because it keeps our run going and I must praise the lads for sticking together in recent weeks.”

“Now we’ve got a couple of big games over Christmas which we will certainly be looking to win.”

It didn’t really look like we were any fitter than Fulham today, and in truth it was a disappointing performance from the lads. If you contrast the way we played against Arsenal to the way we played today, there’s just no comparison, and Arsenal would have torn us apart on today’s performance.

So it’s obvious, we still have to become more consistent, but the performances of Beye and Cacapa today were very good indeed.

Comments welcome.

16 comments so far

  • carl

    Dec 15, 2007 at 10:22 PM

    Comment #1

    just got home from the match,not a great performance BUT we won, didnt concede a goal and away from home, the toon support in fulham today was top notch we sang from start to stop and showed those shitty fulham fans how its done, honestly all you could here was the toon army,not a squeek from them .well done boys and well done the fans

  • ToonKing

    Dec 15, 2007 at 10:48 PM

    Comment #2

    well Carl my hat is off in front off you guys. the traveling army was indeed fantastic, when you guys were resting for a 1 minute or so 😉 the stadium was like a grave those Fulham supporters were really lame.


  • Davy

    Dec 15, 2007 at 10:59 PM

    Comment #3

    We started the game brilliantly, lovely passing movement going forward down the left with N’Zogbia, Milner, Barton and Smith involved for the first ten minutes. Then Geremi gave the ball away on the half way line and Fulham should have scored with their first touches of the ball. This gave them a lift and the game turned into a stalemate until the second half when Emre came on for the once more unlucky Martins, who is not a natural right sided player. Beye, Cacapa and N’Zogbia played well at the back, as did Rozenthal apart from one silly second half moment! Then when Viduka entered the arena we briefly, but it seemed too late, looked like we could create something. Then the penalty and Barton’s first goal. Three points and a clean sheet after what seemed like a poor performance will do just fine.

  • brett

    Dec 15, 2007 at 11:32 PM

    Comment #4

    Geremi out Emre in

    What’s up with Barton

  • stjames

    Dec 16, 2007 at 12:27 AM

    Comment #5

    I’m delighted about the win and the clean sheet! 🙂

    Although it was a poor game there are signs of improvement. 🙂

    After Sam produced some ProZone statistics I went through the trouble of counting the long balls. 19 in the first half and 18 in the second, total 37. After 7 of those we kept possession although we lost possession rather quickly in some cases. After 30 long passes we did not get possession of the ball.

    I did not count what I cal long passes or crosses or under pressure defensive clears. That means 30 long balls with no chance of creating anything at all. 🙁 🙁 🙁

  • Ausgeordie

    Dec 16, 2007 at 12:38 AM

    Comment #6

    We look terrible up front. I hate to say it but despite his work rate Smith is not scoring goals or creating them. Yes he got the penalty but I’d much rather have striker who scores or creates a bit more consistantly. He has not looked like scoring for weeks against any opposition. If your going to give him so many games without scoring give Shola another game.

  • Ausgeordie

    Dec 16, 2007 at 12:46 AM

    Comment #7

    Why is Sam building this relationship between Zog and Milner when Duff is destined to take a place on the left hand side? Obviously this will send Milner back to the right so why not let him work on his own game.

  • Sparkey

    Dec 16, 2007 at 1:18 AM

    Comment #8

    It was almost like a home game at Fulham the Toon Army didn’t stop chanting from start to finish

  • Bosck

    Dec 16, 2007 at 2:46 AM

    Comment #9

    ausgeordie – i might be wrong but my guess is that sam may be building the relationship between zog and milner as duff likes to switch wings a lot. if both milner and duff learn to play with zogs then they can switch wings at will , just like giggs and ronaldo do at united when they really tear teams apart.

  • Len

    Dec 16, 2007 at 4:13 AM

    Comment #10

    I am coming to recognise this as Allardyce football. 1) stop them playing 2) keep a clean sheet 3) try and nick a goal. We got 3 points and thats good but it was desperately poor to watch. With a more positive attitude we could have won this comfortably.

  • joe

    Dec 16, 2007 at 5:07 AM

    Comment #11

    Len, i think its more of keep them out for 60 mins then bring emre on for geremi. Then get a goal in the last half and hour so that they dont have time to respond? I dont know but it makes sense to me..

  • micepie

    Dec 16, 2007 at 5:08 AM

    Comment #12

    We look a lot more solid at times lately, and just need to maintain that but also find real creativity and flow to go with it. That might mean a change of tactics sometimes, at least at home. Though I like Smith, I agree with Ausgeordie in that if we can add a really creative player to whar we have already then Smith should probably be the one to replace.

    In January I’d be very happy if we signed Wes Brown and then 2 or 3 of those youngsters that are getting mentioned, Recall Carroll too and we should be okay.

  • shearyadi

    Dec 16, 2007 at 5:44 AM

    Comment #13

    Not agree with Ausgeordie

    Smith is the only player who is more consistent than any other Newcastle players this season, Milner come to second. Give Shola a go, are sure about that?

    I wonder where were you so far this season.

  • phoonck

    Dec 16, 2007 at 7:58 AM

    Comment #14

    My god, Shola? Gimme that hammer.. Please, NO Shola! He’s shite and only Championship material..

    Smith attitude is top-class, never-say-die. Milner is improving, and Cacapa’s experience showed and he proved he was probably unwell in that fateful match against Portsmouth.

    Emre definitely needs to play, as without Duff and N’Zogbia in midfield, we are ZERO in creativity. Martins has been out of sorts lately, is it due to instructions by BSA not to try long shots and be a team player? He seems to hold ball and wait for team mates to support, and seldom take long powerful shots and/or dribble. He seems like a different player lately..

    Well, we are certainly playing much more like a unit now, and the spirit within the team is great. Bring on Derby. We are home and i expect us to play better, and take another 3points..

    Howay the Lads!

  • Eamonn

    Dec 16, 2007 at 8:40 AM

    Comment #15

    Bosck, Giggs & Ronaldo play for Manure, not us!! There’s only one United and it’s black n White. 🙂

  • scott 9

    Dec 16, 2007 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #16

    i think viduka is our best option up front with owen when hes fit smith is a good lad works had but viduka is more skillful holds it up better and scores 45 times more goals than smith but i think smith has been promised first team footy by sam so i think he will always play


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