Has Big Sam got the big boot on the other foot now?

By Lee Ryder on Aug 9, 07 09:59 AM


Trips to the Reebok Stadium aren't usually kind to Newcastle United.

Reeling off the list of defeats at Bolton in the past few years is too depressing to kick the new season off, so instead, picture this.

Newcastle United winning at Bolton and beating them at their own game in their own backyard.

Judging by Newcastle's promising pre-season programme, it doesn't look like Allardyce intends giving it the big boot.

But he has also said since coming as boss that he will play horses for courses and if the need arises, try to beat the opposition at their own game.

Yes, we'd all love to see pretty football but surely pussyfooting about with the ball and not winning isn't the way forward.

I have to admit watching Bolton whack the ball into the solar system was awful to watch.

But that was when you are on the recieving end, and besides with different players at his disposal at St James' Park, there is no guarantee Newcastle United will be a carbon copy of Bolton Wanderers.

Yet for one afternoon only, it would be sweet as a nut if Bolton fans got a taste of the type of football inflicted on the long suffering Toon Army down the years at Reebok way.

Moving on and it looks like Kieron Dyer will be back in the squad at Bolton and the old debate of booing is bound to cause friction in the black and white end.

Dyer's move to West Ham failed in dramatic circumstances but not for the first time in his career he has to pick himself up off the floor and pull on a black and white shirt and simply do the job he is paid for.

In his last game for the club at Watford he scored but didn't celebrate and if United win and Dyer scores and doesn't show any emotion now, who cares really what he does?

Anyway enough about Dyer, the trip to the Reebok is all about Newcastle United and the vibes that Big Sam is giving at the moment suggest, he is heading there with only victory on his mind.


Big Kev said:

I don't think we'll be getting the big boot from the Toon although we all know what to expect from Bolton. I do feel that for the first time in a while we'll have the physical presence to stand up to them & with having better players in our team should come out on top. Full back is a concern if as expected the Bull sits this one out, Carr is not the answer & who plays on the left is anyone's guess. On pre-season form Charles can't do it & has looked better in midfield so could start on the left, so maybe Ramage with his strength will get the nod. I hope Dyer is knowhere near the team & after watching Sunday's game would play Martins in attack with Smith in midfield. Smith & Viduka looked to slow as a pair but Smith looked very good coming from deep. Viduka's strength will be key, holding the ball up & bringing our very strong midfield into the game. If he does that then our better players will run the game & keep the ball away from Bolton. I'll go for a hard fought 2-1 to the Toon!!!

Paul Patterson said:

It’s a funny old game football isn’t it?

In the past we’ve seen criticism for the style of play Bolton use and then I’ve thought to myself, the most entertaining side in the country when they are on form, is Arsenal, but it would annoy me to watch them every week as well.

Arsenal seem to want to dance over the half way line, chip a ball onto the head of a player, have another swinging on the crossbar to head the ball back to another unmarked player, who in turn sets it up for a team-mate and just when there’s an open goal, find another pass, go back to the keeper and start afresh.

Bolton lump it forward.

But really Bolton’s Bruisers have an alarmingly good record against Arsene’s Acrobats.

Chelsea are a mighty side, but who could watch them every week (Not me, the prices are too expensive!!) you always get the feeling, that Chelsea are the masters at the tight defence and the nicking of 1-0 wins, but that doesn’t leave room for error.

For the all round side, it’s naturally Manchester United and their complete footballing philosophy, Like Chelsea, they very seldom get tonked and can cope with the odd goalkeeping error or defensive bungle.

Reverting back to Newcastle, I can see a good season, with a more tighter defence than we usually see served up and with Viduka, Owen, Martins, Ameobi, there are four players who have more than enough goals in their feet, I wouldn’t swap that four for any other teams attack.

My tip for a surprise struggle this season is Aston Villa as their signings (Or lack of) suggest, but a problem may be on the cards for Arsenal, Im not sure they are up to the battle that’s going to rage for the top four.

Im not entirely convinced that were good enough to go where certain quarters are suggesting, but if people are tipping Spurs for fourth, then Im quite happy to meet that prediction.


Ronnie Lambert said:

It would be self harming if any of the travelling fans boo Dyer should he get the nod at some time on Saturday. It would also be self humiliating in the eyes of the nation, many of whom see us as neanderthals anyway. Don't do it lads, even over the top sarcastic cheering of Dyer would be a shot in the foot for our critics, our foot I mean. If he does well, that's good for everyone, and it'll bode well for his eventual departure. Alternatively, he is fitter than ever now and we're a bit thin on the ground for that calibre of midfielder. He's proved in the past that he can get on with it after a dust-up, so let's just wait and see what happens, it might be to our benefit. Big Sam's new style team will probably just have too much pace and firepower for Little Sam's old warhorses, unless Lttle Sam plays a different game now. It's getting exciting again, bring it on.

Bossa Nova said:

You're right, if Dyer plays, he shouldn't be booed - unless he's awful, of course!

Seriously, I think he should go - should've gone well before now - but if he pulls on the black and white shirt and gives it his all, we should support him.

Of course, we have stood by him before after his spat with Bowyer, his alleged spat with Bobby Robson, his XXX-rated video work with Frank Lampard et al, his al fresco urinating in the Bigg Market, his burning of his (and our) wages on the Quayside and his generally truculent attitude when out and about Newcastle.

But, hey, let's do it again!

iain said:

kevin nolan was right the minute sam walked into st. james park we were always off to bolton for the first game of the season.

another commom occurance is for these games to be built up so much only to result in a boring 0-0, 1-1. where no incidents of any note really happen.

im actually going for a 2-2 draw. both teams will probably be closely matched given our missing players and there attempts to play better football with a 442 formation and gavin mcann in mf - (if sammy lee thinks gavin the hatchet man mcann will help bolton play proper football then pigs will be flying over the reebok before kickoff to welcome in the new season).

oxboy said:

This is one Sam will not want to loose.
I'd guess he'll play his most experienced team with Smith and Viduka upfront and if we can win it at the end risk the clogger Martins.
Can't see the heartless Dyer contributing, there again its not that often he ever did.

Fife White said:

Well barcodes, i wouldn't get too excited about your trip down to the reebok.

walrus boy will soon flush any good football out of you like he did to the likes of jay jay okocha.

he'll have his way with pro-zone and ban shots from outside the box until he's got you playing his way.

watching bolton pre-season and it was so refreshing as a bolton fan to see them playing football after the worst footballing season i have ever seen at the reebok.

see you on the a1

big beleiver in the fact that if your manager was a real footballer he will put that into his team: keegan did it for you lot, lee will do it for us. The walrus was a big ugly brute on the pitch and that's the football he'll have you playing soon.

Mike said:

Sam will know best.
Keep off Dyers back if you call yourself United supporters.
It could be 3-1 to the lads.

Mark in Washington DC said:

I know this is our first game of the season but I think this could be our biggest game of the season. There has been so much going on, good and bad both on and off the pitch, throw that together with the fact we are playing Bolton, Big Sams old club...well a solid performance could set us up for the season...a bad one could really set the nerves going again throughout the team. It has been so long since we have had a squad that could get us off to a good start to the season (can't remember last time we had one of those). If we faulter at Bolton..indeed fall at the first hurdle I fear that the tide will turn ow so quickly and the critics both tabloid and fans alike will decend like vultures destroying the good build up to the season se have had.

I know the Dyer issues is still on eveyones mind but we as the fans have to ensure that B&W team is not 11 men on the pitch but 52,000 on the pitch be it in person or in spirit. I have been to the Chelsea and Arsenal grounds and they are lifeless. All I can say I have seen a B&W phoenix and it lives in SJP. Lets see it rise from that ashes of last season.

mag in boro said:

WHAT A START!!!!!!!!

3-0 up after half hour were we we were not
well the new start of our new era has begun rather well

the new boys settled in well and we looked solid big shout to alan smith for non stop work rate(never thought i would ever praise that lad but hey he one of us now ;@).)

smoggies thank you for my first week of many gloating and how many empty seats they mustnt have coincided the giros with matchday this week but at least after today they are one step closer to the derby with leeds they all crave

and if there was one thing that could have dampened spirits today was the sight of judas chopra (a)coming of the bench with that god waful shirt on(retails for 99p at all dirty second hand shops)and (b)denying himself a night out in the bigg market by scoring...micheal own goals are acceptable remember that

so end of matchday 1 3 points in bag and bloody 3 away points how cool is that

and to the travelling ultras you done us proud again boys and girls you made it sound like a home game bolton couldnt be heard so if we can do that away 50000 gonna raise the roof next week



Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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