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Milner saves the day for Newcastle

By Lee Ryder on Nov 10, 07 09:40 AM

Lee Ryder reports from the Stadium of Light

Newcastle United fans had to be content with a 1-1 draw on Wearside today as James Milner secured a point in an emotionally charged derby at the Stadium of Light.

United had gone behind to Danny Higginbotham in the second half but Milner's goal saved the day for Big Sam and Co as streets emptied on both Tyneside and Wearside alike to take in the first Tyne-Wear clash of the season.

Newcastle were forced to make a change in the engine room with Nicky Butt suspended meaning the midfield lined up with Milner wide on the left, Joey Barton and Emre in the middle but Alan Smith began the game as a man marker on goal threat Kenwyne Jones.

In defence Steven Taylor retained his place at right-back but Cacapa missed out so David Rozehnal partnered Adboulaye Faye in the centre and Charles N'Zogbia took the place of Jose Enrique at left-back.

Up front it was Mark Viduka, back from a calf problem, and Michael Owen while Steve Harper kept his place between the posts with Shay Given out with groin problems.

United had not lost a derby on Wearside since 1980 while Sunderland's last taste of derby victory came in 2000 at St James's Park.

Mike Ashley made his way to the Stadium of Light on the buses with Toon fans and took his place in the stands amidst a backdrop of black and white - complete with his Newcastle shirt of course.

Meanwhile it was Owen who captained United for the first time with Geremi benched and Butt banned.

In a cauldron of noise both sides kicked off on a greasy surface after a pre-match downpour.

And it took just a couple of minutes for Harper to be called into action with the keeper having to challenge with Carlos Edwards on the right hand side of the penalty area but the Toon stopper came out on top.

United's first glimpse of goal came when Viduka fired in an overhead effort but it was high and wide leaving Craig Gordon untroubled.

Yet Geordie hearts were in mouths when Edwards pumped in right wing cross but Ross Wallace fired over at the back post in a missed opportunity for the home side.

With 23 minutes on the clock ex-Toon striker Michael Chopra became the first player to be booked when he hacked down N'Zogbia who had made a great run down the left.

And Sunderland were dealt another blow when Nyron Nosworthy was forced off with a hamstring problem.

Newcastle though came close on 28 minutes when Milner fed N'Zogbia across the six yard box from the left and Owen's snatched at attempt left Gordon holding on with dear life.

Four minutes later Newcastle had Smith to thank after a Sunderland attack resulted in Grant Leadbitter's shot being bravely blocked by the former Leeds man with Harper beaten.

Sunderland hit straight back and Wallace's cross was then headed over from six yards from Leadbitter again.

With 10 minutes to go before the break Faye collided with Jones to earn a free-kick and a yellow card but the Black Cats wasted the chance.

Two minutes before the break Sunderland had a real chance when Chopra was set free on the edge of the box but his shot on the turn was wonderfully parried by Harper to keep the scores level.

But tempers flared as the half reached an end when Barton escaped punishment for a high challenge on Etuhu with the Sunderland man then confronting the Scouser as the two teams headed for the tunnel for the interval.

Just seven minutes had elapsed when Sunderland opened the scores after a quickly taken short corner which caught out Newcastle.

Leadbitter crossed from the left and an unmarked Danny Higginbotham headed home at the back post to send the Wearside crowd into raptures.

It was a goal that should never have happened from United's point of view after losing possession before then letting three unmarked players conjure up the goal.

Before the hour mark Newcastle had a decent claim for a penalty but after Ian Harte had tripped Milner ref Atkinson didn't want to know.

And as we reached the 60 minute mark Taylor's right wing cross was headed well over by Owen in a rare chance for the England man.

Yet six minutes later there was relief for the Geordies as Emre and Milner exchanged passes in the left channel and the Yorkshireman's cross cum shot ended up sneaking in at the far post to level the scores.

Milner's right footed effort certainly looked like a cross from the TV replays but there weren't too many Geordies complaining as the away end exploded with Ashley's smile as wide as the Tyne Bridge.

United went down to 10 men for three minutes after Higginbotham's arm caught Viduka with the Aussie patched up and sent back into play.

With nine minutes left though Sunderland almost grabbed the lead when Harte's dangerous corner found Chopra who watched his header rattle the bar before Newcastle frantically cleared through Taylor.

Big Sam then threw on Martins with seven minutes to play with Owen retiring early and handing the armband to Smith.

SUNDERLAND: Gordon, Harte, Ethuhu, Nosworthy (Collins 23), McShane, Edwards, Higginbotham, Chopra, Jones, Leadbitter, Wallace (Stokes 73).

Subs: Miller, Ward, Connolly.

UNITED: Harper, Taylor, N'Zobgia, Rozehnal, Faye (Beye 61), Milner, Barton, Emre (Geremi 88), Smith, Viduka, Owen (Martins 83).

Subs: Forster, Enrique

Ref: Martin Atkinson (West Yorks)

44 Comments

micepie said:

Yes, it's hard to be patient and there is so much to be improved on...Barton to really find his feet, Owen to get that extra edge back into his game, the defence to tighten, many players to rebuild their confidence etc etc etc.
1-1 is....okay, just about! I remember how Villa started so well under O'Beill when he arrived for them, then had a long series of mediocre or poor results before turning things around again as he got more time. We probably need to be AS patient with BSA,

Franz Kafka said:

Nzogbia is our best player on the ball going forward and he was playing at left back. Idiotic. Lessons aren't being learnt and Europe is looking further away than ever.

mag in boro said:

so unfortunatly we didnt beat the scum but an away point is welcome and BS is happier than the dog wa*ker sorry walker(typing error there)but come May their inability to convert chances will make a lucky draw even sweeter when they go down
we played below our best but battled well but Sam why did you wait so long to put Oba on we had got back into the game and should have pushed on for all 3 points but no not you,you settle for a battling draw that might have been fine in your comfort zone of bolton but not here

Anonymous said:

Our get out of jail card was used to
good effect today.
Not much to right in about the perfomance(s)on the day,although for a spell in the second half,we could have nicked it.
I think the biggest talking points will be Mike Ashley shirted up in the stands with the rest of the Mags,and how will
BSA control Joey Barton's temper for other big matches in future?
Faye,N'Zogbia and Steven Taylor played well(and did'nt they have to at times)but Rozenahl looked uncomfortable throughout.Alan Smith was earnest enough but since his departure from Leeds has suffered from a succession of managers trying to slot a genuinely good player into a number of positions from one week to the next.
One day this will hopefully be
resolved,sooner rather than later eh Sam?
Still better than a defeat though,which would have had me crying into my nightcap tonight
Keep the faith
MICKMIKE

Gerry said:

Sam is trying to fit everyone into a Bolton-esque formation, as he believes that gave him "success".

It doesn't work with the players we have Sam! Wake up, and play to our attacking strengths, with players in their right positions...

Today we had the following players fit, and they all have match-winning strengths, which is why they are at this club. Yet we are hanging on for draws/losing against relegation candidates:

Owen - a supposedly world-class finisher, who has maybe lost his pace, but can still score given the service.

Martins - one of the fastest strikers in the Premiership, who has a rocket of a shot, with both feet.

Viduka - Probably the best striker of his age in the Premiership, can hold the ball up, but also create and score goals.

N'Zogbia - A young pacy French winger.

Milner - Young. Gives 100%. Has a great shot on him.

Emre - Tigerish, can tackle, can shoot, can create.

Barton - should be our midfield heartbeat. Gives 100%, and can get forward and score the odd goal.

Enrique - An up and coming Spanish left-back, whom Barcelona were after, among others.

Rozehnal - Czech international. Composed, and a calming influence in defence, keeping it simple.

Taylor - Captain of the England under-21 side. Fully committed, nowhere near the finished article, but gives 100%

Beye - Ex-captain of Marseille, can get forward from the back.

So tell me this Sam, why are we playing for draws against mediocre opposition? Why are we the only side to lose to Derby, who have been beaten by 4+ goals on 4 separate occasions, home and away? Why is our top scorer left out, in favour of someone who needs service to score, when you play with such negative tactics? Why are you not playing your wingers on their correct wings? Why are you managing us?

Games like this are ones you need to take by the scruff of the neck. If we are playing defensive against the likes of Sunderland, Derby, Reading etc, then what the feck are we going to do when we come up against the top 4?

I don't want Sam out, I just want him to wake up, and manage NEWCASTLE. Not Bolton. He wanted a new challenge, and this is it. Different challenges call for different gameplans.

Paul Patterson said:

Right I’m pleased that that’s all out the way and we haven’t lost, but. . .

The performance was atrocious, absolute shambles, we were wreckless and had no cohesion in defence or attack and in the end Allardyce has picked a Get Out Of Jail free card out of the chance deck.

If you want me to be honest, Sunderland deserved the win, they passed it better, the ball always stuck up front and their support for their front two was constant.

Newcastle on the other hand were laboured in their approach work, stumbling forward and passing was strictly off the menu for long periods today.

The defence was once again rickety and (Thanks to MORE square pegs in round holes) never looked as a unit. Milner on the left and Barton (Yes Barton??) on the right was a suicide note if ever I saw one.

N’Zogbia and Taylor both played out of position (Full backs) and with three perfectly viable full back in the squad (Beye, Faye, Enrique)

WHAT IS MR ALLARDYCE ON??

Is he picking his players with a bingo machine?? And today at left back it will be. . . Number 10 Michael Owen (Who incidentally must have been saving himself for his proper club as he was hardly in it.

Once again I will state I want Allardyce to get it right, but the tactics today were absolutely ridiculous and gave Sunderland a head start.

Imagine what a Keegan type manager would do with this set of players? Certainly attack that’s for sure.

I was asked by a rather unclean, beer stinking Sunderland fan yesterday, ‘Which players would you want from our club?’ I thought for a minute and replied ’None’ he obviously thought I was just saying that because I was a Newcastle fan, but I continued- ’But I’d have your manager’

And onto our cousins from Wearside, Sunderland for long periods battered us and deserved to be more than a goal up when we finally roused ourselves to score by a fluke in James Milner, they were by far the better side- and to all Sunderland fans I say this- You didn’t win the game- No sour grapes, no Nah Nah, still unbeaten on Wearside rubbish, just a simple, you tried your best, battered a disjointed Newcastle side, and didn’t win, that is why I would be worried if I were of a Red and White persuasion.

My side on the other hand . . .

Paul

philip matues said:

we should be going to places like sunderland,derby and reading to win!Not playing for draws!Sam needs to wake up and quick otherwise come the new year he may be out of a job.Yes he needs time but thats something we cannot afford to give.Next season we NEED to be in europe.We need to be playing good attacking football,not the #### we are playing now !

Phil said:

Excellent post, Gerry - regarding attacking football. I thought Obafemi Martins looked extremely dangerous when he came on - but why only 7 minutes from time? His speed combined with Viduka's strength and guile caused panic in the dying minutes. To make Owen, and then Smith captain was farcical, as they're both struggling right now - a psychological ploy to show confidence in underperformers?? Owen is huffing and puffing, and needs a run in the reserves to see if he still has it. Chopra, ironically, offered much more of a threat.
I thought Faye looked good at the back, and also Beye when he came on (Zog looked hungry to attack). Harper played well, as did Rosenal. There were glimpses of fight and passing cohesion in the team at the end of the game, especially after Martins came on. Build for the future Sam, don't rely on PAST reputations!

Andrew Davis said:

I am so disappointed in todays game and i think a lot of magpies fan should be shocked at how badly we played as to me it was all sunderland and that we looked like conceding a goal at anytime and this is supposed to be a better defence.

Listen to what mark viduka said at fulltime as we were playimng to deep and that it was better in the 2nd half.

Lets smell the coffee and like me after the game i am drinking vodka, after that game and the only solice is that we will get sunderland at home and hammer them....

We hope eh.

The only good thing for me is that vids is back and butt will be back and that barton has another game under his belt and we are very weak in midfield and we have bloody liverpool next.

Andrew

ian said:

from a sunderland fan point of view you didnt deserve anything sunderland were far to strong for you your goal was a fluke so dont come on here and say other wise you were lucky to get a point it would of rounded a loverly day off if chopra had a scored

med said:

I thought Big Sam said he will paly who ever is inform and producing not worry about star palyers pressure is that a joke. Owen does not score for 5 to 6 games does not look like a 17 million pound striker but hey how dare Sam put him on the bench. There is no question in my mind that you will not see attacking good football under Sam, I hope I am wrong. My advice to Oba move to a better team in Jan even if it means moving back to Italy, otherwise you are severly destroying your career.

ROB SMITH said:

The most amusing aspect of the Tyne-Wear derby is that Big Sam was bitterly disappointed not to get the England job. Apparently McClaren has less coaching ability than Big Sam??? Toon to play Blackburn, Arsenal and Liverpool next - an easy 9 points. Get to the bookies and put your money on "Sam To Be Gone By Xmas" - runs in the 3.00 pm at the Toon every other week!!!

haroon said:

Sam Allardyce has the best squad on paper since the Robson days, yet we're playing for draws against Sunderland? What the f*** was Barton? Our midfield lacked creativity and gave the away too easily. We're lucky to grind out some kind of result, when in truth we should have hammered them (Yes, its a derby but its been done before!) Rozenhal has yet to adapt to the English game and whats so wrong in playing Owen and Martins upfront? Come on Sam, wake up!

Alan Clark (no relation to sniffer) said:

Let's keep this simple, Sam bought 2 fullbacks they were both on the bench replaced by a winger and a centreback our rightwinger is playing on the left the rest of the side are swapped around from week to week.
I am not qualified to coach but could I suggest the following; lets play our fullbacks at fullback the one that is leftfooted at leftback, play any 2 of the 4 centrebacks at centreback if leftfooted playing on the lefthand side, can we play our leftwinger on the left and our rightwinger on the right, would it be possible to play our best passer of a ball behind the front 2 and could we have our best tackler just infront of the back four, as for the front two could we play someone with pace and power alongside a target man with good heading ability both of whom know where the goal is and are not afraid to shoot. That last comment applies to all of the front five.
Finally, injury aside could we play this team all the time so that they are able to gel and bond together as a unit.
I know one former centre forward who will do this when he is given his chance, and I bet he will finally bring some success to our football club.

Anonymous said:

sunderland should have been out of sight by half time,we will not be as luck against better sides.

JJ said:

Big Sam is going to get himself sacked. It has nothing to do with people being over critical. He has to realise that this is Newcastle not Bolton. We will not accept going to places like Derby, Reading and Sunderland to try and keep a clean sheet. People say Newcastle fans put too much pressure on the team. Lets look at the facts. Our turnover is in the top 10 of world football - even without champions league football. If we were to ever achieve success we would be top 3 or 4 in terms of turnover. Lets get Keegan back he made us think like a big club (He's not the best - but it was fun with him) and have Shearer as his no.2 to take over in a few years. Sam's a good man but we have to attack, attack, attack. Ok we would lose against Man Utd at Old Trafford - but we'd beat most of the other teams. We have top players. We should not be setting the team up to try and stop Sunderland. Its embarrassing. Top Marks to Mike Ashley being in the away end - lets hope he listened to the fans and gets rid of Sam by Xmas then funds a big spending spree for Keegans return.

Beeb Trilly said:

I've just seen Barton's antics on MOTD! Didn't take long, did it?

Siomi said:

I have been reading through the 'my glass is half full' post match interviews offered by Mr Allardyce. I think we should be worried now on two counts.

One is that he is obviously a 'half full' person, in that half is ok - draws are victories and finishing mid-table is our achievable goal in this 'settling in' season. Half full stadiums, 1-1 draws and mid-table success might be an achievement at Bolton, but it is NOT the expectation at our club!

The second is that Mr Allardyce seems to be getting defensive (and I am not talking about his on-field tactics here). He is getting aggressive with journalists and fans and no longer seems to be the invincible, assured and calm man we saw at the start of the season. The pressure is getting to him and he quite frankly looks like he doesn't know what to do next apart from plod on with what he knows from Bolton. He has a history of petulant and obstinate behaviour (boycotting the BBC for example). This is a concern because as he manoeuvres himself into a corner with his back to the wall he risks alienating supporters and players alike!

It was great to see Ashley standing with the bread and butter of the club. He saw the game from our point of view and I am sure left with a greater understanding of what we want and what we think. He will hopefully now be exploring his options...

Siomi said:

I have been reading through the 'my glass is half full' post match interviews offered by Mr Allardyce. I think we should be worried now on two counts.

One is that he is obviously a 'half full' person, in that half is ok - draws are victories and finishing mid-table is our achievable goal in this 'settling in' season. Half full stadiums, 1-1 draws and mid-table success might be an achievement at Bolton, but it is NOT the expectation at our club!

The second is that Mr Allardyce seems to be getting defensive (and I am not talking about his on-field tactics here). He is getting aggressive with journalists and fans and no longer seems to be the invincible, assured and calm man we saw at the start of the season. The pressure is getting to him and he quite frankly looks like he doesn't know what to do next apart from plod on with what he knows from Bolton. He has a history of petulant and obstinate behaviour (boycotting the BBC for example). This is a concern because as he manoeuvres himself into a corner with his back to the wall he risks alienating supporters and players alike!

It was great to see Ashley standing with the bread and butter of the club. He saw the game from our point of view and I am sure left with a greater understanding of what we want and what we think. He will hopefully now be exploring his options...

Siomi said:

I have been reading Mr Allardyce's "my cup is half full" post match comments with great interest and I think we should be concerned on two counts.

One is that Allardyce is obviously a half full person - satisfied with half! Viewing drawn fixtures (sharing the points) as a victory and achieving a mid-league postion as being acceptable in a 'settling in' first year. The reality is that a half full stadium, a 1-1 draw and a mid-league position might have been an achievemnet at Bolton, but it isn't what we expect or accept at our club. We want the cup full - a place in Europe as a minimum, a decent cup run, exciting attacking play, creativity and guile - we want it all and a half full cup wont do thank you!

The second area of concern is how defensive he has become (and I am not talking about his on-field tactics here!). He has adopted an aggressive attitude to 'recent criticisms'. He is starting to look like a man who is being pushed into a corner and he doesn't know how to get out of the situation he is in. Gone is the confident and calm man we saw at the start of the season. I think he is just beginning to realise that plodding along trying out the 'organisation' he instilled at Bolton isn't working and isn't likely to work. The question is, can he change and manage our club, or will he stay trying to manage his new Bolton? We all know how pig headed and obstinate Allardyce can be (boycotting the BBC for example). If he continues to adopt this aggressive attitude to 'criticisms' and doesn't consider alternative views, I think he risks alienating fans and players alike.

By the way, it was great to see Ashley standing with the bread and butter of Newcastle United. I am sure he left the game with a much clearer understanding of what supporters think and what they want for their club. We can only hope that he is already exploring his options...

gav said:

micepie i aggree that a little bit of patience is needed here where the hell is it going to get us sacking BS now , it will be a hell of a step backwards .. personally i dont aggree with the decisions that are being made but things arent going to change over night it takes time to become a good team , the team we once was doesnt happen over night so lets all stop crying about it dig our heels in and put up with it ... what right does anybody think they have by calling for sams head this will achieve nothing we have been through to many managers and are still in the same place we were four seasons ago so doesnt that tell you that getting rid of people isnt working .. of course were all fed up with it i would love nothing better than to have us winning every week and being up there with the best of them but we have to realise that we arent that big club anymore we are a bad mediocre club at the best and if we want to become a good club again a lot of work is needed . Things ARE going in the right direction we have an excellent owner with not just the money but he seems to be a genuine decent guy , a chairman who seems to have his head screwed on and wants to get rid of our debt so this club can move forward and an excellent fan base who love their team no matter what.. better days will come around again ....COME ON THE TOON

Carl said:

I need to apologise to Lee Ryder. I critisised criticised an article of his at the begining of the season regarding BSA tactics. I now have to hold my hands up and now admit a may of been a bit hasty in jumping to his defence.
I was his biggest backer, but when you start to got to Derby,Reading,Sunderland and set your team up to get a draw! my lord! Yes when we go to Old Trafford, Anfield etc... but not the bottom teams.
We have the players, the fact that every time we have went behind and his plan of getting a draw hasnt worked we have had to attack and we have looked the better team. It clearly shows they have been told to be cautious and hope to get a goal on the break.Well im sorry but Pompey showed us how to play away from home.Trust that your players are better than theirs and let them bloody play!

phil matues said:

sunderland are like a hooker.....they all go down eventually !!!!

Buddy Holly said:

Very poor resuls in recent week's and you can measure this comment by the space given to NUFC in the national press. In the days of KK coverage of NUFC was fantastic to read. Today it is virtually nil.. One other point, why does a club like NUFC buy a player like Joey Barton who's activities on and off the pitch are totally unacceptable?

Nick said:

Alladyce says he needs time to build his side, what does he need time for? Answer to make us play like Bolton Wanderers.

He hasnt come to terms with the fact we are a completly different club to them. We want to win matches we shouldnt be going out simply not to lose them.

He said look where we were last season, so what??? Last season was one of our worst in premiership history, even my nan could do better.

We have had a reletivly easy start on paper, yet we have still lost to Derby and Reading, drew with boro and lucky to draw on saturday.

He has to go now. The more time he is given, the more time he has to destroy this club.

Jaktar said:

I thought Newcastle's first half display was one of the poorest performances I have witnessed in my 50 odd years of supporting them. On the other hand, not so long ago, our team was almost relegated into the old 2nd division so Saturdays was probably one of many.

rigsby said:

Allerdyce is worse than Ranieri and Benitez for tinkering with the side. How are partnerships supposed to form when players don't know who they'll be playing alongside let alone know if they'll even be playing from week to week? And can anyone explain to me why both Allerdyces full backs were on the bench? meaning a centre half was at right back and a left winger at left back? Then we had Alan Smith named as a striker in the England squad by Mclaren,only for Allerdyce to play him infront of the back four?!! Milner on the wrong side of the park and once again little creativity or attacking threat.Has the manager forgot that he's not at Bolton anymore? Sorry,but i can't see him getting champions league football back here.

Paulie'sWalnuts said:

Norman Sennett, You're joking right ?, get rid of Viduka indeed, don't be ridiculous, he is badly missed when he's not in the team as nobody can hold the ball up like he can. Am sick of hearing We got a flukey goal, if We had conceded a goal like that the replays would have gone on and on and on, ad nauseum, fact is Newcastle are mediocre at the minute and Sunderland are 8 points worse off. Gordon a £9 million keeper???, aye and Chops' is a £6million striker, You're in the relegation clarts for a reason Sunderland.

US Magpie Fan said:

The goal that our magpies allowed was pitiful at best. Newcastle needs to spend at least one full day on the training pitch working on passing. No excuse for that weak back pass which led to the corner, which led to the dirty mackems goal. It all starts with fundamentals, and game after game the magpies frustrate me with lobs and weak, inaccurate passes. When we do pass well, good things happen.

Phil said:

I absolutely agree with every word you say - Craig Cushing - regarding "square pegs in round holes". We have some much better defenders than we had, but what is frustrating the fans is that there is no creative flowing build up into attack. It is downright ugly to watch. If Alladyce followed your suggestions, Craig, then maybe we could "build" a team, and the fans could at least see LOGIC and PROGRESS. Geremi is a capatain and role model, then dropped. Taylor "should watch Casapa and learn" (then Casapa's humiliated). Owen waits for ages to pledge allegiance, then he's captain! Smith is lost on the field, then he's captain! The logic is lost on me. Successful players should play in position, and when we buy players, they should be for a specific need in the team - not just available misfits from another team.

Ronnie Lambert said:

I dearly hope that the charming Mike Ashley took on board what the surrounding fans would no doubt have screamed in his lugs. Something along the lines of,''Rubbish Sam!!, this is not Bolton!! get this team attacking or get out now!!!'' Boy, was that censored. Sam's belligerence is coming to a head now when he's retaliating with aggression at the least bit of constructive criticism. What a big baby, just cos we're telling him the obvious about wingers playing on their respective wings to supply great strikers with bread and butter crosses, he spits his dummy out. He'll next be saying that the fans are to blame for our wilderness years, for pressurising our poor departed managers into the sack. Half full indeed! how dare he throw that back at us after his woeful efforts thus far. Wait 'til we get a good stuffing from the big boys if he continues playing this system. SYSTEM? What system? We've not had two games alike, never mind two teams. I hope he doesn't read this, he'll run screaming back to Bolton......on the other hand, do you have his address Lee?

Paul Patterson said:

More worrying news, is that Allardyce wants a Boro coach again, to go with Steve Round.

He’s acquiring negative staff that Steve McClaren had at Boro and we all know what happened to him.

Ive never been a supporter who, once things start failing, start shouting for Keegan to return, but gradually over the years I have been worn down to a point where it seems the only viable option.

He might be the only man who can sort things out and give us (The supporters) what we want- Good solid attacking football.

Now lets just throw winning something out the window for five minutes, because we all know as supporters, that as Newcastle United, we are destined never to win anything (The pessimist in me there) lets be as entertaining as we possibly can.

Picture the scenario, Steve McClaren gets the sack next week, Allardyce gets the job and we need someone to take us till the end of the season at the least.

Kevin Keegan doesn’t portray himself as someone who wants a long career in football management anymore, so why not?

The euphoria would carry us through games and with the squad we have, entertainment would be assured and if we were to have a good crack at finishing top 6 (Europe) and a good F.A Cup run, it would be classed as unfinished business by all concerned.

Kevin Keegan could ride off into the sunset in May 2008, his stock ever higher and finally giving his loyal fans a send off.

Revolution? You bet!

Paul.

Terence Ross said:

I was at the game on saturday and the first thing to shock me was sams selection , players out of position etc when players were available who could play in the positions , i didnt feel that we were up for the fight in first half only one team were in it and that wasnt ours . only poor mackem finishing made that not happen , all the fans ask is 100% commitment / effort they earn vast sums that most of us dream of would the likes of milburn , davies , macdonald , gasgoine , beardsley , ferdinand etc have not shown passion in that game so come on give us a team too be proud instead of a team that got out of jail in our biggest game Terence R

Paul Venn said:

Call me old fashioned but I always thought the idea was to play your best players in their best positions. I missed the kick off and still don't fully understand what formation we were playing!! Maybe that is why I am not a football manager!

I don't agree that sacking BSA is the answer but someone has to make him see the light!!

Come on Lee. You are more likely to see him than anyone writing on this blog. Have a word!!

Peter Harper said:

Allardyce is so predictable.After all the criticism he received for switching N'zogbia to fullback against Portsmouth, N'zogbia was a cast iron certainty to be in that position against Sunderland.
Allardyce is akin to a spoilt child.If anyone thinks he gives a s--t about Newcastle then they are mistaken.Money is Allardyce's god and God is supreme in his eyes.Even worse Chris Mort and Mike Ashley are allowing Allardyce's agent to conduct business for Newcastle.I am not suggesting Allardyce received anything out of it- hang on I just had to get out of the way of that pig flying overhead.
I've got news for Mort and Ashley-If the majority of supporters say something then they are invariably correct because the majority of supporters know the game.We are saying Alladyce is a bag of wind -nothing else.He won't deliver because he CAN'T deliver.As John Wayne used to say "Get out of town and don't come back"

Mark in Washington DC said:

Sorry Guys, patience is easy to ask for when you see little glimmers of hope that show you are getting there. Week after week now we see the same mess put out on the pitch, which I have to say is beyond even that of quantom physics. It is evident that BS has not got a clue how to run a new age team. The old english game is bang it long and thats all he knows. HE has seen the bright lights of money at Newcastle and ran stright for them, unfortunately he has been come that scared rabbit we all feared he would and has now lost his way and is endanger now of being run over by the heavy traffic of the premiership.

All he has done for the last 6 or 7 matches is make the team worse. No satbility, no confidence and no idea. Most of the quality managers have now got their teams going forward with a bit of momentum, shape and formation even when they lose its seen as blip. What have we got...NOTHING BUT DOUBT AND CONFUSION.

Ow and one for Bs, get you backside down on the touchline and not in the Chairmans box...Your not on the board your supposed to managing the team...or is it a case of you don't want to hear what the professional players are saying about your pathetic attempt at team tactics.

Phil said:

Just watched Arsenal v Reading. Abadyor, Hleb, and Flamini (to name a few) were sensational. We've got to get a better scouting system in operation. Wenger is continually unearthing gems, while we pay over-the-odds for expensive cast-offs (I hope they prove me wrong, but I doubt it). We need creative players who are good athletes too! We need quality players who want to play, and are committed to the team and RESPECT the club and its great fans. We have the resources available, and the fans should expect high standards.

watson said:

alladyce says his glass is always half full,unfortunately it is old flat beer which makes one sick if forced to drink too often.

james watson said:

newcastle have had recent downfalls in past signings and have never got off the mark in the premiership. this is because we are buying too many foriegn footballers who are not commited enough and dont get invovled like the joey bartons, nicky butts and alan smiths. we need more players with a reputatoin to battle out the results.

stephen trotter said:

disgraceful performance.shouldve attacked them they wouldve crumbled.next 3 games liverpool,blackburn and arsenal,cant really see is getting anything from any of them manager has to go after the arsenal game we have derby on december the 15th at home if we lose or even draw with them he must surely go it would be a good going away present for me as i am spending xmas on other side of the world and he can take alan smith with him,how he can get in the england squad, unbelieveable

Big John said:

"newcastle have had recent downfalls in past signings and have never got off the mark in the premiership. this is because we are buying too many foriegn footballers who are not commited enough and dont get invovled like the joey bartons, nicky butts and alan smiths. we need more players with a reputatoin to battle out the results"

Wha...? We need players with genuine skill who have the brain not to let their passion ruin things. Barton was lucky not to be banned for a few games; Smith shouldn't even be playing. Blame the foreign players? No. Blame the English manager for his clueless tactics.

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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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