It wasn't nice to look at but do Newcastle fans care?

By Lee Ryder on Nov 12, 07 03:10 PM

Well the Tyne-Wear derby certainly wasn't pretty was it?

But Newcastle United's blushes were saved by a fortunate James Milner equaliser and the cross bar.

In the end the Toon fans were in great voice singing "get the drinks in for the lads" to the black and white clad Mike Ashley but we were pretty close to a horrible result.

Sunderland will never get a better chance to beat Newcastle and for Sam Allardyce and his team the hope has to be we can get our season up and running again when the international break is done and dusted.

That now won't be easy though with Liverpool next in Toon but had Newcastle lost to Sunderland (and they came very close to it when Michael Chopra rattled the bar) the unrest at Gallowgate really would have kicked in.

And while that might be stating the obvious you know just how hard it would have been to face Liverpool to try to get a result on the back of derby disaster.

It wasn't all bad news at the Stadium of Light, Newcastle showed the battling qualities needed on the road and if they can keep that up in the next series of away games perhaps the bad form will go away.

We are also still waiting for Michael Owen to hit top gear and with two more internationals for him to get through once again we are watching England with fingers crossed.

And what about Oba Martins, he doesn't look a happy bunny and the usually bouncy Nigerian could hardly raise a smile when the away section chanted his name.

The top scorer for me makes a massive difference when he is in the team and hopefully he will be smiling again soon.

For now though we take the point gratefully, local pride is in tact (only just) and we ended the run of bad form just at the right time.


Phil said:

I am beginning to think Sam Alladyce is not the right man for Newcastle Utd, unless he changes his philosophy very soon to match the club's fans. NUFC fans loved their team being dubbed the "Entertainers" under Keegan. We're now ugly Bolton without the teeth. Sam seems to like players who are "in your face" like Barton and Smith, but this is not a big club mentality - it is an underdog mentality of the "I've come to spoil the party" attitude. Alladyce keeps rattling on about the defence, which is okay, but what about the lack of creativity and flow to our attacks? I cringe with envy when I see Tevez's impact at Man Utd. compared to what we are getting for our money spent. I wish Sam would stop comparing his achievements to our worst years, and realise - we want the beautiful game back.
We need to target top quality players "man-hunted" to fit into weak positions. So far this season I would build my team around: Harper (work on crosses), Beye, Faye, Casapa (except Portsmouth), Enrique, Rozenhal, Nzogbia, Butt, Milner, Viduka, Martins (needs work but high potential). I'm not sure about the rest.

Josh said:

To be honest, I am fairly happy with the draw, we didnt deserve a win, and also Im sick of the style of football we play, if you watched spurs against wigan this weekend you will see how football is meant to be played.

Mal said:

We ned a much more positive attitude in away games, particularly against the likes of derby, reading and sunderland. We have some brilliant attacking players but what's the point if they never get a decent pass. Also the team needs to be picked on form not reputation, which means martins should be playing.

Emperor Nero said:

Do we care? I know you're just playing devil's avocado, Lee, but you only have to read your blog to know that we do care and are heartliy sick of the dumb tactics and the flat football we're seeing. If Allardyce bought Drogba he'd play him at right back.

Why on earth does Alan Smith get a game?

Martin said:

O how fickle do you people want to be?
Have you forgotten the sort of football we were playing last season, or the season before, or the season before that? It certainly wasn't very much more exciting and it certainly wasn't getting us anywhere.
There may be some validity in the claim that Allardyce has a underdog mentality, but at the moment arn't we the underdogs?
The man has been in the job for less than 6 months, let him form his team, then judge him. The fact is that Newcastle are not the 'entertainers' of the Keegan or Robson era and there is a lot of work to be done.
Lets start by being happy that the last 5 years of horrific managers hasn't left us in the Championship!!

Matthew said:

Ok then. We get rid of BS an a new man comes in. We start to win a few games because of the so called honeymoon period an eventualy were gna lose at sum point an unda perform... Wat then? Do we keep chopin an changin... For gods sake man jus give the man a chance an im sure we wil c a sucesful newcastle side that we all crave

Siomi said:

Well, you are 100% correct about Obafeme Lee. If he is fit he has to play. We are a much more threatening team when he plays. When he moves on (as he surely must do given his current role in the team) we will see his true worth. He has the potential to be one of the biggest and best strikers in Europe, but only with a better manager than the one he now has to put up with.

I am certainly not one to propose building teams around players, but I do propose building teams around the strengths you have. And I also believe you start with your attack and how you are going to score goals. You look at how the midfield and wing can play to support the attack, even how defenders can contribute to the attack. You then think how you will build your defence, and again how the midfield can play to support that. Keegan encouraged players to play to their strengths and developed a style and organisation of play that built on their strengths. They may have leaked goals, but my God how we all enjoyed it, including the players! Sven seems to have done the same at City. They seem to be playing to each others strengths and skills and 'lovin it'. Allardyce tells our lot to play in the place he tells them to and the way he tells them to, regardless of their individual strengths and skills. Quite frankly, although they do their best, they don't look comfortable or happy! A few will show us what they think about it all in January, and I fear especially for our number 9.

snapper said:

I am constantly bemused by a succession of managers who seem detemined to play players out of position, a la N'Zogbia and Milner. The press have a part to play, the question is are they frightened to ask the questions that the paying public want to have answered? Allerdyce or Pearson are interview after every game yet the people, who can ask, why are players out of position are NEVER asked. Come on press do your jobs.

Duncan Baines said:

If you think Martins 'makes a massive difference' then do you think Smith makes a massive difference? Or is he useless! Smith's assists and goals suggest he is having a terrible season.

Paul Patterson said:

Cream will always rise to the top, look at Arsenal, Man City, Chelsea, Portsmouth, Man Utd, they all play sublime football, football with an arrogance, an arrogance that almost screams out ‘Why are you lot even on the same pitch as us?’

The side under Keegan did the same, now our side cries out ‘Please don’t attack us, take the ball, score and leave us alone’ the sides lost it’s balls (Pun intended- sorry)

I loathe to bring Keegan into conversations because I get tired of people bleating on about how great things were back then (And boy weren’t they?) but gradually I’m being worn down into thinking, maybe he’s the only man who can do this damn job.

He would certainly get the 110% backing of the fans and even if it was just a short term solution, it would give us time to find a suitable candidate, because at the moment, Allardyce is doing everything a manager who is completely clueless would do.

All I'm saying is lets hope the F.A approach him next week after the snoozefest that is McClaren gets his P45, which would give us the perfect excuse to look elsewhere.

Things are going to have to change- Immediately, with or without Allardyce, for I can’t see us picking more than a point up over the next few games- Arsenal, Liverpool and Blackburn indeed.

I’ve stated before that Allardyce is a ‘Tactical Idiot’ (Copyright Paul Patterson) and nothing has changed to make me alter this perception.


Peter Harper said:

Lee- Owen will only hit top gear if he is supplied the ball.He is a poacher not a maker of goals.At this moment we cannot even make chances against Sunderland, Reading,Derby, Wigan,Portsmouth etc etc etc.
Please do not blame the forwards.Our attack is akin to the soldiers in Iraq fighting without the right equipment.
Thay are on a hiding to nothing.Also Enrique must be sick as he is a class player who is being abused by Allardyce.
We certainly can pick 'em.

stephen trotter said:

the result was lucky for us really shouldve been at least 3-1 to be for big sam, i knew we would be in a bit of a pickle when we got him, its nice that weve got a good home record apart from the portsmouth game but our away form is dreadful totally negative,by the way didnt graeme souness play his players out of postion when he was manager, thats what i compare sam allardye to.i think the team should have a settled feel to it instead of all this chopping and changing all the time just because one or two players have bad performances eg steven taylor vs man city,id say if you have a shocker play him next game cos if you dropped the players confidence gets hammered.i wanted sven g eriksson to get the nufc job b4 sam got it or ronald koeman who expressed interest in it but look at the job sven is doing at man city part from the chelsea game,3rd in prem.sam saying 3-5 years to get it right,thats a load of toff you dont get that long being a nufc manager id say give him till january cos if he gets to spend mike ashleys money he`ll buy negative players,heard he wants riquelme,probably play in left back or even in goal maybe

oxboy said:

Yes its a point but against one of the worst teams in the league. Just like Reading, Derby we failed miserably when we should have walked it.
Early days in a way but I fear for our next few games. Just look what Pompey and Man City did to us and they aren't in the same class as some of the teams we are about to face.
Time to hide under the bed clothes me thinks...........

Alex Falk said:

One fine day
Let's wait and see,
If Big Sam Allardyce
knows how to pick a team
One fine day
he'll really shock us and we'll win

One fine day
we'll get the ball to Owen
And then we'll have a chance
to get the whole team going
One fine day
when Big Fat Sam is on his bike

One Fine day,
we'll get rid of the no brainers
Keegan,Keegan is the chant
Once more "The Entertainers"
One fine day
We're gonna sing it for The Toon.

This is to be sung to the to the music of "One Fine Day" by The Chiffons

jackie w said:

Have to Disagree with you there Lee , I care and i cant see as we have ended a bad run of form as the unwashed totally out played us and we sneaked a fluke goal .Sam has been given a stay of execution by a freak goal , the next three games could possibly expose us for what we are , clueless and tactically inept ,i posted on here after the Sampdoria game we would be no pushovers this season and Would scrap against the best of them when the chips were down,,,sadly i was miles of the mark. Recently we have looked absolute crap and other teams have the scent of blood. I mean come on man we should have put the mackems to the sword with enrique and beye pushing up and overlapping with Milner and Zoggs , crossing balls in for fun , but no thats to obvious. We are becoming victims of Sams sports science philosophy I agree eating correctly and injury recovery are important but the science of playing is not comming through, i think he must be reading " confuse the oposition by pretending to be clueless" Could some one suggest reading an old Bobby Charlton Football year book as it will have diagrams of where to play left backs / right backs left & right wingers etc. Glass half full / half empty ???? the money he is on it should be over flowing ,,sort your self out pal and start delivering or you will be experimenting with your left backs on the Playstation..Dont want to sound pessemistic but "BIG SAM" my ar$£,, come on England come and get him......Glass broke Jackie W


I am not a paying customer at SJP, but do follow all games on radio and sky.Even majority of diehard fans must be sick to death of watching these games (surely!!) the manager could atleast form some shape and style to our play & also have continuity to our 1st 11(btw owen out, unless system changes)Its supposedly best league in the world, our league,but what tripe we are watching at SJP. We look sadly sadly lacking. I for one had high hopes at the start of the season,owen,barton,smith even(omg i was wrong there)martins & a bunch of defenders i'd never heard about, but SA was speaking so very highly of in the press (yet drops them every week) iam a bit disalussioned with it all,needless to say. SA needs to buy flair,(how about a peter beardsley!!) Sam needs to stick with a working formula and set of players and mover forward( with the ball preferebly) attack attack attack.

Mal said:

You're never sure how representative these postings are but if they are, then it doesn't make very good reading. I have to say Sam won a lot of fans over early on by clearing out the rubbish and (apparently) bringing in top class replacements. His tactics, team selections and post match utterings are however becoming increasingly bizzare. Unless he adopts a more positive attitude, picks players in the correct positions, show some faith in his signings (particularly at full back) and stops treating the supporters like fools with stupid statements then things will get worse. He is already rapidly losing faith with the supporters - most of us didn't expect to see an immediate, dramatic improvement but what is being served up at the moment (playing and verbally) is rubbish.

Sean K said:

We are no better than we were under Souness or Roeder, people who bleat on about 'best start to the season' only need to compare our fixture list to last season/season before.

We are rubbish, the worst team to watch in the premiership, and Big Sam needs to be shown the door before he makes us even MORE of a laughing stock.

Can't even string a pass together.

Nigel 'no charisma' Pearson and Terry 'I'll tell you a joke' Mac, need to go with him!

Mark in Washington DC said:

After reading the papers today to find that Carr is back in SA sqaud I am set in 3 games time to right off another season. Another Shephard / Crap Manager double. No ambition, no tacticals ability, no clue and no team confidence and a team totally void of what they are supposed to be doing or where they are playing; just loads of cash taken and aload of new excuses. If SA says his glass is half full then he must have been drinking it as he can't be sober when he is putting his line up together. Again I am predicting another totally changed side with everybody playing in their wrong postions and our best strike force either on the bench or at least one of them. The team we need out there is as follows:

Milner (On the right)
Butt (with Barton on the bench)
Zobs (On the left)
Vinduka (for the hold up and strength)
Martins (Pace and work rate of the ball)

This side will give us pace and width (that equals space created) and the play makers in the middle to spray it around. Sadly I can see SA as defensive as he possibly can Hence the Carr artical. SA your team are losing anyway why don't you try a game that your players like to play and naturally.

Phil said:

I agree with comments that Owen has not had good service in order to score goals, and, unfortunately, when he is not finishing, he contributes precious little else. The team needs to be coached to play to its strengths. Owen is not an all around versatile player like Terez. He needs a creative player to make his goals, otherwise he is ineffective. The modern dynamic game as exhibited by Arsenal and Man Utd, requires highly mobile, interchangeable, and versatile players, who are not predictable.

bonnielad said:

don't know if big sam is aware that oba martins was top scorer last season and top again this sam looking to ofload him in january? or has he some other hidden agenda like keeping him fit for the run in to seasons end when it will be too credible midfield attackers whenever milner or nzogbia or left out.the makkems were very very unlucky not to take 3 points .have a go united and give the fans something to cheer about

Cadwallader said:

"We are no better than we were under Souness or Roeder, people who bleat on about 'best start to the season' only need to compare our fixture list to last season/season before."

And this time, on the whole, the team is fit. We'll except Carr and Duff but they didn't exactly thrill last season and a fit Duff probably means Charlie on the bench which would be a huge error - or another one, in BS's case.

Andy in Zurich said:

Getting a draw, in hindsight, was fantastic but did anyone think of anything but 3 points? I'm all for giving someone time but at some point a decision has to be made. As for the comment about in your face players not fitting into big clubs? Roy Keane at Manure in his glory years? They fit, but they have to be matched with skill. Viduka doesn't look interested (when did he last?) and I fear it will be another season of scraping by and building AGAIN!

Peter Harper said:

John Barnwell says it is "insane" that Sam Allardyce may be under threat of losing his job. In normal circumstances that would be entirely correct.Most managers would come in hopefully motivating the players whilst impressing his own ideas and ideals upon them.
However he has played players woefully out of postion and in the case of Barton woefully unfit.His team selection and tactics have been such that we cannot get the ball to some of the best attackers in the world.He has dropped Enrique(one of our better performing defenders)replacing him with N'zogbia(one of our better performing attackers but definitely not a defender)
This behaviour de-motivates the players so in a very short space of time he has managed to cause unrest in the dressing room.
At the same time I would like you to ask Chris Mort if there is any reason why Newcastle United cannot be at the forefront in making transfers completely transparent.Why can we not have our own executive officer whose job amongst other duties would be to conduct transfer negotiations on behalf of Newcastle United.We would be paying the transferring club and no-one else.
I am afraid the news that Sam Allardyce's agent was involved in the transfer of Geremi and was paid £500,000 by Newcastle left me with a dreadful taste in my mouth.
To use that saying by Edward Heath "At a Stroke" Chris Mort and Mike Ashley could rid Newcastle United of any unwanted fragrances regarding transfers.
In conclusion, the thought of Allardyce being dismissed is not "insane", and unless our performances improve dramatically the act will have to be "committed".

phil matues said:

I dont like our tactics,no style,little substance and no class! On paper we are a top 5 team,so why are we 11th?...Over to you Lee...Any ideas?

Mark in Washington DC said:

Well the transfer chatters are gathering steam and although I am not a fan of BS bringing in the entire Bolton team with him, I have to say the thought of Anelka and Martins as a starting strike force makes my mouth water. Pace, power, strength, work rate and skill on the floor and in the air, all of which we lack with Owen on the pitch. The likes of Martins and Anelka as a pair are a nightmare for defences as they constantly have to watch and work against them, throw the likes of Milner and Zobs on the wings, Butt/Barton doing the battling in the middle and Emre being the General in the middle. Now that is what you call an attacking and defensive line up.

As for Owen I am sorry but his game just doesnt cut it in todays Premiership. A player on 100K a week should not have to rely so heavily on everyone else in the team to do his job, Martins aint on that much and look at him. Did everyone not have a go a chelsea when they bought Ballack and paid hom a fortune..has Owen done any more than him...NO

Owens speed was his assest and we havnt seen a defence worried about it for such along time.

dexter said:

Here's a thought chaps. Could it perhaps be that the reason Newcastle aren't performing well is that we have NEVER been a big team.

I love Newcastle, I love the people and I love the city but I have to say that Newcastle fans take this too seriously. If Newcastle lose it seems like the whole city loses and drowns their sorrows in the Bigg Market.

Where am I going with this? Well all these negative comments, talk of getting rid of BS, everyone slagging off Owen it makes the Toon Army look more like the Goon Army.

How about we stop bleating on about the KK years and we get behind the team. It seems that instead of singing for our team we've decided to boo the opposition instead. I agree the football is pretty bad to watch and I'd love to see us playing the exciting footy we played under KK and Sir Bobby. But I'd rather watch this then some rainy wednesday night at Cardiff.

If we are the best fans in the world then lets start showing it, because a lot of football supporters outside of Newcastle are begining to think we're a joke!

Ronnie Lambert said:

One point at Sunderland really saved Sam's bacon. I bet Mike Ashley took on board all of the comments by the fans and seriously considers the fact that Sam was not his choice manager. As a very successful and probably ruthless businessman, he will have no qualms about sacking Sam if results don't rise dramatically, and sadly I can't see it with our coming fixtures. Sam does talk a good game but he rarely faces the camera these days. He'll probably blame his demise on the ' impatient crowd ' in these parts, along with the southern press, so what we're used to it. Bring back Keegan !

Siomi said:

Owen injured again?! 'Hurrah' is the unlikely cheer as we think at last we'll be able to check out other attacking combinations. But think again my optimistic friends! You see, it doesn't matter who you play up front if they never get a sniff of the ball in Their half and there is no attacking strategy or training. Unfortunately, I can't see too much changing for us in the near future whoever gets a go up front.

Interesting to see how many of out players are away on their international duties (no doubt this will be the first excuse from Allardyce's lips as we crash to another defeat off another poor performance!). I was wondering how these players manage coming back to Newcastle and the inept Allardyce and Pearson training and tactics after spending time in other sytems with other managers and players? They SHOULD come back invigorated (and yes possibly injured), but I have a feeling it makes Their club (OUR club) look even more cr*p in their eyes and the frustration even more accute. It would be very interesting to get the players' perspective on it all...

Ian said:

Anelka is a much better option than a knackered greyhound like Owen.
Yes he HAD pace yes he USED to be able to create goals from nothing, and yes he Could terrify defenders, All of which is in the past,Right where Owen belongs,along with Roeder,Souness,Gullitt,ETC.
Forget the past and look to the future,without Michael Owen.

subz said:

I really fear for our position come the end of Jan. We have to play all the top teams and have a number of players away for the AN.


I thought that, in an allardyce team we would at least have some fight in us. But NO, we look terrified and roll over and die to, supposedly weaker teams. We can all accept losing games, but only if the team turns up and plays, which has got to be down to the manager.


The home record is some what flattering as most of the the games the other team has been slightly more dredfull than us. Is it time for change? I for one am not sure, but come the end of Jan when we are staring at the bottom of the table it maybe too late.



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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