United faithful deserved better, much better

By Lee Ryder on Dec 26, 07 09:58 PM

It was the bloke that was dressed as a hot dog that I felt sorry for the most after Newcastle United's latest failure in Wigan.

Seriously, all of the effort he'd made to watch that.

He and 4,999 others as well of course - but to go all the way to Wigan on Boxing Day, pay the money to hire a crazy outfit, buy your ticket, have a few pre-match drinks with friends, sing your heart out and then sit back and watch your team struggle against a team that will struggle to get out of the bottom half, it's enough to push most people to the limit.

It certainly wasn't the top day out that most people had anticipated and not for the first time the fans snapped towards the end, but I can't blame them - I was feeling bad enough myself yet my heart really did go out to them.

I mean what was that?

United lacked purpose, belief and the general know how to see off a team that aren't even what you'd call average.

True, we couldn't beat a team that will be relegated in March but Newcastle didn't even look like breaking Wigan down.

The only real scare for a team that contained two players we didn't even want from last season was when Mark Viduka's effort ended up heading goalwards before Titus Bramble headed the ball clear in the second half.

And that was it.

The Wigan fan in front of me turned round and in a sincere moment he muttered: "And I thought we were poor."

Big Sam was on the wrong end of abuse from the Newcastle fans who wasted no time in telling him in their own words they were sick of watching rubbish, well a stronger word that I can't repeat on this family Blog!

Allardyce only knows what he does next at Chelsea, will we emulate Villa and score four or net a point at Stamford Bridge? I doubt it very much.

Outsiders say that Geordies are moaners. We aren't at all.

The Geordies just want to see their team give it a crack and have a go at the opposition.

Not try to get in at half time at 0-0, wait for a gap, expose it and ride off into the sunset with the points.

That style isn't in the make up of this city or the people who live in it.

It's a live by the sword or die by the sword attitude and it always will be.

The manager of Newcastle United has to tap into that and get the fans on his side but at the moment it isn't happening.

They won't buy stats and figures, the team has to go out and play.

Arsenal at home aside, Newcastle have not done that this season.

Now would be a good time to start but with Chelsea away next, Man City at home and then Stoke in the FA Cup, it's not going to be easy.

United can't beat Wigan or Derby!!!

Chelsea next then...


Benny said:

Call me a moaner, or whatever you like. But in the past 10 games, we have had only one half decent game against Arsenal, win hich we didn't snatch a winner. In the other 9 games, we have played the bottom 4 but was not able to play any of the games convincingly. We did not tear any of the teams apart. Twice we relied on luck by striking the winning goal at the 90th minute. We didn't deserve a draw (performance-wise) in the most critical derby game, and against the bottom club. Then we lost 6 more games home or away, quite convincingly, to teams including Reading, Blackburn, and Portmouth. Let's not kid ourselves, under Sam, we are a relegation contender, not Europe. We are out of that league. Sam said that we need consistency. I have no doubt that we are actually performing under par consistently. Get rid of Sam, and find someone a truly world class manager. I don't care if it is an English manager or not. We need one and we need him (or her?) now.

James09 said:

I have re-read my earlier post and want to change nothing, bar adding what an utter cowardly and quite insane response from Allardyce post-match. Blaming it on the players aye - yes they are PARTLY responsible BUT THE OVERWHELMING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS MESS LIES FIRMLY WITH ALLARDYCE.

This is not being sensationalist, alarmist, melodramatic, hyper-critical or overly pessimistic – Newcastle United are in serious trouble. That is far from unprecedented, and dare I say, unexpected, and that partly explains why all this is as depressing as it is.

Firstly, the following has nothing to do with the falsely attributed insatiable demand of Geordies for “instant success� and flowing attacking football – those arguments (hardly worth the term itself) have been covered and thoroughly dismantled in previous posts.

I am completely and utterly unsurprised at yet another (YES yet another) truly deplorable performance and poor result to boot. Derby twice, Reading, Portsmouth, Liverpool, Wigan (away). Then add the incredible strain it took to beat Wigan (at SJP), and Fulham. We were pretty darn bad at home to Villa, gutless at City, and not much better at Sunderland. That is NOT opinion – IT IS FACT.

Let me again pose a few questions. Might surprise many “press men� (Allardyce’s term), but hard and unpopular questions are actually quite necessary and useful at times – they often inform and reveal.

Mr LEE RYDER – you stated earlier this term, either in a blog or a comment to someone’s post, that Allardyce would canter to a points total greater than last season’s dismal 43. You still maintain that????
I’ll remind you that we have 6 games against 4 teams yet to play – surprise   – Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool. Throw in Villa and Tottenham away, Man City at SJP, and the likely tough second round of the Tyne-Wear battle – quite the vortex of pain. Can anyone really see our current mess rising from this quagmire of eunuch football management, and collect say 8-10 points from those 30??

We struggle painfully to beat these Brum and Fulham outfits, and so nearly lose to Derby and Sunderland who are rubbish (quite an intricate pattern emerging there aye lads). What the heck does that make us???? And no Allardyce – you’re rather wide of the mark yet again – we DID NOT “completely dominate� Derby or Brum.
We can’t expose a defence with the national joke (we housed for an agonisingly long period) Bumble himself aye – what an appalling indictment.

LEE RYDER (and others) TAKE NOTE (perhaps copy, paste and save this bit) – the tsunami of criticism against this soggy, rotting, festering mess has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with whining about the absence of attractive attacking football and thereby demanding it. That argument is simply baseless and frankly pathetic.
A team DOES NOT have to play like Wenger’s Arsenal or (at least until recently) Rijkaard’s Barcelona to play good football. Capello, Mourinho, and Hitzfeld teams are quintessential of that. Far from consistently enthralling stuff BUT  .. it is categorically in no way shape or form comparable to the stuff that the Allardyce regime has now consistently produced. More importantly, in fact vitally, it would consistently beat Derby, Sunderland, Reading, Wigan, Brum, and Fulham with ease.

In response to my last entry LEE RYDER mentioned Everton not playing particularly good football – even if one accepts that (which I do), they play patently better than us mate, and I for one would feel rather more secure with Moyes – or Dame Edna - at our helm.

I would pay some serious cash to know what in the world goes on in Allardyce’s brain post-match!!!!!!!!! If he honestly thinks he is making any progress whatsoever, somebody do the muppet a favour and call the proverbial men in white coats. I expressed exactly the same in relation to Souness.

The major concern and issue – increasingly imminent and fundamentally important – is what will Mort and Ashley do (if anything) and when????? Would it really be the correct move to appoint the divine yet managerial virgin that is Shearer???? Nothing, I mean that literally, could be better than Shearer leading a successful Newcastle United, but I have real concern due to (1) the state we are in, and (2) his almost complete lack of managerial experience.

Finally....Maybe this is just me, but one thing is for certain - come January I wouldn’t let Sam Allardyce within 50 miles of me blimmmin' chequebook !!!!

Ryder's reply: NO NEED TO SHOUT JAMES - I think all Geordies are brassed off right now - you aren't the only one.

You asked: Mr LEE RYDER – you stated earlier this term, either in a blog or a comment to someone’s post, that Allardyce would canter to a points total greater than last season’s dismal 43. You still maintain that????

Answer: Yes I do with 26 in the bag and 57 left to play for I think we will reach that tally - yet that eventuality could come as late as the last day of the season.

Ray Wilson said:

Hi Lee Wigan beat us without breaking sweat-with this manager we have nothing to cheer about-are our players that bad we cant beat the basement teams-it seems like it. I am sick of his stupid formations-his lack of ability to get the players playing decent football and the same boring comments and after match excuses we get every week- This manager has lost the plot big time-take Barton as an example -last year he looked an outstanding player for City and was one player I was so excited about signing for us-he also has looked a shadow of himself-there is something very wrong in this united camp-and it needs sorting fast. Allardyce is dragging us down with his brand of football and we cant swallow it much longer-please dont any one tell me I am just another impatient Geordie who demands instant success-if so then I must have a lot more patience than most because we have not had any success since the magnificient Moncur picked up our last trophy in 69-so dont any one say I have no patience. When Allardyce was appointed we did not expect to become winners overnight-but I also think we do have a right to expect better football with improved performances-we have had niether and if anything the worst displays we have seen in years-in most years that I have watched the team-there is a meeting of minds and recognition between fans and the manager of who gets the shirt and who is vital among players to keep the shirt.this has not happened with Allardyce-no matter which team he plays we get lethargy.hopeless tactics,and no inspiration or leadership. The way he changes the team every week does us no favours and the bottom line is we are actually going backwards. I have seen some poor performing Newcastle teams in my time and this one has to rank with our worst. I think Allardyce is incapable of any better. A big decision awaits -if we wait too long we will soon see an empty stadium-and thats not easy for Newcastle fans-surely our track record proveswhere our loyalties and support lie. Do something soon Mike.

Myron said:

Let get Ottmar Hitzfeld then.. heard Bayern not going to continue his contract next season !!!

Rob Hillcox Australia said:

I just have a few things to say in regards my last e mail.NO more points and some REAL HIDINGS.Sack SA now, we will play better manager less.

bill douglas said:

By now Allardyce has played just about everybody out of position,but Shay has a good right foot so why doesnt he play him left midfield.Steve Harper is a good club man-play him as a spoiling midfielder.Michael Owen isnt quite fit yet but he should be ok in goal.Failing that Smith could go between the sticks-he's played everywhere else!

Ryder's reply: Don't forget Harps has already played centre-forward in pre-season

Bill Douglas said:

...forgot about Harp's foray into the forwards!But as they say-inside every goalie theres a centre forward trying to get out(and vice versa).That is not to say however that they would be any good and generally a centre half or a right sided midfielder or whatever plays there because they know it is their best position and they naturally prefer it.So why do managers try to change them? Even Fergie failed to turn Smith into a midfielder-why does Allardyce think he can do any better?Smith is a decent old fashioned bustling centre forward- but we are stowed out with strikers so why did he buy him in the first place?But lets not pick on Smith - he seems prepared to flog his guts out for the cause. It would seem to this armchair expert that the first priority in picking any team is to select the players in their correct and most natural position and then play a system which they are comfortable with.After all we wouldnt expect an electrican to be able to change into a heating engineer with a couple of hours practice so why should managers expect footballers to be any different

Ryder's reply: As crazy as it may sound Bill, I think Harper would have given it his all yesterday had he played outfield - which sums up the current situation.

kenni said:

As a club we have massive problems, the structure is all wrong. At the top, Ashley( who I still do not trust) and Mort have no experience in running a football club, I still think NUFC is up for sale. Businesswise Ashley is very clever, paying off most of the debt, he is actually paying it to himself,the club is now worth a lot more and is more saleable. Mort apears to be a nice guy but his lack of football experience worrys me.
The coaching staff, well I think calling them coaches is a compliment.Starting with big Sam, stubborn, not in touch with the fans who are very knowledgable in this area, they know you cannot bring success using a scientific approach, football is a simple game. Sam is out of his depth in coaching the few quality footballers we have left. His coaches? Terry Mac, would he be a coach at any other premiership club, I think not. The rest are sub standard. We need change now.

Big G said:

So the latest mediocre team to sweep us aside is Wigan. Well folks, we'd better get used to it, because it isn't going to get any better in the foreseeable future. Messrs Mort and Ashley have said that (sadly) they aren't going to make any managerial changes, so what choice (or indeed chance) do we have?
None! And with the league and cup matches coming up over the next few weeks, I can't see us getting a victory for love nor money.
As for the players, many of which definitely aren't giving their all, am I the only one who thinks Geremi is playing in my Mum's slippers?
We were all led to believe that Allardyce knew the transfer market better than most. The first half of this season proves otherwise, as we have maintained our regular practice of signing lemons.
We just have to hope that the powers that be decide to make a particular New Years resolution sooner rather than later.
Come on chaps, we've had enough and deserve better.


Sack Sam please and quick.
Bring in Shearer...and lets get good again!
The lack of managerial experience comments towards Shearer are rubbish..Keegan had never managed before, and i beleive Shearer is the man to bring the Keegan feel good factor back to Newcastle.
But also Mr Ashley if you're reading this and you fancy a cheaper option, sack Allardyce and i'll do the job.
I'd be willing to gamble everything i have that i'd do a better job than Big Joke Sam.

Michael - Australia said:

The players positional placement is mystifying to say the least. I think Big Sam may do better with alot of spending money in the transfer window. The club cannot go through another manager again. Sam is in charge now he will need at least three years to consolidate the team and start a turn around. A manager a year is not a good trait to have in such a prestigious league. Sam needs time and lots of money...

ozman said:

well...what can i say. sammy baby thinks that the best way to win is to stop the other mob from playing. I reckon when you are playing a mob that can't play anyway(wigan, derby etc etc) then we don't need to do that, we can play ourselves. we have seasoned players who know how to play, sammy baby, even if you don't. so let them play. granted we don't have any players of real vision (Nobby please come back), but they can still put it together and take teams like wigan apart, if only you'd let them , sammy baby

James 09 said:

"NO NEED TO SHOUT" - are you serious? If the current situation doesn't create a need to shout, what blimmin' does?? Under this mess I feel fully justified in raising the volume a tad or two. Oh and the capitals are partly due to not being able to use italics for emphasis on the posts.

Perhaps I shouldn't be, but I am somewhat surprised at the spineless post-match comments from Allardyce re: the players. That could well spell the fatal loss of the dressing room - unbelievable.

Mr Allardyce, YOU are the primary factor gutting this squad mate - the overwhelming responsibility for them playing and looking like a miserable hungover pub outfit lies squarely with YOU pal. If you don't realise that (which you obviously don't), if you don't take responsibility for that (which you haven't), and if you can't learn and progress from this cess -pool of incompetence (which you so clearly haven't done all season) then get out.

James 09 said:

Allardyce won't easily reach over 43. In my humble opinion, the last day to reach 43 is hardly a canter.

H Elliott said:

There will be no immediate changes ar SJP, therefore better to vote with your feet opposed to wasting time posting messages.
If good supporters don't turn up for home games is vast numbers you can guarantee change will take place sooner rather than later!

Anonymous said:

Sam doesn't look like he sticks to his word. He said he wasn't going to wear Milner out. Milner is going to play another 50 games this year.

Jim Baker said:

Michael of Oz...
I agree we need to get a manager and stick with him BUT SAM ISN'T THE MAN!
He is a horrendously bad manager, his team selection is absurd, its like he's shot our club in the belly with a small old pistol and we are dying a slow, painful and horrible death.
I'm sure my grand mother could pick a more sucsessful team...and she's just about insane!

Anonymous said:

sam needs time. he's not even one season in and we're moaning. no, the football isn't pretty and the performances have been below par but i remember saying at the start of this season that a top ten place would be good and i still think we'll achieve that. martin o'neill went 16 games without a win as villa manager last season n this season by my reckoning villa are only a couple of points ahead of us. just give him time and stop whining - it's not like we're gonna get relegated

gav said:

Why are reporters so affraid to ask what the fans think instead of skirting round the issue , lets put sam on the spot lets e mail him some of these comments and let him try and reply to them because it just seems like no one is capable of getting the answer we want from him.

I was pretty sure that sam wasnt the right man for the job when gutless spineless Mr shepard signed him and his enterauge of backroom staff but i was willing to give him a go like most of us was , we welcomed him with open arms knowing that if he was the one to bring success to the club he would be made a legend and for the first time in a long time i was genuinly excited about the start of the season and what a start it was with the exception of pre season but does pre season really mean too much anyways , a emphatic win at bolton just the start we needed then the dull game with aston villa where to be honest neither side did anything then the boro a decent game where we were unlucky not to get the win , wigan at home we tried and tried to get a goal and it paid of in the end .
then all of a sudden it all changed the derby game was the worst game of football i have watched in my life we couldnt even create one chance the passing was awfull and the players looked like they didnt give a shit and from then on the more we play the more confused and frustrated we get .

The first thing has to be why the hell are we continually playing players out of position it isnt working so why hasnt he figured it out , ( hes supposed to be the one with all this so called knowledge ). why are we going down to teams like wigan and playing at home to derby and trying to contain them ... wtf is all that about because it clearly aint working with the ATTACKING players we have why are we trying to contain two of the worst teams in the premier league at the moment .

it just doesnt make sense we play two of the worst teams and we dont go out to pummel then into the ground fair enough it doesnt work like that in football but we should have walked away from them games with all six points not with a boxing day hangover and storm clouds on the horizon .

Things need to change and sam needs to wake up to the fact that this isnt working or changing, there is a lot of angry frustrated and depressed supporters out there including myself and we cant put up with it much longer we can never expect instant success, it just doesnt work like that but we expect as fans not to have the piss taken out of us .
lets give him another month and if performances week in week out havent changed then it surely must be time for him to go

Gavin Rudd said:

Sacking Allardyce is not a good idea. He needs more time and a lot more money. I know its not good at the moment but we can't keep sacking managers on a yearly basis. IT COSTS TOO MUCH! Money that can be spend on players.

Brian said:

As an overseas supporter, I have to pay a handsome fee to watch EPL and NUFC. But I found myself wasting my time watching NUFC games late at night in this few weeks. When we first played Derby, I got up at 3:00am hoping to see us winning a beautiful game. But I was disappointed. For the recent few games, the team's performance was so poor to a level that could only match up with those poorest days under Souness' regime. Even Glenn Roeder did a better job than Big Sam. Roeder had a paper thin team and did played some good stuff in a couple of games. Well, he failed at the end of last season. But I like his team more than the current one. Given the quality and number of his players, Big Sam should be doing much better than this. I hope he could prove his reputation (he is also a so-called "Big Name Manager") and ability soon.

In last season, we lost to Chelsea with due respect and no disgrace. I hope that the team could at least show the fighting spirit like last time, even we will lose definitely.

Sid said:

The comments have not been highlighted too prominently, but I think Allardyce assumes blaming the players will sting them into a good performance at Chelsea.

I think it will, simply because we will be underdog and that is a situation Allardyce was able to exploit at Bolton by killing off games.

It won't work at Newcastle, where we have players who want to play and support that wants to be entertained.

I am sure BS would be good for any team that was regularly underdog...I think he has shown so far no aptitude for being the manager of a big club with big fee players. He has no credentials as yet to justify him managing such a club....

Kev said:

Agree with all comments the toon are terrible at moment and can't see when next win is coming from. Allardyce clearly hasn't got a clue what he is doing as 50,000 fans could pick a better team and formation. Taylor, Martins, Given, if you have any ambition then leave now as these clowns couldn't win an argument. RE: Given, superb keeper but why does he always get beat on free kicks at his side of the goal!

Anonymous said:

It's not a new year's resolution we need; it's a new year's revolution. Allardyce out!

Geordies moaners? No, most of us actually pay to see this rubbish and we have the right to be - and, on the whole, are - astute critics.

John Low Fell said:

Lets not panic ! I appreciate that my view seems too simple but to repeat in part my last post, Allardyce must DROP SMITH. In doing that Allardyce admits his policy of building a ' character' side is seriously flawed and that 'his man on the pitch'is not able to function as a leader because he is not good enough ! He wrecks the efforts of the more creative players as he charges around the pitch wasting energy, getting in the way of other more thoughtful players, getting yellow-carded, and giving away free kicks as at Wigan.Once the 'nightmare' has been left out Allardyce can hopefully reason that the alternative is to play people in positions they enjoy. Lets start by giving Nzogbia Smiths place, play two wide men, Milner and Duff and stop playing the awful,dull and tragic football that Allardyce is responsible for. Lets not panic, lets push Allardyce into change, we can manage the team !

John Low Fell said:

Forgot to say I'm Off to Chelsea, how will I cope, will there be any change ?I think not, therefore Allardyce OUT !

Ex-pat Geordie said:

I chose to live and work in France over 40 years ago. My business trips to England were always organized around Newcastle's home matches in the good old days of Malcolm Macdonald and John Tudor (five goals a match guaranteed).
The problem with Big Sam is that, far from motivating his players, he tries to put the fear of God into them.
That is never a solution. It just means that, instead of going to work, you prefer to stay in bed, and, if you do decide to go to work, you try not to bump into the boss. It's demoralizing.
Come in, Caveman Sam. Your time's up.

Anonymous said:

Sam is not a top coach. When Emre has to defend his efforts and apologize to the media and to the supporters that their performance should have been better, goes to show how lost Sam is. And now Smith is Captain because the big boss wears his shirt? The team must sack Sam or use the players that have been there for the last 3 years and use his so called second rate transfers on the bench instead of appointing them as Captain. Sam is the second rate here. Newcastle is too classy and developed to have a guy come in the way he did. He must win now or gone at the end of the season.

bill douglas said:

Joey Barton arrested in Liverpool last night.....just a minute -I thought the manager was taking the first team squad away to a quiet hotel somewhere to prepare for their next must have been the Star and Garter on Lime St

hanzemre said:

we ought to vote with our feet & just empty SJP for a few matches as a protest to Sam,players and the board. Hopefully it brings immediate change or revolution indeed. If no eminent manager is appointed soon i dare to say we'd be better managerless soon after Sam is out. This mess must stop. Come on we can be better than this.

James 09 said:

Mr Ryder, could you at least do the decent thing and explain why you have either edited or not posted my last three posts??

Ryder's reply:
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H Elliott said:

Would any of the top 4 clubs in the Premiership have taken a risk with the infamous Joey Barton?

Terence Ross said:

u may think im mad but shola ameobi gives 100% everytime he wears our club colours id rather have him than unfit owen and smiths goal scoring record sholas a local understands the meaning as did lee clark , shearer , beardsley etc local pride local heroes and not over paid imports

Ryder's reply: Agree. Shola is not the best player in the world but the fact he played with hip and back problems, as well as a gum shield in to protect broken teeth, at the end of the 2005/2006 season shows he is prepared to sweat blood for the cause. What Newcastle could do with that right now.


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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