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Newcastle -v- Aston Villa


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Play it again Sam

 

Aug 17 2007

 

by Alan Oliver, Evening Chronicle

 

 

SAM ALLARDYCE is ready to give a vote of confidence to the Newcastle United team which won at Bolton last Saturday for tomorrow’s St James’ Park opener with Aston Villa.

 

And this means that Michael Owen will have to be content with a seat on the bench after declaring himself fit for the first time at senior level since the opening friendly of the season at Hartlepool.

 

Big Sam is not one to reveal his plans to opposing managers and his only comment on his team selection today was: “It will be the same squad that went to Bolton Wanderers, plus Michael Owen.”

 

Keeper Shay Given is still not ready, along with long-term injuries Emre, Damien Duff, Joey Barton and Celestine Babayaro, although the Turkish ace is close to a return.

 

And while Cacapa is again in the squad and favourite to become the 1000th player to represent United, Spanish left-back Jose Enrique has been kept back again following his £4.2m switch from Villarreal.

 

Said the United boss: “Jose is improving but he is still a way off. He’s fit but he has not done a pre-season programme to give him the physical strength to play in the Premiership.

 

“So until he is absolutely 100% in that category, and bearing in mind he has come from a different environment in Spain, I’ll take it slowly but surely with him to make sure nobody levels any sort of criticism at him too early on if he doesn’t perform to the level we know he can.”

 

Given misses out on coming face to face with Marlon Harewood, who will be on the Villa bench, although the United keeper insists he has fully recovered from his clash with the burly striker at Upton Park last September.

 

With a lot of focus on his wheeling and dealing in the transfer market this week, Allardyce has not lost sight of his first home competitive game at St James’ Park as United boss tomorrow, when he is likely to get a great reception.

 

He said today: “I hope we don’t waste last Saturday’s win at Bolton. It’s always a huge result when you win away from home. After that the pressure’s immediately back on in your home game.

 

“If you beat Bolton 3-1, it builds expectation. You beat them comfortably and everybody comes strolling down to St James’ Park thinking we’ll beat Aston Villa.

 

“Unfortunately, that’s not the case unless you’re 100% professional in the way you approach the game.

 

“We’ve got to be technically and tactically aware of what Aston Villa are going to try and do and nullify their strengths and obviously try to exploit their weaknesses as always.

 

“We need to get that right, make fewer mistakes than the opposition and use our abilities in the right areas.

 

“My focus, and that of Nigel Pearson, has been on the players’ concentration out of possession. Hopefully, we’ve learnt a big lesson from last Saturday’s game.

 

“What we did for their goal was our own fault. It came a long way from our corner and that sort of thing becomes very, very costly.

 

“Fortunately, this time it didn’t hurt us, but the next time it will. We’ve got to cut that sort of ragged defending out. Not just from defenders, but from midfielders on the edge of the box.”

clicky

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I love reading what Sam has to say. His words are that of a knowledgable coach, of a man who is meticulous in preperation of games, treating each game and each opponent like its the biggest game of his life. Its just so refreshing and confidence-filling to see after the shite we've had to go through since Bobby's last year in charge.

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I love reading what Sam has to say. His words are that of a knowledgable coach, of a man who is meticulous in preperation of games, treating each game and each opponent like its the biggest game of his life. Its just so refreshing and confidence-filling to see after the shite we've had to go through since Bobby's last year in charge.

 

He's a very careful man, Father!

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I love reading what Sam has to say. His words are that of a knowledgable coach, of a man who is meticulous in preperation of games, treating each game and each opponent like its the biggest game of his life. Its just so refreshing and confidence-filling to see after the shite we've had to go through since Bobby's last year in charge.

 

He's a very careful man, Father!

 

:)

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There's a bit Sam said about Enrique not having enough strength training yat to have him ready for the Premiership. That to me is just fucking awesome. Think of Luque getting off the plane and getting hoyed into the starting line-up against ManUtd. Comical.

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There's a bit Sam said about Enrique not having enough strength training yat to have him ready for the Premiership. That to me is just fucking awesome. Think of Luque getting off the plane and getting hoyed into the starting line-up against ManUtd. Comical.

 

Exactly! Big Sam said he hasn't really had a pre-season and isn't ready to play just yet and Sam didn't wnat to throw him in early and have people criticise if he wasn't reaching the standards he'll be capable of at 100%. Compare that with a Souness/Roeder who would as you say chuck a player on the pitch as soon as they got to the ground!

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There's a bit Sam said about Enrique not having enough strength training yat to have him ready for the Premiership. That to me is just fucking awesome. Think of Luque getting off the plane and getting hoyed into the starting line-up against ManUtd. Comical.

 

Exactly! Big Sam said he hasn't really had a pre-season and isn't ready to play just yet and Sam didn't wnat to throw him in early and have people criticise if he wasn't reaching the standards he'll be capable of at 100%. Compare that with a Souness/Roeder who would as you say chuck a player on the pitch as soon as they got to the ground!

 

Fred: "I've just bought this lad. He's ready to play."

GenericManager: "Much as I'd love to contradict you, yesSIR!"

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I love reading what Sam has to say. His words are that of a knowledgable coach, of a man who is meticulous in preperation of games, treating each game and each opponent like its the biggest game of his life. Its just so refreshing and confidence-filling to see after the shite we've had to go through since Bobby's last year in charge.

 

What he said.

 

Allardyce has made a name for himself in terms of preperation etc and its so refreshing to think that - for once - we have someone in charge who actually knows what they're doing! Most clubs would take that for granted, they don't know how lucky they are!

 

I reckon by next season Sam will have completely transformed the club and and thoughts of Newcastle being a soft touch/poor defensively will be long gone.

 

And this isn't a knee jerk reaction, I thought this even before the Bolton game.

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I love reading what Sam has to say. His words are that of a knowledgable coach, of a man who is meticulous in preperation of games, treating each game and each opponent like its the biggest game of his life. Its just so refreshing and confidence-filling to see after the shite we've had to go through since Bobby's last year in charge.

 

He's a very careful man, Father!

:)

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I cant see it being 3-0. As sam said, people are now just going to walk up and expect to win. It doesn't work like that. Martin O'Neill is a top manager as well as has Villa well organised. I can see it being very tight, and i dont care what the score is as long as Newcastle win!

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For some reason i'm not too confident. Maybe it's because when we were crap I knew that we were and a win was a bonus, but now things are looking up i'm worried that we're going to do a typical Newcastle and collapse.

 

Saying that, i'll predict a 2-1 win.

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For some reason i'm not too confident. Maybe it's because when we were crap I knew that we were and a win was a bonus, but now things are looking up i'm worried that we're going to do a typical Newcastle and collapse.

 

Saying that, i'll predict a 2-1 win.

 

You never quite know what's gonna happen in a game against Villa. Despite the fact that they're shit, we always seem to play at their level. My Dad's a Villa fan so it's a big day for us :)

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