Manager: Sam Allardyce
Ground: St. James Park
Pitch size: 105x 68 meters
Year formed: 1881
Goal Keeping: B (until Shay gets back I’ll give them a C however)
Here comes the new era at Newcastle with Big Sam. Sam is a figure that overtakes what ever squad he is in charge of at the time. Can he do that at Newcastle? Its Newcastle not Bolton. I know that Bolton is a real impressive feat. Then I say look what Sam did at Bolton; he took a bad team from the Championship added some good young talent with promise and made a run through the bottom half of the Premiership. Due to the way the Premiership is currently structured there are six teams at the top and fourteen that are clawing out the rest of the league. If Big Sam does something with Newcastle then I’ll be impressed. Not only will Sam have to be good he’ll have to be lucky. Newcastle are so injury prone that Sam will have to add serious depth across the board, like maybe two starting elevens?
The Keeper at Newcastle is Shay Givens. Givens is sick and I hope his injury isn’t that serious. While he is out they will be a little thin and it’ll be interesting to see who Sam relies on. Once Givens is back he’s solid.
On the back line they have remade the entirety of the affair. They were all over the place last season. We’ll see who gets the call and then I’ll come back and give my two cents.
In the midfield they have a lot of players that are regularly refered to as studs. Barton, Duff, Dyer, and Butt would be interesting to watch. Dyer is on his way out. Geremi should get plenty of first team chances. Having played all over the past few seasons at Chelsea Geremi should prove to be a strong force coming out of the back of the midfield. Barton is a loose cannon and he might not be the success that is assumed. Butt is such a great name that you have to love to see him on the pitch. Little Nicky Butt. It should be fairly straight forward for this mid-field control the ball and get it forward with pace. Duff when healthy could be an “x” factor out wide left. I imagine big Sam is looking for someone to replace Dyer.
Newcastle is one of the best teams up top in the whole world. Michael Owen needs to get healthy but once he does a teaming with either Martins or Viduka will kill. That doesn’t even take into account Alan Smith. With four options up front in Mark Viduka, Obefemi Martins, Michael Owen and Alan Smith Big Sam is going to have choices based on training performances and current form. Euro 2004 saw Michael Owen stake his claim as best in the world at the finish. Alan Smith has shown glimpses at Manchester United and if he finds his full potential I could see him being a force at the top level of the Premier. I still don’t see Smith being a real force at the international level. Viduka is at the end of his career but he adds depth, heart and a physical scoring presence that Owen surely doesn’t. Martins is speed and speed is Martins. Pretty much anyone you pair Martins with will be aided by his blistering pace.
Overall Newcastle should push forward. If they don’t then they are the most unlucky club of all time. Injuries have been the story for the past few seasons. Along with Big Sam I hope they have brought a new physio and maybe someone else to watch over their pitch.