Given that Sam Allardyce will take over as manager of Newcastle United next week – we wonder how Big Sam and Freddy Shepherd will do as a working partnership.
Certainly the Sunderland partnership of Roy Keane and Niall Quinn – beginning after Sunderland had lost their first five games of the season (with a resistant Quinn in charge) – four in the league and one in the League cup – has proved to be massively successful.
Roy Keane and Niall Quinn
Did I forget to mention they got promoted as Champions at their first try?
As far as we are concerned – how will Shepherd and Allardyce perform together for Newcastle?
Hopefully very well – but let’s take a closer look.
As we know Roy Keane is a strong personality and before he took the job sought guarantees from Quinn that he wouldn’t interfere with the playing side of things. Quinn has kept to his word and always supported Keane – particularly in the transfer market – to the tune of bringing in 12 players.
Suffice to say the partnership has been tremendously successful for our rivals south of the Tyne.
Sam Allardyce is also a strong personality though when we look at his record at Bolton he seems to have got on quite well with Bolton chairman Phil Gartside.
Maybe the only negative for Sam at Bolton was not having enough transfer funds to bring in more players and make Bolton even better.
Gartside has recently denied that was the reason Allardyce resigned last week – pointing to last years capture of “world class striker” Nicholas Anelka on August 25th, 2006 for a club record $8M.
Whether it was a problem at Bolton or not that should not be a problem for Allardyce at Newcastle.
Freddy Shepherd and Sam Allardyce
To be fair to Shepherd – (we know that may be a dangerous thing to say) – he has always backed his managers fully – all five of them to date Dalglish, Gullit, Bobby Robson, Souness and Roeder.
His fault if anything is that he often backed them with too much money…..Souness and the $50M he dished out for players of the caliber of Jean-Alain Boumsong and Albert Luque ($18M for the two) immediately comes to mind.
Shepherd has usually left the manager alone to manage the playing side – although there is persistent talk that he has more to do with the transfers than he should.
We brought up Keane and Quinn at the start of this piece because this is the way a football partnership between Manager and Chairman should be – the chairman looks after the financial side of the business and the manager is fully responsible for the playing side – and the results!
If Freddy Shepherd can agree with Big Sam this is the way things will be run – we feel that Allardyce can bring the just rewards Newcastle fans have been waiting close to 40 years for – a trophy.
Just a minute – isn’t that what we were saying last year after Roeder’s phenomenal run at the end of last season.
Maybe (maybe not) – but hope springs eternal at Newcastle – and someone has to finally bring success to Newcastle – and it may as well be Big Sam – hopefully while some of us are still around.