There are reports that Newcastle Chairman Freddy Shepherd is trying to gauge the reaction of the fans to Sam Allardyce as Newcastle Manager â€“ before he names Sam as our new manager next week.
Some supporters are even comparing Allardyceâ€™s appointment to that of Graeme Souness â€“ who in September 2004 was a shock choice as manager â€“ right out of left field (translation â€“right out of the blue).
We think there is very little similarity between the two appointments.
Sam Allardyce “What is he doing??”
The appointment of Souness was greeted with silent dismay by the Newcastle fans â€“ mainly because Souness didnâ€™t exactly have a good track record in management (forget about Rangers in the Scottish Premiership) â€“ and seemed to argue with a number of his players â€“ who subsequently would leave.
Souness always argued with that portrayal of him â€“ but true to this reputation â€“ within four months Craig Bellamy departed on loan to Celtic â€“ then onto Blackburn â€“ then to Liverpool â€“ never to return.
Certainly Shepherd was shocked at the cold reception of the fans to Souness as Newcastle manager â€“ who was sacked a short 17 months later.
But remember Sam Allardyce was first choice in 2004 â€“ but turned Newcastle down because he was unwilling to walk out on Bolton.
Similarly – next in line, Newcastle native Steve Bruce, was subsequently courted by Shepherd â€“ but he too, after reviewing the situation, turned Newcastle down.
Steve Bruce then had a poor season – which ended with Birmingham being relegated – but to be fair to Steve he has brought Birmingham back up at the first try.
Sounessâ€™ appointment in 2004 was a lot different than this time â€“ so why is it different with Allardyce?
There are a number of reasons.
- Allardyce seems to handle star players very well â€“ you never heard of any problems with his players at Bolton â€“ and they always seemed to give 100% on the field.Allardyce had to pick up a lot of older players â€“ because he didnâ€™t have the finances for younger more expensive players.
Players he brought in were thought to be past their prime but somehow they all seemed to play well at Bolton.A good example for Newcastle fans is Gary Speed â€“ who joined them just before the 2004-2005 season â€“ and just before Bobby Robson was sacked by Newcastle.
Gary has performed admirably for Bolton since then â€“ we should never have let him go.
- Don’t expect Allardyce to spend huge amounts in the transfer market – for one thing we don’t have the money right now.
We honestly believe if you compare Bolton’s and Newcastle’s squads this year – Newcastle have a better squad than Bolton – and we believe if we didn’t buy anybody in the summer – it would still be possible – under Allardyce’s management for Newcastle to finish in the top six.
There will be comings and goings – for example – if Sam brings in Kevin Nolan then one of our midfielders will need to move on.
We will also need to bring in some defenders – as others will be moved out.
We don’t need to buy any strikers – assuming Owen doesn’t fly the coup.
As we all know Souness spent close to â‚¤50M on players who included Boumsong and Luque- enough said.
- Sam has had good success in the Premiership â€“ at a very unfashionable club.
Other managers who have done this in the past and gone onto have greater managerial success include Alf Ramsey (Ipswich), Bobby Robson (Ipswich), Martin Oâ€™Neil (Leicester City) , Brian Clough (Hartlepool United) â€“ so Sam is in good company there.
It’s true that not all fans are warm to Sam Allardyce as the new Newcastle manager – and we understand that – but if he can get the same out of the players at Newcastle – that he did consistently at Bolton – we are in for a much better season next year.
Hey – maybe we’ll actually win something!
Well – that’s how we feel about it – let us know your opinions and ideas on this topic.