Newcastle Chairman Shepherd met with Sam Allardyce and his representative Mark Curtis at Claridges on Friday – along with a Newcastle delegation that included Shepherd’s son Kenneth.
It now appears that Allardyce was Shepherd’s first and only choice – despite various inevitable reports linking other managers to Tyneside this week.
While some of Newcastle fans are sceptical of Sam – we think he’s going to be an excellent choice for Newcastle. Since it’s now obvious that Allardyce will be watching Newcastle’s game somewhere (if not at Watford) on Sunday – we predict a spirited performance from Newcastle – and a win.
Freddy Shepherd and Sam Allardyce
The meeting took place at Michael Ramsey’s restaurant in Claridges and it is being reported they discussed a four-year deal – though no contract has yet been signed.
The length of the contract would usually suggest Shepherd’s confidence in the manager – Roeder was given a two year deal and Souness a three year deal. Of course if the managers don’t perform we are left having to give them compensation based on the length of contract remaining.
But maybe that will not be an issue – for once – and we’ll see Sam take the club forward big time – we hope so!
After the meeting Shepherd said
“Sam is the nearest thing to a replica of Joe Harvey I have seen. He has the same rugged determination and enthusiasm as Joe,”
“I am excited, Sam is excited, and we are looking forward to making this work.
“We had a good meeting and will continue discussions over the weekend but everything went okay. You don’t wrap up something like this in two minutes.”
Of course the great Joe Harvey was the last manager at Newcastle to win anything – which was the Fairs Cup in 1969 and Harvey was also captain of our 1951 and 1952 FA Cup Final wins (against Blackpool and Arsenal).
Presumably Shepherd and Allardyce also discussed the Owen situation and Shepherd’s attitude towards the England striker’s agents (he seems to blame them rather than Michael on this).
Allardyce is thought to be keen to keep Owen – not surprising but still good news for Newcastle fans.
After the meeting Allardyce is reported as saying.
“It was a good meeting and my agent will speak to Newcastle again over the next few days to discuss matters further,”
“Sam’s excited and we’re looking forward to making this work.”
Allardyce resigned from Bolton on April 29th and we think one reason Glenn Roeder was sacked last Sunday was that Allardyce became available.
There are still a number of things to work out – one being the make up of Sam’s coaching team and backroom staff.
It will be interesting to see who Sam appoints.
There may not be a place in the coaching staff for Nigel Pearson – who has done very well since joining Newcastle and who was recently appointed England under 21 coach – but Allardyce will most likely want to being in his own folks – so we’ll just have to wait and see on that one.
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