Sam Allardyce knows that a club with Newcastle United’s support, resources and wage bill should be in the top six every season.
His endeavors over the last eight years at Bolton make Sam qualified to be a success at Newcastle.
However, for all his success – with minimum resources available – he understands the silverware missing from his resume (CV) is something he must change – while there’s time.
Sam Allardyce – New Newcastle Manager
Sam played for Bolton for eleven years and was their manager for a further eight -and feels he owes an explanation to the fans of the Bolton club.
This is what Sam Allardyce told the Daily Mail last week after he resigned from Bolton and explains why he had to leave:
“When I work again, it will only be at a club where I believe I can win something.”
“I just felt it was time to go,”
“Only Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have been with their Premiership clubs longer than I was at Bolton,”
“For me, the level we were at, what was happening, how we were going, I didnâ€™t feel comfortable with anymore. I needed a change. I started to think about me for the first time in eight years and said itâ€™s my time to go.
“I went to see the chairman and it was sorted out from there. It had nothing to do with any other club, in spite of all the speculation. I just chose what was the right time for me to leave.
“Of course, I want to stay in football. Itâ€™s left open now for whatever might turn up. I had a great time at Bolton but nothing lasts forever. It was time to leave. Itâ€™s as simple as that.”
Sam then went back to how he started at Bolton and the slow rise of Bolton to the Premiership and to the top six.
He also talks here about how important it is for him to build a good backroom staff and infrastructure at the club to support the players. This will be one of his first tasks at Newcastle.
â€˜We were in the First Division for 18 months before we got promotion. I canâ€™t forget the first year. I joined in October 1999 and we went to three semi-finals: the Carling Cup, FA Cup â€” beaten by Aston Villa on penalties â€” and the promotion play-offs, when we lost against Ipswich. That was a massive devastation to overcome but to do that and win promotion the following season, having sold my best players,was a terrific achievement.â€™ Setting up his backroom staff, a group of experts in every aspect of dressing room support, provided the launchpad.
“Building the infrastructure was always the most important thing,”
“It has taught me that, wherever I go, it becomes the essential thing to do, to organise a group who are qualified in what they do, give them the responsibility to do it with me overseeing it, then delivering it to the players in order to make them better and enjoy playing football more than they have anywhere else.
“Building the staff meant we had no money for players. Fortunately I knew the system, I knew that outside of this country good-quality players were being released from clubs who would want you to take them on loan and would even pay some of their wages.
“It enabled me to bring in high-class players such as Ivan Campo, Bruno Nâ€™Gotty, Youri Djorkaeff, Fernando Hierro and the like. Pulling that superb international group together was a short-term policy that made you realize this club was going to survive in the Premiership.
Interesting piece follows on how he handles players so well – particularly the many he brought in from abroad and how he uses phsycological profiling on his players to ensure they are mentally tough enough. I hope he does that at Newcastle and we can whittle away a few players who didn’t turn up for us in many games this season.
“Then it was a case of how you handled those foreign players and that was where the backroom staff came in.
They had to find out the cultural and religious differences, finding players the right place to live and so on. We built a behind-the-scenes database unique to our circumstances. We then told the players that you have to deliver levels of output in many areas â€” physically, technically, practically.
“For instance, there will not be many clubs that do psychological profiling. Weâ€™d been doing it for eight years. It was a way of establishing that players were mentally good enough to play in the Premiership. Many outside are physically as good, equally as talented, but mentally they canâ€™t hack it.
Now listen to what Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd said yesterday. We’ve heard it before but the last manager to achieve this at the club was Bobby Robson – who in his last three seasons had Newcastle finishing 4th, 3rd and 5th.
As we know he was fired in August 2004 – because 5th wasn’t good enough.
Newcastle Chairman – Freddy Shepherd
“The first job for the new manager is to get Newcastle back into the top six in the Premiership and to make sure that the club is playing regularly in Europe. That is the minimum we expect,”
“Where we are in the Premier League this season simply isn’t acceptable to either me or our fans. This managerial change is about re-establishing Newcastle United as a formidable power both in the Premiership and Europe.
Sam finished off his interview with this:
“The mental side is one of the key areas yet itâ€™s hardly talked about. Talent and tactics are important but the mentality of the player â€” how you get him to produce his maximum â€” is equally important. We looked after their welfare as well as their physical requirements and it worked. That was the great journey we went on at Bolton.
The bottom line is recruitment and then, how you manage those people. If you donâ€™t pick a better player than what youâ€™ve got, it doesnâ€™t matter what you do behind the scenes, it wonâ€™t work.”
“Iâ€™ve had a lot of praise for what Iâ€™ve done, but thereâ€™s nothing at the end of it,” he said. “I want silverware â€” and Iâ€™m determined to get it before my days as a manager are over.”
It’s clear that if Allardyce can create the same kind of success he had at Bolton – but with much more backing in terms of finances and fan support at Newcastle – he will be idolized – and he knows it – which is one reason he wants to move to one of the hot-beds of soccer.
Which other club can get 52,000 home crowds with a losing team.
It’s OK for Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool fans to turn up – their teams regularly win games and trophies – every year – but not here at Newcastle – well not for a little while – at least.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
But it’s very clear – Sam’s ambition matches the Geordie fans’ aspirations.
Go do it Sam !