Sam Allardyce indicates the meeting with chairman Freddy Shepherd last Friday convinced him to take the managerial job at Newcastle United.
Newcastle’s new savior Big Sam landed on Tyneside on Tuesday morning and was unveiled at a Press conference at St. James’ Park at 1pm, having signed a three-year contract.
At the press conference there were no real surprises as Sam told the press he was delighted to get the job – he wanted to keep the two very good strikers we have (good news) – and that he would be bringing in a few new players to augment the squad.
Official – Newcastle Manager Sam Allardyce
Sam also said that the problem with Newcastle these last two years were the injuries – and that they seemed to have a lot more than other clubs.
Freddie Shepherd could not attend the meeting – since he was getting treatment for a broken rib – which made it difficult for him to talk.
Speaking as Sam arrived at Gallowgate, he said:
“Once Freddy Shepherd make it clear he wanted me then there was no doubt where I would be going”
“After leaving Bolton Wanderers last week I was expecting a longer rest but once Freddy opened that door I was in.
“When I met Freddy I could feel his passion for Newcastle United. He is a passionate supporter and it’s well known throughout football that he has always supported his managers.
“Now it is up to everyone from Freddy down to me the players and even the tea lady to give these fans the success they deserve.
“I suppose this is the greatest challenge I have ever had.
“But it is one I am excited about and one I am looking forward to. It’s no secret that what has happened in the past is not good enough for a club as big as Newcastle United and it is now my job to change all that.”
“Everyone starts with a clean sheet.”
Michael Owen was not there today – he was on personal business in Ireland – but the new United manager told the Evening Chronicle today:
“One of the first things I will be doing is sitting down with Michael Owen and having a little chat with him.
“I will be asking him does he want to stay with us or go? Obviously I would like him to stay because he has that rare commodity of being able to score goals.
“What I think Michael needs is more time to get on track for us and hopefully he will decide to take that time.”
Smiling Sam Allardyce Arriving at Gallowgate this Morning
Allardyce revealed that he had been watching and listening to Owen’s big mate Alan Shearer talking on television about what a new manager has to do at St James’ Park.
“I have been taking in what Alan Shearer has been saying and I can sense just how impatient everybody is for things to be put right here.”
“I will expect all my staff to work 24-7 just like I will be doing.
“We will be working as a family unit and it does not matter if we don’t like each other because our only aim to is bring success to this football club.
“In the end that comes down to the players on the field and everything I and my staff does will be designed to give the players all our support.”
Allardyce laughed off criticism of his long-ball tactics at Bolton Wanderers and continued:
“This is a tag which has been labelled on Bolton Wanderers because we were so good at our jobs.
“The big teams like Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle United used to use it as an excuse because they could not beat us and it is a figment of their imagination.
In yet another interview with today’s Evening Chronicle he talked about his style of management:
“When we send a team out we need to know we’ve given them everything they need, in terms of knowledge and preparation, to win that match,”
“We have all these motivational techniques to make sure they’re stimulated every time they go on to the pitch.
“After we identify a possible signing, we go through a process of elimination to see if they meet our criteria. If they don’t, we look elsewhere.”
Critics of Allardyce have pointed to his direct style of play as being unsuited to Newcastle’s tradition.
Allardyce addressed this as follows:
“Firstly, we don’t play long balls any more than Liverpool or Chelsea, but when they do it we get told it’s a long pass,”
“Secondly, you play to your strengths. If I was manager of a top, top club with top players and huge resources, my players would be better than the other team’s players 95% of the time and we’d play a completely different style, although there would be a lot of core values that I’d want to retain.”
“The only tactics I know are those which win matches and that’s what we did at Bolton Wanderers and what I am hoping and expecting to do here. I feel I have achieved a little bit in my career, but I want to achieve a lot more here at Newcastle United.”
Sam is certainly saying the right things and it’s certainly exciting to have him on board – he has a lot of work to do.
But his first interviews show he is sensible and knows exactly what he needs to do at Newcastle.
Let’s hope Sam can do as wellÂ – if not better – than he did at Bolton.