Increased Stress for Sam at Newcastle – Absolutely!

There are a number of reports in today’s newspapers on the stress that Sam was under at Bolton – particularly the season when Bolton avoided relegation on the last day of the 2002 – 2003 season. Bolton struggled throughout that season but stayed up, winning their final game of the season 2-1 against Middlesbrough. Goals from Per Frandsen and Jay Jay Okocha saved them that day – and the victory condemned West Ham United , managed by Glenn Roeder, to relegation.

Will Sam be under increased stress at Newcastle ? The truth is the job will be the most stressful Sam has ever had – but a way out – is to bring success to the club.

A Slim Looking Sam Allardyce

This is what Sam had to say recently – we think to the Independent:

“There’s more pressure at this club,” “It hasn’t had the success it thinks it deserves in recent years. That brings the height of pressure almost immediately on me to bring an instant success.”
“I’m not sure I can do that. I hope I can, but I’m not sure. I’m trying to plan for enough time to make sure I build something that’s successful and sustainable in the long term, a period of years rather than a one-off season. “If I’m successful, I’m likely to be here for more than my three-year contract; if not, I’m likely not to see that time out. I suppose I’ll find out why it’s been such a tough nut to crack in the next 12 months.”

That certainly sounds like the truth.

One of the big problems Allardyce has to tackle immediately is the injury problems that have been rampant at Newcastle for a few seasons now. Even when Sam arrived – to be announced as manager last Tuesday – the Newcastle chairman was injured with a broken rib – and couldn’t attend the conference call.

But stress is only there when things are going badly – when things are going well there’s an enthusiastic tension that is exhilerating – and Sam knows this is his best (and probably last) chance to become one of the top managers in football.


Sam Allardyce Holding Cup – circa 2009

Has he got the talent? We think so – but obviously we’ll have to wait and see – since Sam has never been in the position of being backed with transfer funds.

Sam went on:

“I’d have stayed at Bolton had we qualified for the Champions’ League,” Allardyce said. “We were a whisker away, but ultimately, from a financial point of view, we couldn’t quite get the squad to get us there. “To come that close with a club like Bolton was a miraculous achievement. For Newcastle, it is a starting point.”

Finally, as for the tension we suggest Sam have a call with Graeme Souness – who went through extremely stressful times at Newcastle – and often showed it.

The good news for Sam is that prescription drugs for anxiety, depression and stress are now better than they’ve ever been – and they even seem to work.

When Newcastle scored a goal to win a game during Souness’ era he was asked why he had been so calm – “The pills must be working” came the famous reply.

Souness wisely had them prescribed when he took the Newcastle job and we are told that one bottle had the following instructions on it:

Take one after a Newcastle defeat – take two if defeat more than three goals.

While of course we cannot verify this absolutely we know one thing – and that is that Sam will get more support from the Geordie fans than he ever dreamed of – as long as he brings some success to Tyneside – and then he’ll be in the job a lot longer than three years.

Note: We are also told it helps to have a sense of humor when under stress.


6 comments so far

  • Ahmed Bilal

    May 20, 2007 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #1


  • lee

    May 20, 2007 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #2

    “To come that close with a club like Bolton was a miraculous achievement. For Newcastle, it is a starting point.” … Now, that is a mark of an extremely ambitious manager. Big Sam is a perfectionist, pure and simple. Newcastle will not have to put pressure on him, although he said he is (but that is just PR). What manager would have left a successful club like Bolton, to have a go at another club where others have miserably failed? Big Sam is supremely confident of himself… one wonders why he didn’t make England manager… country’s loss, club’s gain… HUGE GAIN. He knows that with the warchest that is Newcastle, the sky is the limit for him. With a public statement like that, I can think of top 4 in the first two seasons and the Premiership title in the third.
    p.s. what a photo of Big Sam lifting his first trophy at Newcastle!

  • Ed Harrison

    May 20, 2007 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #3

    Lee – I’d thought the fans would like the lifting of the trophy – at least we know what it’s going to look like !

  • Shaz

    May 20, 2007 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #4

    Lee, it will never happen in a million years, you are being too optimistic.Premiership title in the third year.You are joking right?It is one thing to hope for a top four place but quite another when you consider the strangle-hold both the manc scum and west london scum have on the premier league.Arsenal and even my beloved Liverpool are having trouble trying to get a look in.I am sure everyone knows this already but the problem is that the financial resources those top two have are completely on a different league to everyone else, Chelshit through their sugar daddy and the manc scum through their marketing power etc.The League is now much harder to win than those days when Kevin Keegan almost came close and we all know what happened then.

  • Ed Harrison

    May 20, 2007 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #5

    Shaz – agree – and that’s a problem for the league that only 4 teams right now have any chance of winning it – and maybe only two – ManU and Chelsea.
    We need more competition – something will need to be done shortly – we are ending up like the two club Scottish Premiership – which we have criticized for many a year.

  • lee

    May 21, 2007 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #6

    Shaz – you are absolutely right that Man Utd and Chelsea are 1st and 2nd every season. But the link between a very rich club and success may be over-exagerrated a little bit… for instance, Newcastle’s annual spending eclipse almost everyone else except Man Utd and Chelsea but we are 14, 7, and 13 in the past 3 seasons. By right, we should be top 3 every year. So, the link between money and success is not that obvious. What makes Chelsea and Man Utd successful year in year out is their approach to football… they are extremely professionally run clubs. ‘ Consistency’ is their middle name, from their choice of managers, choice of players right down to their playing styles. You can tell Man Utd are playing even if they change their jersey to Liverpool colours (no offence intended), so too you can tell Arsenal are playing even if they wear blue. Discipline is the key to their success, which no money can buy… otherwise Newcastle will be title-contenders every season.


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