Sam Allardyce talked today to the Journal on what he expects from Newcastle in his first season in charge and as usual Sam talks a whole load of sense. Allardyce has a lot of building to do at Newcastle â€“ on the pitch as well as off it â€“ and he should be left alone to do it.
He knows exactly what is needed at a club like Newcastle â€“ where expectations have always out-paced achievement.
This is what Sam had to say to the Journal last night:
“I’ve come here because there is absolutely no question that this club has the potential to break into the top four. “It hasn’t for a number of years, but I’m here to try to change that.
“We’ve got to realize that we can achieve that – that we have the potential, but it can only be done with a little bit of patience. Breaking into the top four has become a very difficult task.
“However, if you build slowly and grow slowly you will have an opportunity to do that. You can’t do it instantly, even if you spent a lot of money, it doesn’t guarantee anything.
Thatâ€™s a very good point since itâ€™s not clear to us if Allardyce does spend â‚¤40M this summer that itâ€™s necessarily the right thing to do. Sam has to get together a strong side â€“ and a very strong defense in his first season. The truth is we don’t have too bad a squad â€“ if the players would only perform to their potentials. They have not done this over the last few years – but we expect Sam can get the best out of the squad he inherited.
Any player who goes missing in a game should be dragged off and given a kick up the behind as he heads for the dressing room.
That action – we hope – will just about sum up the impact Sam will have on the players at Newcastle.
One thing Sam must do is get in two strong defenders and two strong full backs to go with the defenders we already have. To fix the defense is maybe the first priority Sam has for next season. That coupled with solving why we get all the injuries will go a long way to guaranteeing a good first season.
Sam went on:
“You have to grow the culture of the football club and we need to have the infrastructure to get us there.
“Everyone keeps talking about instant success, but Newcastle have to get away from that. We can’t just expect to start on August 11 and go on to finish in the Champions League. That will be a goal, a dream to achieve, but it’s almost an impossible task in my first season here.”
“Football needs Wigan and Sunderland, the West Hams and the Boltons to break the mould, as well as the likes of Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Tottenham.
Whoops â€“ did Sam just group Sunderland with the Wigans of the world â€“ think so – but letâ€™s go on:
“We need a competitive league because if it becomes too predictable it loses its entertainment value. If you can’t get a shock result like Reading last year, or Wigan the year before, it makes the Premiership boring.
“I think what those two teams did when they came up was very good for the league as a whole. It’s the same with Bolton finishing in the top eight, it’s healthy.”
“We are building to last, not just to have one good season.”
Sam of course is 100% correct â€“ the league needs to expand from the four teams right now that can win the league.
It looks like the teams that have been bought, West Ham, Aston Villa and ourselves probably stand the best chance of doing this â€“ along with Tottenham.
We think top six would be a very good finish for next season and then Sam can strengthen the squad even more next summer.
But we also think Mike Ashley must let Sam run the team â€“ and support him in very way he can. (We think Niall Quinn at Sunderland epitomizes what a Chairman should be doing – keeping in the background but supporting his manager 100% when asked to).
The other thing Sam will be building at Newcastle is the Youth system, the Scouting system â€“ and the back-room staff. This will ensure we donâ€™t have all the injuries weâ€™ve had in the past – and also help us to get the best young players into the club – both local talent and talent from around the world.
It’s an exciting time for all Newcastle supporters – no doubt about that.