Sam Allardyce has talked again â€“ this time about what itâ€™s like playing at St Jamesâ€™ Park â€“ the good and the bad of it.
It’s good when things are going well â€“ but if someone is seen to be slacking or not giving of their best â€“ they should look out â€“ and rightfully so.
This is what Sam had to say to Luke Edwards of the Journal last night:
“Let’s be honest, it’s been more than a couple of years of negativity at Newcastle United,” “I’ve talked to Gary Speed about this before and this is a great place to play if you’re winning, but it can be a daunting place if you’re losing. The players have to know the expectations of the fans. Even when things aren’t going well, the fans still attend games, they still fill the stadium.
Sam’s referring to the 52,000 plus fans that turn up almost regardless of how the team has been doing â€“ which is almost unique in English football. No other team with so little success has been so well supported as Newcastle over the years. The greatest thing about the club has always been the passionate and faithful fan base. Mike Ashley – the club’s new owner – seems well aware of that.
Sam went on:
“A lot of fans would just stay away, but the flip side of that is Newcastle fans do show their disapproval if they don’t think players are playing well. That is what you have to live with when you play here. We have to be very careful about the character of the players we bring to this big and very famous football club.”
“Newcastle haven’t had enough top-six finishes in the last 10 years for whatever reason. This club has not been as successful as it should have been. It’s been a hugely frustrating time and that’s what makes it such a difficult job for me. There have been a lot of managers who have preceded me who have done their best, they’ve had a real go, but it hasn’t worked out.
“It’s my time now and I’ve got to do things my way. It’s got to be my way, I can’t have anyone trying to influence me about what should be the way forward for Newcastle. That’s my main focus, it’s got to be my way or not at all because I believe that’s the best way to bring success to this football club.”
That last paragraph is so important. Sam has to be left alone to get the job done. We hope when Ashley comes on board â€“ his team will leave the playing side completely to Allardyce. We canâ€™t have them coming in and telling Sam which big player to sign if Sam doesnâ€™t want them. Thatâ€™s going to be very key to a successful stint by Allardyce â€“ he knows exactly what he has to do – he just needs be left alone to do it.