Sam Allardyce has revealed some of the priorities he has for next season – including trying to win a trophy in his first season at Newcastle. Sam talked to Lee Ryder of the Evening Chronicle.
As we often do â€“ we’ll take a look at what Sam has to say and make some of our own comments and analysis.
Sam told Lee Ryder today:
â€œAt this club the priority is the Carling and FA Cup as well as finishing as high as we can in the Premiership. â€œHopefully, weâ€™ll have the squad to do it. â€œWe have no distractions of Europe this year, so it means we can go all guns blazing in the Carling and FA Cups. â€œAnd for me they are the shortest route to European qualification. If you win the Carling Cup, you are in Europe.
â€œOf course we want to finish as high as we can, but to get a cup means a UEFA Cup place, which is very important here. In years gone by people have dismissed the Carling Cup too easily. â€œI have been accused of that in the past at Bolton â€“ but my agenda at Bolton was different to here. â€œI had to keep Bolton in the Premier League and doing what the board of directors instruct you to do is the most important thing.
â€œPriorities have to come into play. â€œIf you have a small squad that you know will find life difficult in the Premiership, then you can ill afford to go into the cups with all guns blazing.â€
Certainly it’s a good point Sam makes a point in saying our non-qualification for Europe this year is an advantage. As well as being positive he’s right – because we will have a lot fewer games and can really concentrate on progressing as far as possible in the two cups we will enter. We’ll also be able to concentrate on the league games – and hopefully finish at least in the top eight this season – top six would be an excellent first season for Sam.
Sam went on:
â€œI would like to win something because I know how much it would mean to the United fans. â€œI know how long it has been since they won anything, and I am exactly the same.
â€œI came into the game in 1969 and never won a major trophy as a player or up until now as a manager. â€œBut I would love to do that as soon as possible.â€
Sam has had some success in the cup when he took unfashionable Bolton to the Carling Cup in Cardiff – when they lost 2-1 to Middlesbrough in the 2004 final. He has also twice steered the Lancashire club into European competition.
Reflecting on losing out in the last game of the Carling Cup in 2004 Sam said:
â€œIt was one of the worst days of my life. It was the best chance of winning a trophy for any club in a final when you look at the way the teams were balanced. â€œIt was a great experience getting there, but the only thing I really enjoyed was having my grandson as mascot.
â€œThe experience of losing in a final was bad, but going to the final is something I would like to do again â€“ and this time make sure we win it.
â€œAt Bolton somewhere along the line there had to be a sacrificial lamb, and that was the early stages of the cups. â€œNow because of the emergence of Chelsea, it has rekindled the interest of the Carling Cup. â€œEveryone wants to win it, but most people want to stay in the Premiership.â€
Sam doesn’t have that problem at Newcastle – since the club wants to win a trophy – any trophy – as soon as possible. Newcastle have not won any home trophy since the dizzy days of the 1950s when we won the FA Cup three times in five years – 1951 (beat Blackpool – with Stanley Matthews 2-0), 1952 (beat Arsenal 1-0) and 1955 (beat Manchester City with Don Revie 3-1).
A Carling Cup victory next year would do us very nicely – and put Sam forever in the annals of Newcastle United forever – as the man who brought a trophy to Newcastle after almost a 40 year drought.
We hope it’s the first of many – go for it Sam!