Allardyce’s Frustration at Newcastle Transfer Situation

Sam Allardyce has talked at length with Luke Edwards of the Journal about the transfer situation at Newcastle.

Sam seems frustrated on a number of issues from the new board not moving fast enough, to having already missed out on a number of his targets.

Another issue concerning Sam is the reduction in talent available on the transfer market – as good players are being snapped up.

One reason Sam states players will not move to the club is that we cannot offer them European football next season.

Let’s take a look at what Sam said to the Journal today.


Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce talked at length about the transfer situation at Newcastle United last night to Luke Edwards of the Journal:

“Like every manager at this stage, every day changes,” “You’re like a yo-yo. It’s a very emotional period. Just when you think you’re getting somewhere and you’re really up-beat, a crushing blow hits you that you didn’t expect.” “It’s like what happened to Joey Barton on Saturday. Now Kieron Dyer.”

“The changeover has been the biggest problem we’ve had, of course. I understand that, because you’ve got to find everything out about the new business, but you can get frustrated because it moves slower than you’d like.”

“I can’t move any quicker than I am doing, but there’s lots of players we’ve targeted and spoken to that have now been taken by other clubs, so the pot of high quality has reduced.” “There are no longer other options with the same quality available.”

” It’s going to be more expensive to fill that void now.”

Chris Mort – the newly appointed Newcastle Chairman – who now works day to day with Sam but still has a lot to learn about football matters – vowed yesterday that more players will be signed, albeit with some conditions applied.

Chris Mort said:

“We have said throughout that the squad needs to be strengthened, particularly in defense,” “We will not be throwing silly amounts of money around, but Sam and I are definitely in agreement that we need more signings.”

Not sure if that’s good or bad but of course it depends what silly means – since it’s clear that we cannot keep picking up good players for £2M or £3M. Also the longer the transfer window goes on the more it will cost for good players – because of supply and demand forces.

Sam went on:

“We are in the situation that I’m confident I’ll get the number of players we need, but I’m not sure about the quality,”

“I’ve been pessimistic all my life, because I was a defender, I’m full of pessimism, because one slip and it’s your fault.” “That’s how I was brought up.” “It’s a very emotional period for a manager.

“There is the possibility that you will secure one of the 10 or 15 players you have pursued in the last two weeks and you don’t manage to get a single one of them.” “The emotion is huge for a manager. You can only do what you can do. You get anxious about it and you worry about it, but I’m only a human being trying to do my best to improve the team.”

“If it doesn’t work and it falls through for whatever reason and you can’t salvage it, if they go somewhere else, you have to put it to bed and try and get on with the next one.” “They are at clubs who may not particularly want to sell and they have longer contracts. At the moment, it’s a seller’s market, not a buyer’s.”

Sam is being brutally honest as usual – but it looks like his transfer dealings are definitely being adversely affected by not being able to offer European football to top players at Newcastle. It may be that to bring in the class we need – we may have to wait until next summer when hopefully we can offer top players European football and Newcastle will sufficiently have raised their image to be more attractive to top players.

Sam went on:

“The level of player we have pitched for, the only thing they don’t come for, is because we cannot give them European football,” “High quality players that are available will go to another club that is competing in the Champions League or the UEFA Cup.”

“I was good at signing players at Bolton, but the market forces have changed.” “We were able to get players who weren’t on the schedule of other clubs and whose clubs wanted to discard them. Clubs had squads of 45 senior players and they couldn’t sustain them, we were able to take advantage of that at Bolton.”

“That isn’t the case this summer. A £1M player five years ago is now £5m and that’s the level of inflation we’re living with.” “Trying to get to where you want to get can be a little bit difficult sometimes.”

“It’s Chris Mort I deal with now in the main, but he hasn’t had that much experience in football terms, so one would hope that now we’ll get even quicker.”

It’s obvious Sam is frustrated but things are not as bad as they appear. After all we have some good youngsters already at the club who will only get better after their experiences last season. The second thing is that we still have 5 weeks left in the transfer market and we’d much rather hear Sam vent his frustrations now than on September 1st – when there’s nothing we can do about it (which happened last season).

This is Sam getting used to the pressures and expectations at a forward-looking club like Newcastle United – and he’s obviously aware of the fan’s growing frustrations. Hopefully Sam will get used to these pressures quickly.

But we really need to press on in the transfer market – good players are still available.

Comments welcome.

74 comments so far

  • Kash

    Jul 26, 2007 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #1

    Riquelme £3m, Emerson £1m, Campbell £1m, Barzagli £11m, Lahm £9m and Shorey £6m! £31m in total and defence and midfield is top notch for at least 2 seasons! What more do you want???????

  • Toon Exile

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #2

    Ed, close yer tags on the front page, its a pain in the arse to read all in bold

  • sam gardner

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #3

    that would be nice 31m howay big sam you can do it

  • steve

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #4

    what exactly is the transfer policy of this regime? are they willing to splash the big money or are they nursing their investment? they should be some concern about how much the board is willing to invest in players.

    while none of us want a return to the silly money spent on players in the past the truth is the sides we should be looking to catch in the medium term – spurs, liverpool and arsenal – are spending vastly more than us. not to mention villa, portsmouth and west ham into the bargain. we need to spend whopping amounts of cash this summer on strong talent in order to keep up. that’s the reality.

  • paul p

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #5

    is anyone starting to really really really worry now that bsa has come out with this. riquelme, emerson, campbell, upson, shorey, diego, wright phillips. now that would be alot better than what we have. although ad like lahm as well, but he and barzagli wont be signing for us.

  • The Big P

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #6

    The longer we wait the higher the prices …………..

  • bottlodog

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #7

    Once again hope and optomism is rapidly turning to despair – unfortunately our lack of transfer activity looks strangely familiar – no matter how many players we put forward on various blogs – the depressing fact is we just aren’t an attractive proposition for any of our targets.
    Sadly this has been confirmed by BSA in the Journal this morning – Of all the targets recently identified, he has been unable to persuade any of them to come and join us. This is a man with almost legendary powers of persuasion!!!
    Lack of European football has been cited in most cases but the reality is with the present squad, we’re highly unlikley to achieve qualification in the coming season.
    I can’t help it ,but this is really getting me down especially with the manager so downbeat too!
    Come on Mr Ashley cough up the big bucks and rekindle some hope cos I can’t face sitting thru’ another season like the last one

  • Steely

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #8

    This whole situation is giving me flashbacks of last pre-seaason all over again – Freddy and GR promising “3 or 4 new arrivals” then all of a sudden it turned to “2 or 3” and then it was “we’re trying our best to get 1 big player in” and then we ended up with sodding Olivier Bernard!! I heard BSA comment only a couple of weeks ago that he would definitely get another “3 or 4″ and now he says he will def get one player! Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!!! It makes you want to pull your hair out! Why say things like that and get the fans hopes up, to then f*ck it all up when you realise you cant attract the players!

    There are loads of other great players out there (see Dyer’s Newcastle Future In The Balance” article on this site and someone has listed all the players still available who are great! All it takes it someone (Mort!) to say “Right. We are so short of players, we are going to have to bite the bullet and pay over the odds for the transfer fee and wages to make sure we have a big enough squad for the season”. I for one will be seriously p!ssed off if we start this season with a threadbare squad again after all the hype that has been pushed down to the fans by the new owner and chairman!!

  • Craig

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #9

    Ashley needs to pull his finger out and splash the cash as promised. As for Mort, he has no experience in running a football club, therefore, should have never been put in such a difficult position in the first place.

  • Josh

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #10

    I Agree with you Paul,

    I Haven’t REALLY seen any huge players taken from our rivals clubs who i think Newcastle should Have, apart from Ben Haim. There seem to be plenty out there just NOT with PL Experience but i say get out that Cheque book and sign 4 QUALITY Players!

  • Steely

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #11

    And what about this whole dream which was portrayed to us when the takeover had just started that Mike Ashley wanted us to be challenging for the title and the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE within 3-5 years!! If this is the case, does he honestly think that he has time to hope we qualify for UEFA Cup next season before being able to draw the big players in! For God’s sake, just take the hit this season and splash the extra cash needed to attract bigger players and then worry about using the European draw after that!

  • bottlodog

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #12

    The money isn’t the problem – NUFC might be the biggest thing in our minds but to most of our targets it’s an underachieving club in a small, isolated, rainy city somewhere between England and Scotland – that’s the percieved reality we have to overcome.
    We’re often portrayed as this Massive club but unfortunately that’s largely in our own minds, in reality we’re percieved as a bit of a laughing stock. Until those perceptions are overcome,we all get a grip on reality and lower our expectations
    that’s what we will remain

  • paul p

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #13

    we wont be challenging for the champions league or uefa cup or any trophey with this current squad. the only thing we will be doing is battling against relegation. if it was’nt for martins and dyers goals last year, we would have gone down… no joke. facts and records are there!! now this proves to me our squad is shhte and we need not just 4 or 5 new players… we need 10 or 11. we got 4 in, but got rid of 6, so we are worse off than we have ever been before.

  • Hammy

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #14

    Hey Sam,
    Forget the board, just do what I do at work…..get what you need and claim your money back out of petty cash at the end of the week…you may need to find a bigger tin though.

  • Kash

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #15

    Bottlodog – You’re full of shit!

  • Bosck

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #16

    Steely – we may all be frustrated but lets not start making things up, nowhere does allardyce mention only getting one player, in fact he is quoted saying the opposite:

    “We are in the situation that I’m confident I’ll get the number of players we need, but I’m not sure about the quality”

    Nothing about only getting one player in just that he knows he can get plenty in but just concerned about their suitability.

    as for people suggesting SWP we dont need another right winger or striker which are basically his two positions, we need to buy positions not names. ALready we have geremi, solano, milner, and troisi or duff if needed to play right midfield. adding swp for the price quoted would be irrational and unnecessary.

    We are all concerned about who will come in/leave, but attacking the new manager/new board is not gonna get us anywhere. And for all those who would be happy to pay way over the odds for players we have done that for 10 years spent £250m and got nothing from it, so personally i would rather be a few short for now then have players with overinflated prices, overinflated egos and without the ability to match it. Remind you of any recent teams?!?

  • Kash

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #17

    West Ham are just throwing money at players, if they don’t have a fruitful season then they’re f*&^%d!

  • Kash

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #18

    And the reason why we are classed as a big club, is because we have the infrastructure of a big club. Yes, Newcastle is not well known compared to London, but we don’t want players coming to Newcastle who are after a high profile lifestyle. We want players who are here for the football. That is what Newcastle provides, the means to prolong and improve a footballers career. Thats what BSA will be telling players, if they don’t come then screw them.

  • Dave

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #19

    bosck – I agree.

    We need (if there’s any left in the tank) patience. A few good solid want to players is a damn site better than one flashy, play when he wants to, money grabber.

    We need European football to get the Great players to Want to come to Toon and this I beleive Sam can deliver. It might not be this season but I for one don’t mind. The mentality of the club seems to have chaned to a much more pragmatic and realistic one. Sam’s no mug and Ashley/Mort combo won’t let the club fail due to lack of money.

    A nice steady investment that if cared for will bare increasing amounts of fruit over the next few years. (sorry for the weird fruit based analogy :-))

  • Steely

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #20

    Bosck, I quote Sam Allardyce “But in saying all that, I want a top, experienced defender to come in – and if not one, perhaps two or it might even be three” – a markably different stance from a couple of weeks ago when he said that he would definitely get four more defenders in. I hesitate to remind everyone about Mort stating that a huge player would be arriving before the season ends (remind you of FFS quotes from last season?)…time still to go on this, but from what Allardyce is now saying I doubt this is the case!
    Also, the list I mentioned from another article did mention SWP – I completely agree with you that we dont need him or anyone else in that position – I was trying to highlight the list in general – there are players in there who we really could do with now. And with Dyer looking like he’s upping sticks, and with Emre possibly injured it looks like another midfielder might be on the menu too…not nearly as desperate for one as a bloody left back though!!
    Finally, I’m not attacking the board – I’m merely pointing out that they’re already starting to make mistakes which the previous gaggle made (saying players are coming in when it isn’t perhaps the case! Do you see Curbishley out there saying he will get X amount of players in? No. He just gets on with it, and WHU fans must be relishing it! I really hope we have the right people in the right places now, and I dont agree that we can afford to steer away from overinflated prices right now (see Paul P’s comment above…4 in, but 6 out…and we all thought the squad was thin on the ground last season! We’re statistically 2 down already (although I dont really count Bernard as a loss), and we are going to have to get players in to cover those gaps!!

  • bottlodog

    Jul 26, 2007 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #21

    sorry mate – full of shit???? just an honest appraisal from a born and bred Geordie and life long Toon supporter
    Like it or not( and I don’t) that’s how the rest of the country sees us
    Like I’ve said the sooner we all get a grip on reality the better for all of us
    None of the the players you mention will want to join us

  • valle

    Jul 26, 2007 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #22


    Stange i have never seen u on here before, yet in ur first post u degrade ur own club?… Could u be Spur in disguise…

    Anyway, i remember something about spending 250mil over 3 years to make us into EPL winners and laet on Champ League winners. Now that the deal is done, things have changed, havnt they?… We have spent a net of 1.5min and Mort is sitting so tight on MA’s purse that Big Sam has to go to the media to highlight the problem. I dont agree that we shouldnt pay silly money… Hell spend those 50mil and give the clubs an ekstra mil just to make sure they accept, as long as its the right players we buy who can take us forward. Besides giving us a better team, it will also lift the fans, the players and make everyone sit up and take notice of us.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 26, 2007 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #23

    Toon Exile – done it – sorry about that.

  • Steely

    Jul 26, 2007 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #24

    Valle, I agree with you totally!! Spending that extra bit of cash on a player doesnt automatically turn them into a Boumsong or a Marcelino! If BSA is as good as everyone says he is then he will be able to distinguish the wheat from the chaff. And if it means spending an extra mil on that one (or two) bits of wheat and adding an extra £5k onto a weekly wage then do it!
    It’s never been officially quoted, but I think even without the takeover happening, we should at least have expected a £20m kitty following the new TV deal this year! Now that the club is in new hands with such an ambitious owner then that figure must have increased! I repeat your question valle,

    Why does it take BSA to go to the media to highlight the funding issue!?

  • Kash

    Jul 26, 2007 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #25

    Bottlodog, i’m a born, bred, well travelled and educated geordie (did i mention handsome and wealthy). From a business and footballing point of view I know that Newcastle is capable of competing in the top 4 due to the INFRASTRUCTURE in place. Now i’ve seen what the London clubs have to offer and only Arsenal and Chelsea are similar in that sense to us. Spurs and West Ham have a lot of catching up to do in facilities. Yes, we don’t offer European football, but neither do West Ham. West Ham are attracting players who are not going there football reasons (Dyer, Bellamy, Boa Morte, Faubert, Neill). Spurs on the other hand are picking young ambitious players, different strategy completely. However, Newcastle have enough pulling power to bring in established players to make an immediate impact so they can challenge further on 4 fronts next season.

    All those agree say “Aye”

  • bhha

    Jul 26, 2007 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #26

    dammit! BSA has been in charge for 2 months now and we’re still in 14th! Get him outta here!

    On a more serious side, from what you’ve all said i guess the logical choice would be c.davies? but i dont rate him and i think he’d just prove to be another captain calamity, but he’s the highest quality CB in a lower/lesser league? But for an experienced head with EPL experience i can only think of Big Sol, Hyppia and Jaap Stam? Dont think any of them will cut it anymore or join. I’ve no idea with regards to left backs as i think baines is pants and shorey/bridge/riise won’t join. The entire league is looking for left backs. We could perhaps lay out the red carpet for chiellini and hope he joins.

  • Gavin

    Jul 26, 2007 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #27

    Forget signing players with EPL experience, becasue that appears to be a dead end. Just sign quality players from the different leagues around the world. We managed to attract Rozehnal fine, why not others.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 26, 2007 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #28

    We have to take this in stages and be realistic. We cannot sign world class players immediately and expect everybody wants to come to Newcastle – which is a remote place in England – to a lot of people. But we can get a better squad than last year – and have a solid season and qualify for Europe next season. Then we’ll be in a better position to attract players. We should try to buy players in both windows – so what Sam has at end of August is good until Jan – when we can strengthen again if the right players are available. But we’ll have to take it in stages.
    Nothing wrong with that – we are probably too negative on all of this. Sam can build a strong team – don’t worry about that – he’s just frustrated – like the rest of us. But let’s be up beat – good times are coming – we can feel it in the air. 😀

  • bottlodog

    Jul 26, 2007 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #29

    No Valle not my first post not a spur in disguise and I’m not denegrating our club I think it’s the greatest in the world!!!!! My point was about the perception of others looking in and how that affects players’ decisions about joining us – I’m the proudest Geordie you’re ever likely to meet
    I was at St James in 1969 sat on the wall behind the Gallowgate goal watching our team win 3-0 on their way to winning our last meaningful trophy – I don’t want to wait another 28 years to see it happen again.
    If Chelski could buy almost instant success why can’t we – largely because of the way we are PERCEIVED outside of our region

  • Dave

    Jul 26, 2007 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #30

    bhha – 🙂 yeh man lets get rid. Mind you we’re above the Mackams.

    Ed – Good times are coming I agree – a definate shift in the right direction

  • Steely

    Jul 26, 2007 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #31

    bhha, I think you’re right – how good would it be to get that big strong player with EPL experience into the squad (Campbell, Hyppia etc). However, as Gavin says I think it’s a real dead end. All those linked with us are either not superb, or simply will not move/be sold.
    Regarding the LB position, ANYTHING would do at the minute!!! With only Baba as an established LB – that leaves us in a very dangerous situation due to his fitness and general crap skills! Who knows, Zog might shine there, but we cant risk depending on him!

    We need numbers at the moment – preferably some mega-talented world class players, but as none seem to want to come and sample sunny Newcastle then we might have to deal with players of a lesser talent until we can attract better players!!

  • Kash

    Jul 26, 2007 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #32

    Big Sol I reckon is on his way to us. He said:
    “A new training ground and stadium is a big thing, even if it’s not for us now, but for the future of the club. Those things really mean a lot to me and any top player coming into a club. At top-level clubs these things need to be there, it doesn’t matter where you are.”

    We can offer him that and more!

  • roscoe

    Jul 26, 2007 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #33

    baines wants to leave wigan and turned down the mackems already so why dont we really put in a serious offer even if it is slightly inflated! he’s quality! might not be perfect for sams plans but he’s quality enough!! then quedrue also wants to leave and looks like he’s keen on the toon, he’ll be perfect cover for baines! there LB sorted!

    Get one more CB from another league does’nt really matter who, round 3/4mil.

    Defence sorted!

    That’ll do till january when we’re sitting 3rd in the league and can sign one or two bigger names and maybe edmilson!

    WOW wasn’t that difficult!!! COME ON BSA!!!! PLEASE!!!

  • apan

    Jul 26, 2007 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #34

    come on chris mort high hopes for u, BSA knows what his doin just give him the funds and backing dont ask many ques we are running out of time!

    get at least 3-4 defenders and 1 midfield

    def – riise,shorey, davies, ferdinand, glen johnson, justin hoyte, zaccardo, barzagli, collocini, matthew upson?

    mid -deco, baptista, gudjohnsen, and haha mido?

  • malaysian youngster

    Jul 26, 2007 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #35

    i hate MA and CM forever if we failed to shine this season. feel pity for big so much hardwork but cant get the support.until now we only spend a few millions. look at how man city get blanchi and west ham all the smaller clubs are spending so much this season and get alot decent players.just hope our current squad can be fighter for us. get their mentality right.i dont bother of many signing cuz in my opinion we failed last season is cuz of the mentality of the players i cant see them battling other than butt , martin, taylor.

  • bottlodog

    Jul 26, 2007 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #36

    Aye,Kash, up to a point. so why, when you say we can attract the right players, won’t they come ( BSAs comment – not mine )
    The whole MA bubble could easily go ‘pop’ on the first day of the season – why? because collectively we (the ‘Toon Army’) ran out of patience 2 seasons ago. We all keep saying “it’ll take time” but it’s difficult cos we all want it NOW. I want to stick 2 fingers up at the National ( london) Media and prove that we are a major force in Europeazn football but I want it yesterday

  • Rich

    Jul 26, 2007 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #37

    Chris Mort’s comment –

    ‘We wonmt be throwing silly money around’

    this concerns me slightly, if he means we wont be spending 15 million on Curtis Davies then i agree, but if he think he can get NUFC back to their best without having to pay extra to beat other clubs who are spend happy like the Hammers & Man City then that does concern me.

    i hope this comment didnt mean we are just going to concentrate on

  • Dave

    Jul 26, 2007 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #38

    roscoe – I read somewhere that Baines wants to move South rather than North, hence turning down the mackems. Something to do with family (hmmm) .

    I’d agree though, a timely and sizable bid, the chance to work with BSA and with a decent wage on top might capture him. I’d certainly feel alot better if he was on the books.

    What £ did Sunderland bid? I wonder if he was the mystery NUFC rejector?

  • Bosck

    Jul 26, 2007 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #39

    Steely i understand what you were saying now but i’d still take that comment to mean that he wants one top premiership experienced defender minimum to come in and then a couple other potentially less experienced players as well. but is just saying would be good to get more than 1 experienced player in.

    As for the SWP comment wasnt aimed at your post more at the people who seem to think swp would be our saviour in a position where we have as much cover, and possibly more potential, despite the fact that he has achieved as little/less than dyer and seems happy to get rich sitting on the bench at chelsea.

    Looking at current top premiership defenders that i feel are at the level we need it could be a big ask tho, realistically options would seem to be: hunt, knight, hyppia, riise, brown, O’shea, arca(at a push), campbell, Shorey, baines

    Seriously unlikely would be: upson, dawson, heinze, yobo

  • apan

    Jul 26, 2007 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #40


    Sol Campbell says Portsmouth will not be his last club amid reported interest from Villarreal.



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