Sam talked to the Sunday Times last weekend on a number of things to do with football.
Two of these items were Newcastle’s Youth players, who he said were not good enough and British footballers, who were way too expensive.
We agree with the latter statements but not with the statements on our youth players at Newcastle. Let’s take a look at what Sam said.
Newcastle Manager Sam Allardyce – his standards are sky high
Sam told the Sunday Times:
â€œOur academy here just let the whole of their final year go without signing even one of them as a professional,â€
â€œIt means the young boys weâ€™ve been getting arenâ€™t good enough, and obviously thatâ€™s a concern.â€
â€œWe have to do better in terms of development.â€
â€œIâ€™m concentrating on the first team at the moment, because that has to be my priority, but in the near future weâ€™ll have to look at the kidsâ€™ set-up.â€
We’ve noticed that too, that when our young players get to 21 years-old most are let go. But there’s still good stuff going on with our youngsters since they have made the semi-finals of the Youth Cup these last two years. We do agree that if we can do better then great – so be it – and we’re pleased to see Sam so interested in the youth policy at Newcastle. But players like Edgar, Huntington, Ramage, Carroll and Taylor have come through the youth ranks of late, so it’s not that bad.
And last January they all performed valiantly for the first team and remember it wasn’t until the first-teamers came back that the slide really started.Â Sam then went on to talk about the cost of British players and we’re right with him on this one.
â€œThereâ€™s such a shortage of experienced Premier League players available that we are getting Darren Bent, with just over two years at top level behind him, going for Â£16m.â€
â€œI wouldnâ€™t say Bent is the proven article yet, but he cost Tottenham Â£16.5M.â€
â€œCompare that with ArsÃ¨ne Wenger getting [Eduardo] Da Silva, a proven international striker, for Â£8m and probably half Bentâ€™s wages, and youâ€™ll see why good judges buy abroad.â€
â€œIt has become a worldwide search. In my playing days, clubs could look around at home and come up with a top centre-forward, like [Paul] Mariner, [Joe] Royle or [Malcolm] Macdonald.â€
â€œWhat have we got on offer in Britain now? [Peter] Crouch, [Kevin] Davies and [Shola] Ameobi. Enough said.â€
Did he just criticize Shola Ameobi and Kevin Davies, two of his players? Anyway, we agree completely â€“ why pay ridiculous prices and wages for British players when Sam knows of these players just as good if not better – he can get for much smaller fees and less wages. That’s one thing we love about Sam â€“ he’s already picked up 7 bargains for the club and that’s just a start. We really hope he can get at least 3 more in (more if we let players go) before the end of August, to ensure our squad is big enough. We look forward to him continuing to spend Ashley’s money wisely and bringing in great players for the club. Long may it continue.
Comments on Sam’s views are very welcome.