There’s an excellent interview that Big Sam has given to the Daily Mail today and for an admitted pessimist, Allardyce comes across as extremely positive.
This is unusual for a manager at this stage of the season, where they usually like to keep expectations low, but we think Sam and the Newcastle management have done so well in the summer transfer market, they are delighted with the squad they have assembled.
It has great experience and great skill and most of the buys were a steal.
Sam Allardyce – flashing his secret sign to the players, we’re number 1
Add to that the sparkling form of some of the players like Michael Owen. Oba Martins. Charles N’Zogbia, David Rozehnal, Claudio Cacapa and James Milner and you have to start thinking a little bit on the positive side.
Maybe it’s the never-ending support and eternal optimism of Newcastle’s fans that’s slowly leaking through to Sam
But whatever it is, take a look at Sam’s comments, we think you’ll be surprised at just how positive Sam comes across.
Sam told the Daily mail today:
“I am not saying it (the squad) is good enough to break into the top four because we are all new and we are only just coming together.â€ But if it realizes its potential as quickly as it can, then we could go a long way this year – if we steer clear of injuries.â€
“At the moment, we are not fully aware of all our strengths and weaknesses, and we are also short with long-term injuries to Celestine Babayaro, Damien Duff, Joey Barton, Stephen Carr and Peter Ramage.â€
“Emre rang in saying he got injured playing international football again, so that’s disappointing having only had him fit for one game. That’s a massive blow for us and for him.â€
“But the squad is looking good and looking sharp. It just needs to gel together in terms of knowing our strengths and weaknesses, and hopefully we will get better and better.â€
“If we can do that, hopefully results will follow if we keep this clean sheet mentality and a Michael Owen or an Obafemi Martins or a Mark Viduka stays in the goalscoring mood they are in.â€
“It could be very, very good for us over the next few weeks and months.”
Allardyce’s optimism has certainly spread throughout the club and there is great anticipation from the Newcastle fans. This came to a crescendo on Wednesday evening when they saw one of their best players, Michael Owen, put in a terrific performance for England, which was all over the papers the following day. To be fair, Michael looked world-class for England, after almost 2 years out with horrific injuries.
The capture of Mark Viduka, David Rozehnal, Barton, Geremi, Alan Smith, Jose Enrique, Claudio Cacapa, Habib Beye and Abdoulaye Faye by Newcastle for Â£25M, and the departures of Scott Parker, Kieron Dyer, Nobby Solano, Titus Bramble, Antoine Sibierski and Albert Luque for Â£15M make the new squad’s net cost a mere Â£10M. That’s good business by anyone’s standards.
Yet it is the biggest overhaul of Newcastle’s team in many years and it all happened within the first 3 months of Sam being at the club. Many fans believe Sam did more good work at Newcastle in 3 months than the previous two managers combined achieved over the last 3 years. And of course you can never accuse Sam of not being an extremely hard worker, completely dedicated to his job.
“On reflection, the work we did in the transfer market, me and the chairman with Russell, we did exceptionally well.â€ “I thank them all for that and all the hard work that’s gone on behind the scenes, and the tough negotiations that had to be handled over the last few months.â€
“Finally at the end, we have come out with a squad that is definitely a lot better in strength and depth and quality than last season’s.â€
“We have done that with very, very good budgeting as well. The value of the players we have picked up is extremely good compared to all the money that has been spent elsewhere.â€ “We have got real value for money, and I hope the lads go on and prove that this year.â€
“We have got off to a very good start with a new set of players, with a new manager and a new set of staff, and going undefeated at this stage is very, very good.â€
“That comes from all the hard work behind the scenes, not just with the staff and the players, but also with the chairman and the staff on the other side at the stadium.”
Very good points as usual from Big Sam. Of course we’ll have to keep our feet firmly on the ground but it is definitely exciting when there are so many good players that still have to play for the club. First things first – we need 3 points at Derby County on Monday evening and that will not be as easy as it looks on paper. But that’s the next and only goal right now.