LMA’s Barnwell Defends Big Sam

League Managers’ Association chief executive John Barnwell has come to the rescue of embattled Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce.

John says that suggestions that Sam is already under pressure are insane since Big Sam has been in charge at Newcastle for just 12 league games and Newcastle have 18 points. That’s not a great total but not bad either.


Sam Allardyce – already under pressure on Tyneside

It’s really just the last 3 games where Newcastle have greatly underachieved taking just one point from the away trips to Reading and Sunderland and the home game against Portsmouth.

John Barnwell said today:

“To talk about Sam Allardyce being under pressure is ludicrous,”

“We live in a world of immediacy. Things have to be instant. Everybody wants things immediately in football. They want results yesterday.”

Barnwell of course is a local Newcastle boy who played for Bishop Auckland, before moving to Arsenal, then Nottingham Forest in his playing days.  He attended the now defunct Middle Street School. Even before the derby game on Saturday Chris Mort was forced to deny outright that Newcastle were interested in bringing in Mark Hughes from Blackburn. Wonder who made that one up?

As we’ve already said on this site, Big Sam needs time and he will get it with the current chairman and owner. Barnwell also insists Allardyce has to be given time to lay the foundations for lasting success at the Tyneside club as he continued:

“Every manager is under pressure to win games but being under pressure to win games is different from being under pressure to keep your job

“I just find anything even remotely suggesting Sam Allardyce could lose his job bordering on the insane, absolutely insane.”

“His chairman should not have to come out and back him.”

What John says is true but it’s not going to change. With so much money being poured into the game from TV rights and the like, the pressure on managers will only increase, not decrease. The managers are now also getting huge wages, with Sam reportedly on around £3M per year, so it’s not too surprising that big things are expected. When you get big wages for a big job, you have to produce big results. While that’s unfortunate for football, it’s a fact of life these days. Whether that’s good for the game overall, is another matter.

Comments very welcome.

16 comments so far

  • adam

    Nov 14, 2007 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #1

    im actually happy the League Managers Association is doing its job and backing the managers. im all for giving the right manager time to build. personally i think when england fail to qualify for euro2008 and WHEN mcclaren gets sacked, big sam will be asked to replace him.

  • wsq

    Nov 14, 2007 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #2

    what is all this talk about sacking.. just pressure him to change his tactics! im advocating positive tactics, better passing, better football, better possesion, 100% commitment, better defending!

  • Jerry

    Nov 14, 2007 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #3

    wsq – Allardyce knows aonly one way – and that way is route one football! You cant teach a fish to live on land my friend.

  • wsq

    Nov 14, 2007 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #4

    or a crab to walk straight

  • JJ

    Nov 14, 2007 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #5

    I have to say, as optimistic as I was when Sam took over, and i dont want the repetition of another manager getting the sack, he really has done nothing for me at Newcastle.
    He has got rid of dead would and bring in some talented players, but he just isnt getting those players to perform.
    It seems to me he still doesnt know who his best eleven are, and he certainly doenst play the players in their best positions. There has been no consistantsy.
    Milner, a right wing plays left wing, Zogbia, a left wing plays left back, Taylor a centre back plays right back, Smith a forward plays in midfield, Emre a centre mid plays on left wing. The players really dont know there roles.
    Owen hasnt scored on 6 games and offers nothing in the way of hold up play or creativity yet always gets selected above Martins. Barton walks straight into the team without having to fight for his place.
    We go to weak sides and look for a point away from home which is ridiculous considering the talent we have to attack and break their defenses down.
    We were out played by Derby, Sunderland, Reading all of whom are relegation candidates.
    We were lucky to beat Villa, and have been thumped by Portsmouth at home.
    I know I sound negative, but I fail to see many positives from the season so far.
    We are playing a negative, clueless brand of football and even though Bramble has left our new “top class experienced” defence seem to take turns each week to make a horrendous bugger up.
    I sincerely hope Sam can prove me wrong but I am quickly rueing the fact that we didnt get Sven in when we had the chance. What spectacular football they are playing, look good even when they loose.
    I began supporting Newcastle in South Africa because they were just such a good side to watch, however now all I do is sit and curse at how clueless the players look on the field.
    We have three very difficult fixtures coming up and I cant see us getting more than a point form the three games combined. If thats the case we will have 18 points from 15 games and will be lying in 15th place or lower.
    Hope to here everyone elses views but I certainly hope Sam proves me wrong.

  • wsq

    Nov 14, 2007 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #6

    well we’re not doing that properly even..ok better route 1 football then. jeez

  • JJ

    Nov 14, 2007 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #7

    “dead would and bring in some talented players”…. jeez, look what my depressed state has done to my English ; ).

  • wsq

    Nov 14, 2007 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #8

    JJ.. i do the same thing –> however now all I do is sit and curse at how clueless the players look on the field..

    my doctor says i need anti-depressants. i don’t drink.

  • adam

    Nov 14, 2007 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #9

    jj at least south africa won the rugby! i think any normal manager that thinks straight wouldve got rid of those useless muppets like bramble etc. the best managers around seem to be the best at identifying the true class players around. example – sir alex getting vidic for 7m, compared with souness who got boumsong for 8m. i could go on and on about other transfers.
    i think i need anti depressants too wsq, or maybe i should form a newcastle talk group where we all come and share our stories, like alcohol anonymous.

  • Jerry

    Nov 14, 2007 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #10

    JJ we didnt beat Villa, we drew.

  • Leo

    Nov 14, 2007 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #11

    its the LMA’s job to stick up for managers, but what happens if england come a calling after sacking mclowen? we loose out again. although guus hiddink would be ideal haha, joking.

    we need consistency keep alardyce for atleast two seasons

  • Hadrain

    Nov 14, 2007 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #12

    defends him to who and from who? defends him to the media from the media ?
    lets face it , geordies moans and groans have been turned into sack sam by the media .
    sick and tiered of hearing this week of what a bunch of idiots geordies are and were pathetic for wanting to sack sam .
    we are all being stitched up and im sick of bloody hearing about it now , its time for us to turn the tables ,
    more stories about the nonsense from the media please ED , and less about sacking sam

  • Bill F

    Nov 14, 2007 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #13

    Blimey JJ you’re William Shakespeare compared to some of us. 🙂

  • wsq

    Nov 14, 2007 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #14

    “It was a little bit disappointing. We did not start playing until we went a goal behind, so it is important we start playing when we are 0-0 or 1-0 up.

    “We seem to concede and then have a lot of work to do, and you cannot keep doing that in the Premier League, you cannot keep conceding and getting away with it.

    “We have been lucky up to now, but that has to stop.

    “You cannot really put your finger on why. Everyone is soul-searching to try to find out.

    “With all due respect to Sunderland, when you look at the two team sheets, we should be blowing them out of the water.

    “For some reason, that is not happening at the minute. But everyone is looking at themselves and at what they can add to it and hopefully, it starts happening sooner rather than later.”

    While Barton’s tackle drew plenty of negative press, Sunderland boss Roy Keane has no problem with the player.



  • Bryan

    Nov 14, 2007 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #15

    JJ – Fantastic piece. I could not have said it any better. Sam needs to wake up and smell the coffee if he thinks that we the fans want to see this dreadful dull long ball game played by, on paper, very good players. The players are not to blame but the coach for his lack of inventive tactics and team selections.
    We are really going to struggle this season playing the way we are. These tactics may have worked at little old Bolton where most of the players were second rate and the club obviously over achieved. Not at NUFC. We want to see skill, commitment, passion, movement, one touch football. Then if we lose so what. Arsenal have proved that football is a very simple game. Collect the ball, pass to one of your players, move into a postition to receive the return ball or make space for someone else to move into. All at a quick pace and most importantly, on the grass not in the air. All of that comes from the coach. Simple. When was the last time we did those things in a game?
    As Sam says ” The buck stops with him”. He said that after the Reading game and since then we have lost 4-1 at home to Portsmouth and just managed to draw at Sunderland playing as bad in both games as we did at Reading.
    Come on Sam, us fans up here know our football, give us what we want and we will be 100% behind you win, lose or draw. Otherwise the only way you will be watching Newcastle play will be like M.A. on Saturday, from the stands.

  • toonbully

    Nov 14, 2007 at 9:57 PM

    Comment #16

    Can’t agree more with jj ‘s piece . It’s not being a pesimist , it’s what I call after 38 years of hurt , REALISM . We have to be realists at Nufc , because we have literally seen it all before !
    Sam has to act fast to save a season from spriralling , I don’t want him to go , I hate managers being sacked as in the bad old Shepherd days , However he does not have much time , everyone knows if Toon are in the bottom six and struggling in march then the chopping block may well be wheeled oot !

    And Adam’s comments also are spot on , any manager that is creative in bringing the likes of Senderos or Fabregas as young fledglings to NUFC would have been knighted by the Toon Mayor beside Grey Statue ! It makes sense that we need a strong Scouting squad , why have they scouted so much dross in the past , bloody Marcelino who watched him fochristsakes !!
    Yours a …….realist ………….Come on Sam bring some of the Academy boys thru , we may as well !!


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