Confusion at Newcastle United

Sam Allardyce had always stressed that reviving the club’s fortunes couldn’t be done with quick fixes, and certainly what he had been trying to do behind the scenes with the youngsters, the scouting network and the training facilities, was all good stuff, whether you supported him or not.


Chris and Sam – was all this planned out?

It also looks like Sam and Chris were on the verge of bringing Arsenal’s Lassana Diarra to the club, so what exactly happened yesterday afternoon to bring his tenure at the club to an end?

If this had all been planned by Mort and Ashley we would expect a new management announcement today. But it’s looking like we haven’t even got a new manager lined up. Sam was in the job all of 239 days and 24 games, making the 53-year-old from Dudley, the boss with the shortest tenure in Newcastle United’s history. Not a good record for Mort and Ashley to have, given their emphasis on new long term building for success at the club.

The timing of the sacking is not good, to say the very least. Sam was talking yesterday afternoon about the game at Manchester United on Saturday, and the various things the club were trying to do in the transfer window. And then later that afternoon he was out of the job.

Harry Redknapp is the bookmakers’ favorite, but there’s no way he will come up to the North East of England, absolutely no way.

It could be Blackburn’s Mark Hughes, who was appointed at Blackburn to replace Graeme Souness back in September, 2004. We’ve had 3 managers since then and about to appoint a 4th. How long will our next manager be given? Mark looks a good manager but again he’s unproven at this level.

Allardyce, meanwhile, was today at his home in Durham, and he wouldn’t have expected this to come like it has. We think the chop came far too early and at a terrible time for all concerned. Maybe Sam should have been given say 5 games and been told that.

Maybe he was given the games and the results weren’t good enough. But we certainly don’t know what the full story is here. The length of time it takes for Newcastle to appoint a new manager will tell us if it was really all planned out or not.

But we’re aren’t feeling all the good today. This isn’t good publicity for the club.

Comments welcome.

31 comments so far

  • James

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #1

    Only on the outside Ed. Inside Mort and Ashley know who their man is. These guys are shrewd businessmen. They don’t make rash decisions and never have.

    The media are just printing nonsense in the style they did when Shephered was there. When the truth of the matter is the media didn’t have a clue this was going to happen and it’s annoyed them all. No exclusives or photos taken of the secret meetings Ashley has had with his new man. So the media are just trying to rock the boat and cause a storm because they missed out.

  • Leo

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #2

    harry redknapp states he has not been in contact with nufc… and isnt interested in the job

  • Bill F

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #3

    Tried a few times to get a comment in with no success, so here goes again.

    I said that hopefully we do not have another Glenn Roeder situation where Pearson has a few wins and is appointed to the job.

    I want Mourhino.

    I have a feeling we may get Keegan as caretaker with Shearer as assistant and then he takes over completely.

    Or how about the dream team of; Shearer, Hansen, Lineker and the rest of that motley crew. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • macn0ble (Finland)

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #4

    We really should go for a foreign coach this time..Lippi, Van Gaal, Mourinho & Jol are all available-I begin to think that the tactical ability of English managers isn’t high enough for challenging for the top half of EPL today..Never mind Uefa Cup.
    anyway-as you said-the sooner the better!

  • Obafan

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #5

    Is there anywhere an official interview or comment given today by CM???

    Just to clarify a bit more the situation we are in now. What will the chance be that someone is appointed today??? I have got no idea 😉

  • Graham

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #6

    Ed – getting onto ths website is like trying to get into a top London nightclub with jeans and trainers on!

    Be positive boys and girls – forget Redknapp, forget Hughes, forget other mediocre British managers who have won as much as Allardyce. I’ve gotta feeling we’re gonna break the bank on this one…

    Ashley has sat with the fans for long enough to realise that we are craving for success.

    He said a month or 2 ago that he wants to have fun with Newcastle United and enjoy it. That meanshe has to have the right man at the helm and i think he already has him lined up.

  • Rob Kirton

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #7

    Bill F : With you totally. Also love the sense of humour !!

  • Black Caesar

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #8

    I distinctly remember arguing with someone vigorously on this site about whether Chris Mort will stand by his words when he said he would retain Allardyce for the short term. I hate to say I told you so, but he wasn’t never going to stand by those words. He is a clever man and a corporate lawyer to boot – so he shouldn’t!

    I hope all this talk about manager with PL experience is a load of nonsense unless the manager in question is Mourinho. Apart from him and maybe Benitez, I dont see any one else who is up to the job.

  • Kash2

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #9

    Any news of a press conference today?

  • Nick Dryden

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #10

    The chop came 24 games too late for an awful lot of people Ed. Stability comes with the right appointment in the first place. Shepherd could not be trusted to make a proper appointment and with the forthcoming fixture list, we were only going one way with Sam – down!!!!!!1

  • joal

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #11


  • Steeley

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #12

    Haha – Ed, I love your contradiction! Only 2 or 3 threads ago you were “certain a new manager would be appointed today” and then now you dont think we even have one lined up! Here’s a suggestion for you….stop putting out knee-jerk reaction articles every 10 seconds, firstly, so that we can have a good debate on one of the threads without people breaking off to the latest article, and secondly, so that you can gather your thoughts and actually put out a representative article!

    Also, you really need to stump up some cash and upgrade your package becuase you’re gonna lose people thick and fast if every time more than 10 people try and log on your “CPU exceeds it’s quota”….you have millions of hits….stop being stingy and subscribe to a better package!!

    On Redknapp signing – “absolutely no way” – Ed, the bookmakers dont put someone as favourite for no reason you know! While I agree in the context that he wont arrive as our next manager, I would never be so uniformedly blatant to say what you did otherwise I would just look silly when it actually happened! He’s as much of an option as anyone else….although hopefully it wont happen!

    Finally, “Not a good record for Mort and Ashley to have, given their emphasis on new long term building for success at the club. The timing of the sacking is not good, to say the very least”….why is this not a good record so far!? They have got rid of a tosh manager who was very poor and who they didnt appoint in the first place….they have EVERY RIGHT to get shot of him….after 1 hour, 1 day, 1 month, 1 year! HE WASNT THEIR MAN!! He never was going to be their man…Allardyce would never have lasted past the summer unless he had performed spectacularly well in his first year (certainly top six). The owner and chairman and not stupid people and when big bucks are involved they wont just go out and get someone on a whim….they must surely have someone waiting in the wings (famous last words! lol)

  • valle

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #13

    I agree with Ed… This dosnt speak too well of our new owners, and its just the oposite of what they have been saying all along, meaning they have been lying through their teeth if this was planned. Mourinho or Hiddink could have a big enough name and aura about them to have an instant sucess, and a name that would give them more goodwill from the fans if things dont go all that well in the rebuilding process…

  • joal

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #14

    thought he is m0tor mouth he knows how to built a team…

  • Edd Case

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #15

    Steeley, spot on as always

  • GM

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #16

    Black Caesar – I am with you, why does the next boss HAVE to be English/british, what have we ever won with the last lot…nothing. There are lots of excellent managers out there who play the style of football that I want to see week in week out, not the sunday league dross that BSA servered up week in week out. I dont think Mourinho can come due to the deal he agreed with chelski, but what about Val Gal, Hiddink, Lippi, Hitzvelt (Sorry about the spellin) they all play attractive football and they would all have the status to attract world class players to our club


    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #17

    Didn’t mourinho say some time ago he has got an offer he simply cannot ressist? 😉

  • valle

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #18

    Steeley… He was very poor IN YOUR OPINION, yet Mort HAS contadicted himself and thats a fact. Every person who knows anything about football has talked to the media about stability being the way forward, well u got ur wish, just prey they have someone worth his salt lined up, or we will end up in this mess 8 months down the line again… On the Redknapp signing u seem to know so much about, lets quote the man himself shall we?

    “I really do not know anything about this. I have not spoken to anyone from Newcastle.

    “Iam happy down on the south coast.”

  • steve

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #19

    Ed – on a completely different note – have you tried optimising WordPress. Couple of things you couild try are
    Move Archives to a seperate page
    Remove recent comments
    Install and configure wp_cache
    Remove any unused or unneccesary plugins

    Theres a load of further tips here

    Thanks and keep up the good work

  • Arty

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #20

    A the time he was appointed BSA was the best that was available IMHO. Not universally popular but rode in on the back of his success at Bolton. Brought most of his backroom staff to instill new idea’s and practices, probably a shock for most of the over paid premadonna’s at our club! Lets face it BSA got shot of most of the lame ducks everyone was calling for to be moved on. He stated he could not buy or acquire the players he wanted and had to make do with what was available to build up the squad and got free’s , his total expenditure was something like #15 I believe.
    O.k so Owen has constantly been a sick note, Viduka has been hitty missy, Barton a disaster, and I would think a major contributory factor in the situation we are in today.
    I know BSA has not played the players in their allotted positions, but did he have any choice? Were they up for it or not?
    IMHO BSA went to show his shopping list to the board and was told the kitty was M*, and he told them if that was the case to stick it?
    I can see both sides of the argument, as BSA was not the choice of the new owners he could ( and was ) always be a casualty of poor initial results. Then BSA wants more funds to build and is told no, its immovable object against irresistible force, and something had to give, money/power, well it their club. So Mike has the option, he has sat with the supporters so he has seen and been told their views.
    My only concern is this situation AGAIN leaves us to be a laughing stock in football. Its back to the future. I think its a shame for him not to be give a full season, even though some of the football was crap the last few months, I always had the feeling it would come right in the end, of course it won’t now for BSA!

  • shearyadi

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #21

    Hi Steeley,

    Looks like you have your new year’s present yesterday 🙂 Now, wait for Jose?

  • Robert-Croatia

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #22

    I would like to see Slaven Bilic as a Newcastle gaffer.But Ashley and Mort probably don’t even know who is he…

  • Kash2

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #23

    Steeley – Sounds like you’re in need of a release of srustration. Get yourself some hand cream and a porn mag, head off to your toilet and knock one off son!

    Ed- Great job, plenty of your opinions for us to debate on, great site. But the blockout thing because it gets too busy is slightly annoying.

  • Steeley

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #24

    valle, to quote Mort only a week ago on the rumour that Sam was going ot be sacked “these suggestions are ridiculous”….people lie mate! Who knows what Redknapp is up to….he could be saying that to avoid any legal action against Mort who could effectively be accused of tapping him up!
    Dont get me wrong, I dont want Redknapp as manager, I just think it’s a bit daft to go spouting on like Ed has in such a certain manner, when nothing is in fact certain in football these days!

  • Graeme

    Jan 10, 2008 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #25

    Sorrry, but ‘arry redknap is not the man for NUFC and neither is shearer.

    I only hope they have in fact got their man lined up and are just finalising the small print. If not, its an utter shambles.

    Why would keegan come back, he’s a bottler. He couldnt handle it last time he was here and its a lot worse now. He would be on a nervous breakdown in 6 weeks.

    Morinho has said several times that he wants to take an unsuccessful, though well supported team and turn them into Champions – does that not sound a bit like NUFC??

    Would Ashley have the balls to appoint him, knowing he would want to spend millions?? Thats the big question – what is Ashley’s ambition for the club – NOW is the time to show us all what his intentions are.

  • Steeley

    Jan 10, 2008 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #26

    Shearyadi – yep, I’m over the moon as well! If Jose Mourinho arrived at Newcastle I think I may cry with excitement! However, being the realist that I am, I’m not sure it will happen (fingers crossed though!!!!!!)
    I genuinelly cant call this one – there’s not a real hint on anyone particular arriving.
    I dont know if I would be averse to a temp manager until summer when our options really would open up! I think Fat Sam has alredy pretty much destroyed this season for us, so as long we can get someone on a short-term contract who can get us 14 points (which I think would guarantee safety…probably less) then we can work on next season with a top man in charge!

  • ObaFan2

    Jan 10, 2008 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #27

    Ed your blog is fantastic, although I don’t always agree with your headers I always have time to read what you say and appretiate you may act as devils advocat to create reaction and discussion and make your blog as successful as it is.

    Redknapp has just said on sky news that he had a chance to move to in his opinion a huge club recently and turned it down as he is happy where he is. Thank God for that.

    It’s good to see that most on here agree that Redknapp, McClown n Jol are not really wanted here and wouldn’t do any better than BSA.

  • Brian

    Jan 10, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #28

    The errors or blackouts now and again are due to a shared hosting environment, Ed probably pays for this site hosting from his own pocket, I doubt the site will make enough from Adsense to pay for the hosting. The only way around it is dedicated hosting and that is probably 15 times the price he is paying now.
    All Newcastle related sites are getting a hammering now, as fans look for news, its happing to the site I run and we are getting the same errors occasionally. All you can do is try again a little later. And dont ask Ed to stump up more money when he is providing you with a free service.

  • Davey G

    Jan 10, 2008 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #29

    Steeley…………..the voice of sense!!
    Well done…………………..

  • Bill F

    Jan 10, 2008 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #30

    Not difficult to work out the caption for this picture. 🙂

  • Stantos

    Jan 10, 2008 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #31

    There I was watching SSN in work (yeah I was busy lol) waiting for the announcment that we’d signed Diarra then bang……… “Newcastle fans stand by your bed”………

    Imo Sam knew that he wasn’t going to get the backing and decided to jump ship. I can’t see any other reason. Maybe he’d had a meeting with Mort and was told Diarra was about to sign but we’d had an offer for Oba and he had to sell.

    I origionally thought that someone was lined up but looking at the big picture I doubt it somehow. I mean BS talking about the Man Utd game, making statements that players wern’t for sale etc. I don’t understand how Ashley and Mort would have allowed this had they been planning for his departure.

    I was willing to back BS all the way at least until the end of the season, he deserved that much despite what people have written.

    We’ll now see exactly what Ashley is made of, Anyone other than Jose, Lippi, Hitzfeld, Scolari, Deschamps, Hiddink or Van Gaal would mean the end of the world for me.

    My concern is that odds on Mark Hughes are shortening fast. Please no !!!!!!!


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