Big Sam Blames Newcastle Players – Is he Wrong?

Sam Allardyce has spoken to the Times again, and hints that Newcastle players may have had something to do with his lack of success while at the club for just 8 months.


Sam Allardyce – players couldn’t or didn’t want to listen

That lack of success led to Sam eventually being dismissed from the Manager position on 9th January. If you put two and two together, it seems like Sam may be blaming the players for our lack of success, while he was at the club.

Allardyce talked to the Times about the style of football he tried to get the team to play:

“Perhaps I couldn’t sell that to the players because they’d never been shown it before,” “All that was said was, ‘Go out and play.’ But today’s game is not like that.”

“The level of preparation is so detailed that you can’t just say, ‘Off you go, off the cuff.’ ” “I was challenging them to adapt and maybe that was a problem. I think I gave the players too much too soon.”

“Too direct? If those players had the ability to look at their ProZone stats instead of me shouting at them, they would have learned more about their game than they’ve ever done.”

“They would have learned something about themselves.” “I don’t know whether any of that played a part in losing my job.”

“If other people listen to the Chinese whispers or the tittle-tattle, no manager would ever get the chance to build or be successful.”

“Maybe I should have gone, ‘Sod year two, sod year three, I’ll just worry about tomorrow.’ ” “But I’m not like that. I try to build something that has sustainability, not a flash in the pan.”

“ I don’t want to sound like I’m making excuses, but how can you judge?

From what we have heard Sam was making big changes at the club, and from comments from Chris Mort and others, most of the changes were good and stuff that needed to be done to build a foundation for success at Newcastle United.

We knew when Sam came on board that he planned much more thoroughly than other Premier league managers.

However, we’re surprised to hear the players didn’t listen too well, because that’s not the impression we were given when Sam was at the club. All the players were positive about Big Sam. Just like they seem very positive about Kevin Keegan right now.

So, without any inside information like the Daily Mails gets from the club 😀 it’s really difficult to know what went on, and what is going on right now with Kevin Keegan and his players.

We’ve criticized our players this week for their complete lack of commitment, once the first goal went in at Liverpool. We’ll keep doing that as long as they show a lack of fight and guts in this relegation battle.

And we certainly need to ensure we unload some of this lot in the summer, and bring in some new players with leadership and fighting qualities – and lots of skill of course.

Certainly if we keep losing games like we’ve been doing, in waht’s looking like a death spiral, it’s hard not to put the responsibility on the players. That’s especially true when a lot of them clearly lack the stomach for a fight.

If we lose tomorrow, and it’s another pathetically weak hearted performance, we may all be in deeper trouble than we had realized.

It’s hard to put the responsibility on Kevin Keegan, although who amongst us would have thought Kevin would have been at the club for two months, and still looking for his first win?

The players look to us like the likely culprits in all of this, if we were to be brutally honest. Sam may not be too far from the truth, even though we realize fully that it’s very self serving to Big Sam.

We’ll be in a better position to know where we stand in about 20 hours time, when the Birmingham Newcastle game will be over. Newcastle really need all 3 points tonight, a draw would just about clear the bar, but a defeat would be another disastrous result.

Can we do it tomorrow? Can the players play with fight and heart when it really matters and the chips are down? We have have to be honest and say we have our doubts, which is what is scaring the living daylights out of us.

We can only hope we are dead wrong about this, but that’s our gut feeling.

What do you think?

Comments very welcome.

36 comments so far

  • ash

    Mar 17, 2008 at 3:06 AM

    Comment #1

    i’ll be watching the game live on tv at 3.55am in my area, . i hope to see a fighting performance and a win. come on lads!!!

  • clinta

    Mar 17, 2008 at 3:22 AM

    Comment #2

    i feel the players should certainly take some of the rap for the season we’ve had and yes, maybe some of them aren’t up to it, but i still feel alot lies with the manager especially bsa, afterall nearly half the squad we have he brought in himself and surely when he was signing these players he mentioned his plans for the near future and far.

    that said the sad truth is that when you look at our team on paper it still looks damn good and i still feel there alot of quality there, but time and time again newcastle have brought in players already showing class before or on the cusp of… and they haven’t performed for us.

    if zog, martins, taylor and a few other younger players were at other clubs i think they’d be better players now and doing really well, if christiano ronaldo signed for us instead of man u he’d probably of been another hugo viana? players just don’t seem to improve and develop when they sign with us – i think this is the sad truth and all this surely comes down to the management team.

  • toslem

    Mar 17, 2008 at 4:42 AM

    Comment #3

    YES Sam is right it’s down to the players, all we ever see is comments on what they are going to do to the opposition in the next game or they use the worlds most used excuse ‘SORRY’ after each pathetic performance, we are now seeing in some aspects why the clubs we bought them off let them go in the first place. Having said all this i’m hoping like hell the team prove me wrong tonight against Brum, but i do believe if we go down tonight kk will have to look at development of the young lads in the club, in other words even to the extent of throwing them in the deep end…

  • geordie_jordan

    Mar 17, 2008 at 4:48 AM

    Comment #4

    ash where are you located? i will be watching @ 3:55 am also! over here in asia

  • Callum

    Mar 17, 2008 at 5:42 AM

    Comment #5

    i’ll be watching at 3:55am also! 😛

  • Ausgeordie

    Mar 17, 2008 at 6:39 AM

    Comment #6

    I’ll be watching at 6.55 in Sydney! I have to work at 8.30 so I am going to miss the last half hour. I cant face getting to work and checking the computer to see us having lost.

    I hate not having a single newcastle player in my fantasy league team too

  • hen

    Mar 17, 2008 at 7:18 AM

    Comment #7

    The players have to take some of the blame, but the thing that annoyed me about BSA was some of the positions he played them in. Smith all over the place, Martins on the right and our only flair player Zog at LB…a complete waste!
    In KKs defence he came in when players were at the nations cup, Barton, Emre and Viduka have all been unavailable and he has never been able to find continuity. Maybe he should have given a couple of youngsters a chance but we don’t see what happens on te training ground.


    Mar 17, 2008 at 8:02 AM

    Comment #8

    no time for jungsters now! We NEED that results today and so will it be! I believe BARTON will server MARTINS and OWEN…but what we really need now is black n white hearts!

  • toslem

    Mar 17, 2008 at 8:05 AM

    Comment #9

    i’ll be watching at 4.55 am

  • greek toon

    Mar 17, 2008 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #10

    22:00 supersport 2 Greece

  • CJ

    Mar 17, 2008 at 8:35 AM

    Comment #11

    7:55PM haha.

  • Nick Dryden

    Mar 17, 2008 at 8:38 AM

    Comment #12

    Sam’s whole rhetoric was to blame everyone else for his shortcomings – so no change there.

    But nobody forced Sam to spend £20M= on Smith a striker who never scores or a some time midfielder who never ” assists” , and Sam’s ego made him buy Barton instead of Elano.

    Add to that a collection of sicknotes and has beens (Viduka, geremi anyone?) and you’ll see in the words of the George Michael song – some mistakes were built to last.

  • Callum

    Mar 17, 2008 at 8:40 AM

    Comment #13

    Ed – change topic title to..

    ‘Big Sam Blames Newcastle Players He Signed – Is He Wrong?’

    He signed 9 of those players so he is to blame also.

  • iain

    Mar 17, 2008 at 8:52 AM

    Comment #14

    players just don’t seem to improve and develop when they sign with us –

    they would improve if the rest of the players they play with are still very good players. at nufc there not its that simple.

    how would playing with butt/owen/viduka/smith/geremi/carr/babayaro, players who are well best there best ever help a young player improve ???

    henry showed arsenal just how a big a negative effect a top players past his best can have making demands on young players when that player is himself not performing at the levels hes known for. i said it for ages until he left that babayaro was a negative effect on the team he gave of that why should i bother mentality to players like the zog, the last 4 nufc managers problems has been they havnt cleared out the dead wood. butt/carr/babayaro/ameobi being the worst offenders and still only one of those has gone.

    its like owen for us the whole team is geared to set up chances for owen, if you were oba why would you bother if it was that way, its the reason he left inter becuase he was fed up being the guy who did all adrianos running creating space for the big brazilian to score and take all the glory.

    same with duff being prefered to the zog.

    its not rocket science, stop trying to get past it players to play and get rid then and only then will nufc begin to prosper again.

  • Bobby Ollox

    Mar 17, 2008 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #15

    I think this is an outrageous statement from BSA – ‘ Its a bit my fault, because the players werent clever enough to understand what I told them to do”.
    What a load of toss – are the players at Newcastle inherently more stupid than players elsewhere, or did he buy smart players who turned into stupid ones when they pulled a B&W shirt on ?
    If the team didnt understand what he was telling them, then it is down to the highly paid manager and his extended back room team ( almost one per player) to make them understand. He had long enough to do that and still got it wrong.

  • Hammy

    Mar 17, 2008 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #16

    I’m at Lat: 55.572284N Long: 1.659961W
    so I guess it’ll be an 8.00 kick off for me……

  • clinta

    Mar 17, 2008 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #17

    i’m in asia too callum and jordan, north east china actually, but can’t for the life of me find it on anywhere @ 3.55am day off tomorrow so would do fine to watch it, any advice- need help?

  • geordie_jordan

    Mar 17, 2008 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #18

    clinta. i’m in southeast china near hong kong. go to
    then follow the directions on site. if you have problems i’ll be checking in before the match.

    normally i go to the local pub, but at 4am it will be closed!

  • Eric

    Mar 17, 2008 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #19

    Ausgeordie – go to work late! I have funny feeling it will be worth it. It has to be! Looks like the players “Wam bam thank you mam” Sam’s bought players were deaf. Now we know! Howay the lads.

  • Davies

    Mar 17, 2008 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #20

    Allerdyce is a nob. There’s no better way of putting it.

    He utterly mismanaged his eight months at SJP. Banging on about sports science is crap. I don’t want to watch science, I want football, and that’s what the players sign up for.

    Playing the ridiculous formations and out of position second rate players that he bought is probably what landed us in the shit.

    This is vintage the Allerdyce “it’s not my fault” crap that we would have been subjected to time and again if Mort and Ashley hadn’t done the right thing.

    Good riddance fatso.

  • Davies

    Mar 17, 2008 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #21

    I’ll be watching at 8pm by the way. I’m beginning to suffer with anxiety. I may have to go home sick……


    Mar 17, 2008 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #22

    Newcastle hava must win game would love martins to start but if not he should be introduced early in 2nd half.Im convinced this is the man to save our season.Team lacks pace big time so lua lua and godsmark should definately be on the bench.Cmon the toon 3 points today plz!

  • Leo

    Mar 17, 2008 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #23

    he always find a way of bigging himself up. ive got a friend like that and when he does the expected i feel like giving him a slap around the jaw.

    maybe someone should have done this to sam

  • daiv

    Mar 17, 2008 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #24

    KK calls Martins a beast…but will he play him. Smith must be some player if martins the beast cannot get a game.

  • canmag

    Mar 17, 2008 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #25

    3pm ontario, out of work early ,game is more important than work.


    Mar 17, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #26

    By beast i think he means he has to lock him up ie the bench.Smith should be put down and 1st to go in the summer followed swiftly by butt head!

  • Callum

    Mar 17, 2008 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #27

    Clinta – You can watch it at the site Geordie_Jordan said, you download one of the clients like sopcast, UUSee and then click on the link that are using these clients and the program will open and show the game 🙂

    Im in Singapore btw 🙂

  • HeronMag

    Mar 17, 2008 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #28

    I can understand Allardyce’s frustration. He had the carpet swept from underneath his feet when Ashley bought the club.

    Allardyce never lied to the fans. He came in stating clearly that he had a 5 year plan. I do believe that we would have been competing in Europe in 5 years had he been left in charge.

    But we would never have played the style of football we grew accustomed to under KK and Sir Bobby. The reason I will stand by Keegan (EVEN IF WE GO DOWN) is that he understands the philosophy of the sport and the passion of the region.

    Keep the faith lads. KK could lose every match from now to the end of the season but his speciality was always the transfer market. Let’s wait to see who he brings in before we judge KK for a 2nd time.

    If after 2 years we are still faltering and showing no sign of improvement then perhaps then we should look at the management again but I still feel that stability is the key thing that we need.

    I love the fact that Keegan is back in charge. He understands the players and more importantly he understands US.

    Give him time and don’t treat him the Sam way the board treated Allardyce.

  • Yorkie Dave

    Mar 17, 2008 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #29

    phoned in sick today dont think i could take the stick from my colleagues in the build up to the biggest game ofour season.

  • Michael

    Mar 17, 2008 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #30

    Sam’s methods are great. They place responsibility on a player. He is right, by showing players thier stats rather than simply shouting at them, if the players see where they are going wrong where thir strengths lare they can expliot them. This allows them to make informed choices.

    Football in not about going out and simply play football. You have said it yourself give Keegan Time, but why is this not applicable with Sam why was he not entitled to the same time you offer Kev when the results since Keegan’s arrival have been far worse.

    We should have not Sacked Sam we shouold have given him time. These are scientific methods and not simply the pub methods Keegan deploys. “Get up at em lads” is football suitable to taverns football teams.

    The toon army wanted attacking Football at the expense of results, Sam was right He is too good for the Newcastle Fans who deify a dead donkey like Keegan. Utter useless manager utterly useless.

    I back him purely because Newcastle is my club but I will acknowledge that he is useless as a manager. He needs to go back to his football circus and be the clown again.

  • Bosck

    Mar 17, 2008 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #31

    michael lets be fair, whilst i was a big supporter of allardyce, how can you call him a good manager and keegan useless.

    in reality all allardyce did was get bolton promoted and then keep them in the premier league.

    keegan took over newcastle in the lower divisions and nearly won the premiership a couple of years later, and then with both city and fulham he took over both when they were in trouble and gave both premiership security, including getting a top 8 finish for city. whilst neither record is laden with trophies, keegan did the feat with three different clubs on varying budgets, so deserves at least as much respect as allardyce

  • Dunc

    Mar 17, 2008 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #32

    This man needs a gag and his pointing finger chopped off!!!!!

    Pointing at everyone else, blabbering about how other people made it all go impossibly wrong.

    From what I remember, everybody (or most) on this blog could see that these were Sam’s players, numerous players being played out of position (not always due to a lack of options) and the lack of dropping players that were not doing well (fitting them in wherever/ however) was appauling.

    If the fans can see it then why not the manager?

    When Big Sam came in I thought that he might have a bit more ambition. That he might make us into a decent, more progressive and all round tight team. Hard to beat with a decent shout going forward.

    The players he brought in though were hard to believe choices. And have proven themselves in being seriously poor.

    He had his turn and he failed miserably. He should shut up now and get himself another job. Unless of course he is like Mourinho, waiting for one of the big jobs in Europe to come up.
    Milan, Inter, Real, Barca, Levante (ha ha). I wonder how they would feel about him bringing in Kevin Nolan and Alan Smith along with Nicky Butt!!!

    Sick probably!!!!

  • Dirt McGirt

    Mar 17, 2008 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #33

    11:55 in Seattle.It’s on like Donkey Kong.

  • Michael

    Mar 17, 2008 at 5:12 PM

    Comment #34

    @Bosck: Fair argument. Sams Methods are more robust while Keegans are very much dated. By robustness I mean thay can stand the test of time Keegans are generation specific. Consider those were the days when the premier league was majority british. We had big slow centre forwards who thought they had a right to rugby tackle each other players were bing drinkers, (Adams and Gazza, Collymore) yet they performed well. Teams were frugal and did not dream of playing over the top for top players. Players were predominately english speacking and communication was not a big problem. Now Players are fitter, diet is important tactics are important and information is important.

    To simpl tell a player go out and play will mean there is a lack of congruence. players do not co-ordinate effort so not know where their strengths are and were their weakness is.

    It is a jigsaw, one piece missing compromisses another. I.e Motivated but no direction, or Direction but no motivation. The two are not mutually exclusive and a team needs both.

    We ask why Michael Owen is not scoring, he needs service that already demands co-ordination, for co-ordination you need communcation, direction of play so Michael can make predictable runs predictable for our players. Martins is a player who is very erratic, a martins run is as elusive for an opposition defense as it is for our own midfield, you just cannot read the guy.

    A player like that in particular, you need some for of direction as he will only frustrate with his inability to read the game.

  • Michael

    Mar 17, 2008 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #35

    You can only exploit your strengths if you know what they are and can remedy your weaknesses if you know what they are, no?

  • clinta

    Mar 18, 2008 at 3:03 AM

    Comment #36

    thanks jordan and callum, managed to get the site up and running for the second half so sounds like that was probably for the best!!!
    in trouble with the neighbours now though for yelling in the early hours of the morning.?!


You must log in to post a comment.