There’s no doubt that Sam Allardyce has done an excellent job for Sunderland since he joined them earlier in the season – and that he has saved the club at least £100M.
In Sunderland’s final 10 games of the season they lost only once – to Leicester City the Champions – and they garnered 15 points and three wins – two in the final three games when it really mattered – which is really what saved the Black Cats.
Two draws in those games against Chelsea and Everton and the Magpies would have survived – but it wasn’t to be and Sunderland deserved to stay up.
Sam Allardyce celebrates survival
Rafa Benitez came in and we got just one point from the first four games and then 12 points in the last six games – half the points that McClaren managed in all his 28 games.
Once Rafa got going he showed just what a great manager he is and the players responded and we took a very good Spurs side part yesterday with 10 men and won 5-1.
We missed at least another four very good chances in those final 20 minutes.
Sam Allardyce was on Goals on Sunday yesterday and we thought his comments on Newcastle were both fair and dignified:
“What’s interesting for me, and the big thing for Newcastle at the moment, is that Rafa hasn’t made his mind up.” “He did make a difference obviously, he did what he had to and tightened the defense up straight away.”
“He wants to be more in control of the ins and outs of players. As a manager there tends to be a lot of structuring above in ownership these days, where a lot of people come together.”
“I’m a big analysis man, as you know, but analysis doesn’t find you a good player. It gives you the stats, but you can’t run on them.”
“I get a bit worried about the choices being made in the way they become stats-based. But unless you’ve got the scouts who go and look at these players, then you know whether the signings are going to be right or wrong for you.”
“I personally think it’s good for the area to have both clubs fighting against each other, it’s a terrific derby, a terrific occasion.”
“This one is special like them all. To lose it, I think, is a blow for the area.”
Newcastle are now the only one of the three north-east club not in England’s top division and it’s very embarrassing – even shameful.
But if we can keep Rafa Benitez at the helm, we should be back in 15 months and we will then very likely be good enough to challenge for a top six position.
That’s the hope – the only hope Newcastle fans have right now after one of our worst seasons ever in the Premier League.
The only way has to be up from where we are at the moment – in the wilderness and anonymity of the Championship.