Changing rooms with Sam Allardyce

By Lee Ryder on May 15, 07 03:35 PM

Latest reaction to Big Sam's arrival at St James' Park

Sam Allardyce

The last time Newcastle United's Press room housed so many journalists Glenn Roeder's side had just lost 2-0 to Blackburn, season tickets were being chucked on to the track pitchside, groups of fans had started to form outside the Milburn Stand to shout for the manager and the chairman's heads and the slight chances of qualifying for Europe had just gone up in smoke.

The next day Sunderland romped to a 5-0 win over Luton to rejoin Newcastle in the Premiership, Roy Keane's wry smile made a mark on cameras all over the world and the team United famously chucked away a 12 point lead against in 1996 were spraying champagne all over the place 11 years after the Toon clung on to their coat-tails.

Today, and 12 months to the day that Glenn Roeder was installed as full-time boss after guiding the Toon Army back into Europe - a new man was in the same seat facing the world media.

Welcome aboard Sam Allardyce. A new man. Some new hope. And a new era.

With cameramen anxiously poised in front of the stage at the Press Conference Allardyce was traditionally five minutes late for his meeting with the world media but he didn't disappoint.

Big Sam lived up to his name and looked an imposing figure in front of journalists without ducking any tricky questions and looking like a man on a mission.

Considering Paul Jewell quit football yesterday for health reasons Allardyce declared he was fit and raring to go and after spending 90 minutes in his company, it was hard to disagree.

First he explained that the so called ugly football that Bolton played could ensure success after leading the sleepy little club into two European finishes in the last three years.

Then he went on to vow how he would get to the bottom of the serious injury problems that have plagued Newcastle in the last couple of years by using up to date technology.

The serious business of keeping Michael Owen came next, as well as Oba Martins - I will keep my goalscorers - simple as that, OK Big Sam, that's good enough for us.

Talk of the England job was quickly dismissed by Allardyce too with the new gaffer suggesting the Newcastle manager's hotseat more than made up for missing out on the international hotseat.

And at a time when the dressing room is clearly split - with egos in danger of spilling out of control - Big Sam says he will sort the Toon camp out and cut out the bad feeling that currently exists at SJP.

All in all a very positive 90 minutes work for Big Sam, who also met some of the Toon Army along the way, and he can certainly talk the talk.

Judging by the job he done at Bolton he can walk the walk too.

Now he has to do it all again with Newcastle.

And you wouldn't bet against him doing it again on this evidence.


Mike said:

Will Big Sam carry on not talking to the BBC? Every time he doesn't do an interview it reminds people that he was accused of being a bit dodgy.

Javed Shaikh said:

The appointment of Big Sam has brought a little smile for ardent supporters like me in this forgettable season. I sincerely hope big sam repeats his success ,he had at bolton at newcastle too. I wish him all the best in his future endeavours and hope he brings a big smile on the faces of the geordies

Javed Shaikh
Indian Geordie

Gordon said:

I’m disappointed it’s Big Sam. If reports are correct, we will be paying him more than Arsene or Rafa (another cunning bit of business by FS - not)
we could have had our choice of managers across the World and the style of football we’ve chosen simply doesn’t fit. Yes, I want results but not at any price (and let’s be honest, I will not be happy to repeat the so called success of Bolton – they won nothing and qualified for Europe twice – just). Even more than results, I demand to be entertained and proud of the Toon’s style. That doesn’t mean I want to loose but I’d rather watch Man U than Chelsea (yak, did I just say that).
All that said, he’s in place now, he’s got the contract and our money so I’ll get behind him just like the rest of the Toon but I fear he doesn’t have the time he would like to win us over.

Gerry Hagon said:

I am impressed. Just ninety minutes in and he, Sam that is, highlights two of the basic mysteries we have had over the past few seasons:-

1. Why do we regularly have such a crippling list of injuries at the Toon? Under Souness it was blamed on the training pitch - remember? Under Roeder it was never mentioned. It strikes me that Big Sam is already on the right track with hints it may be something to do with the life-style of the players. Bad diet, bad training regime, bad habits all look to be better bets than the training pitch surface. We will see.

2. The long fans discontent with the backroom staff has largely been ignored. Now, at last, something may be done to replace those expensive and ineffective backroom boys or at least make them work for their money.

In addition to these I hope that he will do something to improve our talent scouting. Sam must have had at Bolton scouts all over the world to match the set-up at Arsenal. One good acquisition would pay for the lot.

Anyway, Good Luck Sam, although I shall not be at SJP as a season ticket holder this year, I wish you and the team all the very best for 2007 - 2008.

AndyMac said:

Sam wasnt my first choice but when does FS ever do the decent thing in appointing managers ?

Echoing points made already its time for a clearout throughout this underachieving club. Ideally FS would be top of my list followed shortly afterwards by Clark, Pearson, McDermott (just what does he do ?).

Long ball or long pass Sam you've got next season to start changing things around or risk losing the relationship with the worlds longest suffering fans. SHEPHERD OUT !

jackie w said:

So we are stuck with Sam Allardyce for at least a year or so. Not moaning just stating facts, i have give up worrying who is at the helm. As regards to Sam (he can be big sam if he wins owt) it is a touch worrying to hear him banging on about time to build and things wont happen over night, i just hope fat fred has not taken his eye off the ball as he seems to have changed his tune .
Granted things do take time and we will have to be a bit patient with Sam but in my books you get what you pay for and we are paying champions league wages so its only fair to expect champions league football. If Sam took a salary which would grow with the team then fine but no he has took the shilling so i believe he should (come May) deliver at the very least a final and a european place.
As regards to existing players i have compiled a list of waste of space players who should be made available if the price is right, wont waste time typing it just read last years squad list, If they are not prepared to graft there nads off then let them find new clubs and if that little scouse sh*t who has lay on his a*&e for the last two years does not stand up and promise us 25 goals next season he should be outed aswell.
This season was an absolute waste of time and it needs addressing , for me i would bring Joey Barton in asap We all no he is a nutter but Allardyce will sort that out i would stick him in the middle ,give him the captains arm band and start from there ...Jackie

oxboy said:

Here we go again .......


If the national press are to be believed Big sam could have a fortune to spend on new players. Martins no longer appears to be interested, along with Kieran Dyer and one or two others. selling that lot and Owen should raise at least 30 million. Frankly if they feel that way- good ridance. I look forward to seeing what the team will be next season.

One last thing the supporters should accept that Freddie Shepard, as well as being the Chairman is also a big fan of the club, whilst you might not always agree with his dicisions you have to believe that he has the interests of the club at heart

john gilroy


If the national press are to be believed Big sam could have a fortune to spend on new players. Martins no longer appears to be interested, along with Kieran Dyer and one or two others. selling that lot and Owen should raise at least 30 million. Frankly if they feel that way- good ridance. I look forward to seeing what the team will be next season.

One last thing the supporters should accept that Freddie Shepard, as well as being the Chairman is also a big fan of the club, whilst you might not always agree with his decisions you have to believe that he has the interests of the club at heart

john gilroy

Aldo said:

Iam staggered to learn that during his 8 or 9 years at Bolton Big Sam's outlay on players was approximately £16.5m. He sold £15.25m, so his actual spend was £1.25m....about what we've paid Luque in wages since he's been at the Toon....
In my opinion Allardyce is an ambitious career manager as opposed to an opportunist manager looking for a last big pay day (e.g; Gulit, Souness) and whilst he's not a glamorous manager he has a steady track record and given time he will reverse the magpies fortunes. Its no secret that he wants the England job one day but that won't happen if he fluffs things up here on Tyneside....nuff said!

Huddy said:

What the hell are you geordies moaning don't want Sam, you don't want Erikson. Your're not big enough to attract Ferguson, Wenger, Mourinho, Jol....or Keano for that matter.

Allardyce will get you the champions league and get rid of the injury-prone idiots you insisted on buying for the last 10 years.

Enjoy may get some success.


Leam Lane Chris said:

I think Sam is the man.I was very impressed by what he had to say yesterday.He talked about a sructure.I dont think Newcastle have had that for years.He wont put up with the nonsense that comes from the baby bentleys either.

Scott said:

People, what really is your problem. You'd prefer to watch Chelseas 'better football' than watch big sam? (Gordon) Your an Idiot. They play awful football, but do you think they care when tehir in finals every year and actually winning games. Just remember when the toon score you are happy, and we will still score goals, just hopefully let less in. And i'm a season ticket holder so don't say I don't watch them! We've been awful since bobby so I'll take winning football any day over losing 'good' football. I'm behind you Sam even if half the geordie idiots who claim to prefer good football over winning aren't. I am seriosuly wondering what kind of people support Newcastle! Your unbelieveable

welshtoon said:

For the last 8 seasons the toon have been stuck in a downward spiral, newcastle has clearly got the fans, stadium, money, board support, reputation and players (for the most part) to be in the top 5-6 in the premiership and challenging for trophies every year! Big Sam brings all the missing components to the north east, his discipline, infrastructure, man management and love for the game.. these qualities will give direction to a squad which have been hampered by injury, big names with big egos and a string of managers who were at St James’s for all the wrong reasons! I for one am 100% behind this fresh start, and from the bottom of my black and white heart I hope Big Sam does the job everyone knows he is capable of.

Andrew Donohue said:

I think a bottle of the bubbly is in order. Give it a few years and we'll be challenging for the league title - and with Big Sam's approach, winning it.

Graeme Alderson said:

I am sick of hearing all the crap the so called fans of our great club bleating on about sam not being the man for the job i cant beleive our fans are so fickel when results dont go are way they call for the managers head the majority of which i beleive are fair weather supporters only there when the team are winning its about time me gave sam our full support if it takes 5 years to win a trophy then so be it you cant keep changing managers year in year out and expect silver ware nor can you expect newcastle to play the cavalier style of football we enjoyed so much under keegan this i beleive will never be seen again in the premiership

funlovingexpress said:

He's a first class manager who is used to managing in the premiership. He is also hungry for success and so are we.

His methodology with respect to training is phenominal. His players rarely get injured and how we could do with that.

He is very shrewd in the transfer market and does not pay over the odds. That will also be a first for us.

He is not scared of hard to handle players and gets the best out of them. Only Sir Bob has been able to do that for us.

His man management skills are superb. A fact which is backed up by almost every player who has played for him.

His dossiers on opposition are great. He does his homework thoroughly. Finally a manager who can implement tactics.

He employs trained professionals as back room staff. No more jobs for the boys.

He has excellent contacts in world football with respect to acquiring new talent. Our scouting network has been a joke for a while now.

All Bolton fans are sorry to see him go. When is the last time we had a manager which was actually popular with his fans?

He can and has (in the past) play attacking football. He has played 343, 442 etc. It all depends on the players he acquires when he joins the club. He changes his 'style' of football to suit the players and not the other way round (like souness or daglish did).

We have many attacking players so he will implement an attacking style. He will also sort our defence out. And that has been a long time coming.

All in all, he is right for us and we are right for him.

funlovingexpress said:

When Sir bob got the sack I logically evaluated who would be the best for the job. Who had strengths where we were weak. Allardyce came top. It shows his character that he wanted to stay at bolton and bring them success. He also probably thought he wasn't ready for a huge job such as Newcastles (the poisoned chalice so to speak). It is character that made him stay.

He will only get one crack at managing a big team like Newcastle so it makes sense to make sure you are ready for it. He brought Bolton success. Not in the way you would probably look at it but European qualification and a cup final is major success for a team with the small revenue they create.

Analysis- top manager with character.

I saw his interviews when he became a manager. For the first time in ages I am looking forward to the next couple of years. I have also seen Bolton play quite a few times and they do not play the long ball. They make telling passes. Yes they sometimes grind out results, so do man utd, chelsea and arsenal. His style of play reminds me of the old liverpool team. He is spot on when he says "when a big team gets beat of a smaller one it upsets them. The long ball is a myth". Correct me if I am wrong but the last couple of seasons haven't shown us very much sexy football have they?

See- its the way forward

He has stated on numerous occassions that although he likes players who can work he prizes technical ability above all else. He has had to settle for hard to handle or over age players in the past but he won't need to do that now. He also evaluates a player before he signs him and makes sure that he will fit in with the squad he is building. Won't stand for even chinese whispers. Can never see dyer refusing to play on the wing for this guy. If he does it will be the last game he plays.

Touch- players will have a great first touch and he won't be a soft one.

He manages with passion. None of this standing on the touchline with his arms closed. He also watches the first half in the stands, listens to the fans, watches highlights during half time through the use of technology. He does not just conclude that a player is underperforming, he proves it, shows the player and expects the player to perform much better the second half. If you don't perform under this guy there is no where to hide. You can't argue with a man that has the facts in front of him and uses science to back him up.

feel- He has the passion required and I FEEL he will be the best we have had in a long long while.

Reason- I have reasoned that he meets all of the requirements to turn us into a successful club. I like a guy who is arrogant. Winners are Arrogant, nice guys make excuses. It might take him a couple of seasons before he is finally running the club the way he wants but at the end of the day he is going to make us very successful.

His honesty was also a breath of fresh air. I loved it when he said that it would take him a while to implement the changes he wanted in order to take us to the next level and that even though we have to show patience, as these things don't happen overnight, he knows he has to make his own time by getting the right results.

This guy is a thinker

Terry Wiseman said:

Yes we now have Sam Alladyce thank god,
we,ve been after a great manager for 8 Years and finally we have our man,watch this space?????

Next Season 5th in Table

Terry Wiseman

Steve Greenhalgh said:

At last a manager that can manage. Welcome to Tyneside Mr Alladyce, hope you get the chance to sort out this bunch of free loaders and win us a trophy. I for one would like you to have 3 years and a free hand, but please please remember you can walk away, we have a life sentance.

Carl said:

Where does this myth come from the we have this fantastic free flowing footballing history. We had a great few years under Keegan where we played football that we'll prob never see again but where do these arogant fans think we are so big that before winning the main thing is how we play. PUUUHHH LEEEEZZ. This is why fans around the country laugh at our fans because they think were are arogant andthat we think we have a god given right to success and a brazillian like team! Wake up people a couple of good footballing years under Keegan has given a few of you ideas way above your station.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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