Were Newcastle right to sack Sam Allardyce?

by Matt Quinn

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

Since Kevin Keegan left Newcastle United 11 years ago, 6 permanent managers have sat in the hot-seat at St James’ Park without any discernable success. The bar-codes are the very embodiment of a sleeping giant who’ve been on a course of valium for half a decade. The reasons behind this permanent slumber are unclear yet, conversely, numerous. The chairmen, however odious, have backed all their managers with a wad of cash without any return.

Big Sam

Now “Big Sam” (last season acknowledged to be only the 9th tallest manager in the premiership) has become the latest casualty. While this correspondent is not a fan of Allardyce, it is unbelievable that he has been forced out after only 8 months in charge. They are currently sitting comfortably in 11th position in the Premier league, in what should have been a season of transition. But this is the problem with Newcastle United, transition is not allowed. Success must be instant or there will be repercussions. Whether this intense pressure to succeed percolates down from the oft cited fan-base, or from trigger- happy chairmen is tantamount to discussing chickens and eggs.

What is clear is that this desire resonates around the St James’ stadium of a match-day, occasionally inspiring but more often transforming the team into anxiety ridden schoolboys. It cannot stop there though. The well publicised injury jinx that has plagued the north-east club may well be down to rushing players back to gain short-term goals. The various transfer dealing over the years, that has seen money wasted on such luminaries as Boumsong, Luque, Kluivert and Bramble smacks of panic and appeasement. Big money sexy signings in an attempt to replicate the longed for days of Keegan have seen Newcastle neglect their defence. Allardyce recognised this and sort about building a platform from the back in his first summer at the club. In came Cacapa, Rozenhal, Beye and Jose Enrique with varied results. Arsene Wenger gives his players 6 months to adapt to life at Arsenal. Players at Newcastle are lucky to get 6 days before performances are expected. While fans may point to a lack of flair under Allardyce, with a reluctance to play two wide-men in N’Zogbia and Milner, this only reaffirms the pressure placed on Big Sam and his players, culminating in negative displays designed to not lose. It is this conflict of desires that creates the tumultuous volcanic atmosphere in the North-east.

Everyone in Newcastle, from the owner to the kitman, wants the team to play expansive, attractive football while not forsaking results for entertainment. If time is not afforded by the fans and owner for a Newcastle manager to mould and develop a team then the cycle of failure and turmoil will only continue for the loyal Toon army, irrespective of who‘s in the hottest seat in the Premiership.

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  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    It’s the only job that is actually harder than the England one.

    They sacked Bobby Robson when they were flying high in the top six. They appointed a rodent who was clearly out of his depth. They then employ Mr Long Ball, so what did they expect?

    I hear Peggy who works at Peggy’s Café is up for the task!

  • http://www.buzzinfootballblog.co.uk Terry Lane

    I think this sacking has come about for two reasons – the style of which Newcastle have been losing & the fact that the current chairman did not appoint Sam Allardyce & is using him as a scapegoat.

    As for Newcastle fans moaning they deserve more because they are a “big club” – what does “a big club” mean? If you look up the definition of ‘big club’ on wikipedia will it say: see Manchester United, Chelsea & Arsenal? Or see Newcastle, Leeds United & Nottingham Forest?

  • jj

    Surely the most short-sighted piece of mis-management since the day Allardyce was given the smegging job in the first place.

    not the man to deliver champagne footy is he? newcastle have surely been through the worst of it by now. they’re hardly going to finish higher than 11th now this season anyway.

    nearly half the transfer window is already gone and they don’t have a new manager in to work out who he wants to buy.


  • Bakes

    What did the Geordies expect? As JJ says, he wasn’t going to deliver champagne footy. The club are now looking for their 8th manager in 11 seasons and does Mike Ashley strike you as having a clue about football? I can’t wait to see who they are going to appoint. They might have a bit of money to spend but who in their right mind would go there?

    Fat Sam will go back to an average team where the expectation is lower and he will make them successful to a point but that will be his lot. Who were the idiots who wanted this man in charge of England?

    The Premier League looks like it is now joining it’s Italian and Spanish cousins by sacking managers after a few games (24 for Sam). That is the 8th manager this year sacked in the Premier League. Who do these Chairmen think they will get to do a better job?

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    News is that the Geordies want Mark Hughes. Shearer, Redknapp & even Peggy have said no thanks. I bet they end up with someone like Ian Dowie.

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