Allardyce was only the manager for eight months, yet it appears that losing his job on Tyneside has hurt his feelings a bit as he takes another opportunity to stick the knife into us fans. He doesn’t blame his awful football that was a success at Bolton, but only yielded only eight victories at Newcastle. He had nothing to do with a string of poor results including the title of being the only team to be beaten by Derby County – the team that got relegated with a record low points total of 11 that season. It wasn’t his fault that some players didn’t want to play for him and were considering leaving in the January window. None of that was his fault apparently, it was the fans who were too expectant that were to blame.
Perhaps Sam has a point? After all, Newcastle have spent a season in The Championship whilst ‘Big Sam’ has taken his Blackburn team to mid-table. You can’t deny the football was awful though, which begs the question of whether results or entertainment are more important? For me it takes a bit of both, but when you get neither as Allardyce dished up the you’re asking for trouble. Despite that though, Sam believes that he was ready to take Newcastle to the next level.
“I had got the staff in place and we were ready to rock and roll,” Allardyce said.
“What we needed was bigger and better players – like a Modric. Modric was in our training ground, having a look around. He was top of our list.”
But then Allardyce was hit by a bombshell that sent shockwaves through his over-inflated heed. Between his appointment and his sacking, a certain Mike Ashley had taken control of the club. An owner who liked to be out with the fans in the stand and would have heard a lot of criticism towards the manager.
“Somebody told Mike I wasn’t the man. They told him Harry Redknapp was – and I got booted out. Then Harry changed his mind.”
“I have no problem at all because Mike Ashley settled my contract immediately. It was Freddy Shepherd who had taken me on, and I would have been bitter and twisted if he had sacked me, but it does get difficult after there’s been a takeover.”
Now we look at his most astonishing tirade yet;
“Fan pressure there is hostile towards the players. They don’t really support the team as they should, they’re very critical and the players can’t handle that. That’s what Scott Parker couldn’t cope with. He said he couldn’t play at Newcastle. Gary Speed told me when I went up there that it’s a very difficult place to play your football. If the fans don’t take to you, you’re knackered.”
“I had spent a huge amount of time recreating a football club that needed recreating. That was behind the scenes, with an induction of staff who had moved with me. We’d created a whole new working environment, but that staff got dismantled over the next six months – the club appreciated nothing and started all over again.”
It’s nice to see his time with Newcastle hasn’t left a bitter taste in his mouth then. Yes, that was sarcasm. Allardyce is comparing us to Bolton or Blackburn and would have made us into a mid-table team. On the face of it we would probably have taken that now as we emerge from The Championship doldrums. Looking back though our resources far outweighed that of a mid-table finish. That is what he had to work with at the time, and that is also what he failed to work with. Can anyone say they actually enjoyed Allardyce being our manager? Are we, as fans, the architects of our own downfall? Have our expectations been tempered by relegation? So many questions to answer.
At least Sam isn’t bitter though, eh?