BBC BLOGS - Paul Fletcher
« Previous | Main | Next »

Big Sam is back

Paul Fletcher | 17:06 UK time, Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Sam Allardyce took a wrong turn when he left Bolton for Newcastle in the summer of 2007 but has been given the chance to rebuild his managerial career at Blackburn.

Allardyce cited a desire to win trophies as the reason why he walked out of one of football's more secure positions.

Inextricably linked to this was his ambition to manage the England team. He had impressed the Football Association board when he was interviewed in 2006 but lost out to Steve McClaren and felt that managing a high-profile club would enhance his prospects.

He might have established Bolton in the Premier League, taken them to a Carling Cup final and into the Uefa Cup but he lasted less than nine months at Newcastle and the challenge facing him now is one of restoring his damaged reputation.

sam__438.jpgThe 54-year-old had expressed his interest in several jobs after leaving St James Park - not least the vacancy at Sunderland - but it is Blackburn chairman John Williams who has finally offered Allardyce the opportunity he had so desperately craved.

Quite simply, both Allardyce and Blackburn need each other.

Rovers are a proud Lancashire club but hardly rich by the heady standards of the Premier League and have, at best, a modest fanbase. With so many other clubs competing for breathing space in Lancashire they compete in a very congested county.

It is part of the reason why relegation for Blackburn would be a disaster. The Championship is packed full of clubs who have tasted the top flight, with its attendant cash riches and fat, long contracts, and disappeared without trace after falling through the trapdoor.

Rovers, of course, won promotion back to the Premier League in 2001 after relegation two seasons earlier but the situation is different now. The days of being bankrolled by Jack Walker are long gone and the trust that has owned a 99.8% stake in the club since his death in 2000 is unlikely to continue to invest in the club in the long term.

The trust is also trying to sell the club and have appointed investment bankers Rothschild to try to find a buyer. The damage that relegation would do to their worth is difficult to calculate but would obviously be severe.

This must have been uppermost in the mind of Williams, a pragmatic and shrewd operator who boasts a solid record of managerial appointments. He obviously decided he had made the wrong decision in appointing the inexperienced (certainly at Premier League level) but highly regarded Paul Ince. And in bringing Allardyce to the club the following day he has not only acted with breathtaking decisiveness but signalled an abrupt change of direction.

Allardyce, after all, is hardly an exponent of the beautiful game but he knows how to maximise a modest club's potential in the Premier League. An uncompromising central defender during his playing days, his teams play a direct, physical but effective brand of football. It might go against the grain at a club traditionally regarded for their attractive football (while his long association both as player and manager with Bolton may be a bitter pill to swallow for some Rovers fans) but Williams has appointed the man with the methods ideally suited to their situation.

Blackburn are five points adrift of safety (effectively six given their awful goal difference) and on an 11-game winless streak. The reality of their situation is stark. They need to scrap and harry and fight for every available point over the second half of the season and in Allardyce they have someone who will ensure that they do just that.

And for all that Allardyce's teams lack grace or finesse it cannot be said that Rovers new boss is merely a throwback to the old school.

He forged a reputation at Bolton for his willingness to try new and innovative techniques that improved his squad's performance and extended the careers of senior players such as Gary Speed.

Nutritionists, dieticians, specialists in Chinese medicine, match analysis tool Pro Zone, psychologists - all were hired by Big Sam in an attempt to squeeze a few extra percentage points of performance from his players.

I spoke to Bolton skipper Kevin Nolan regularly during his season as a columnist for this website and he held Allardyce in the very highest regard. Ask him about the composition of the backroom staff, however, and he became a little coy. It was the same with others at the club. They felt that they had a slight advantage and didn't want to give their secrets away. I was told that Allardyce spent some of the money that he might have invested in new players on assembling his backroom team and it will be interesting to see whether he employs the same methods at Ewood.

He also pulled off some surprising and inspired signings at Bolton - the likes of Youri Djorkaeff, Jay-Jay Okocha and Ivan Campo. Will he be able to do the same at Ewood?sam438.jpg

First and foremost, though, Allardyce must stop the rot. Half the season remains but in a sense time is not on his side. If the losing streak continues and Rovers lose touch with safety, the manager could be hamstrung before he has even begun.

But there are positives for the new boss.

The swift nature of his appointment means that he has the Christmas fixtures to assess his squad and then the whole of the January transfer window in which to buy and sell.

David Dunn is fit again after an Achilles injury and he has at his disposal a squad that boasts some very decent players. Paul Robinson, Ryan Nelsen, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Matt Derbyshire, Tugay, Benni McCarthy, Christopher Samba, Jason Roberts, Roque Santa Cruz (if he stays) - all are capable of helping Rovers move in the right direction.

It all starts against Stoke on Saturday.

Allardyce and Rovers; it is an intriguing proposition and it should make for fascinating viewing.

One supporter noted after hearing of his club's new appointment that if Allardyce can do for Blackburn what he did at Bolton then it will be a very happy union indeed.

Keeping them in the Premier League would do for starters.


Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Allardyce not making it at Newcastle was a blessing in disguise. While all is quiet on Tyneside at the moment I'm sure the club aren't too far away from the next calamity.

    Sure he'll do just fine with Rovers while Newcastle fans will looking on with some envy at Blacburns 'spurs style revival' while they wave goodbye to the Premiership minus Owen.

  • Comment number 2.

    end2endgame - stop talkin tosh, newcastle aint goin down, luckily there are far worse teams in the division!

  • Comment number 3.

    Probably the best appointment Blackburn could make in these circumstances, Souness or Keane would have been a big mistake as they are practically like for like replacements for Ince, same types of personalities and seem destined to achieve very little in the world of management.

  • Comment number 4.

    What a pathetic appointment! He did nothing at Newcastle except leave with £millions as a pay off for failure. He was desperate to talk to Sunderland - who did not want him - again! He has won 'zero' of importance in his entire career - and Blackburn give him a 3 year contract! It beggars belief. The only winner here is Allardyce who will be given even more money to leave pre-contract once he has taken Rovers down to the Championship to play against the likes of promoted Scunthorpe! Football is a managerial roundabout of consistent failures - only their bank managers can be happy!
    I suspect that 90% of our professional teams could manage without a manager for all the good that they do!

  • Comment number 5.

    Looks like Blackburn are going to stay rooted to the bottom of the fair play league for sure now, but what about the important one?

  • Comment number 6.

    hahahaa laughable, i hope blackburn fans are ready for the most boring times of their lives! woops forgot they haven't got any fans!

  • Comment number 7.

    I've always liked watching Rovers but a few seasons ago they were also tough, aggressive, physical opponents, especially at Ewood Park. It was only in the last season or two that they started really playing attractive stuff (in my opinion anyway - I've only really been following the league closely for 5 or 6 years). I think
    Mark Hughes was great at getting the squad to play above their own standards, to work hard but still play good football. That's why I think he is struggling at City, where he has to deal with highly-paid superstars and unreasonable expectations. He can make underrated players punch above their weight but it's a different task making highly-rated players perform at their peak week in, week out.

    Part of me fears that Allardyce will turn them into over-physical long-ball bullies, but my optimistic side hopes that he can combine the physical, determined aspect with the players' flair and creativity. Players like Pedersen and Santa Cruz are too good for the Bolton style of play (no offence), and I hope they survive through hard work as well as good football.

  • Comment number 8.

    Why is big sam going to be any better at Rovers than Newcastle?

    He is a good manager but he is known for building his teams - not motivating them, he sets up the team, like bolton, with no money and a system that works (long ball), then scraps his way to the points

    can he set up the team quickly enough in January to survive?

  • Comment number 9.

    For the sake of Rovers fans, let's hope Allardyce has learnt something new in his time away from football.

    His last season at Bolton and his 6 months at Newcastle produced the worst football I have ever seen in the Premiership.

    He alienated the press, the fans and the players. Too arrogant to ever admit a mistake, even after he was sacked at Newcastle, he still insisted it was everyone's fault but his own. His stubborn attitude and ego got in the way of tactical decisions. His signings were very hit and miss.

    His tactics were transparent - like a one trick pony - it worked early on at Bolton, until everyone figured out how to beat his ugly, defensive, dour gameplan. And he had no "Plan B"

    I forsee a handful of matches with Rovers fans pleased, some nice results in the honeymoon period (just like what happened at Newcastle) then a slow trudge into ugly, relegation battles and empty stadiums due to unwatchable longball games...

  • Comment number 10.

    Excellent blog Paul, echoing the same sentiments I expressed about John Williams and Rovers in Phil McNulty's blog yesterday.

    I heartily agree with your assessment of Big Sam and Rovers needing each other and I fully expect an immediate impact both on player morale and (more importantly) results on the pitch.

    Taking nothing away from Paul Ince other than his managerial inexperience, (he'll be back at the right time, in the right situation, you see) Big Sam has a presence about him that players will either respect and respond to, or they'll be shopped somewhere else for players who have the desire to step in and step up.

    To repeat what I said yesterday, Blackburn are the quintessential small town club overachieving season after season and it takes a special kind of manager to operate in this kind of arena.

    Big Sam's experience over the moors in Bolton augers well for John Williams and the entire Rovers fan base, since in more seasons than one in the eight he was there, it was Big Sam more often than not "willing" the team to success over and beyond the limitations of skill and endeavor. And he accomplished this week in and week out, game after game.

    Perhaps the best thing about his Newcastle experience is that it was short and sweet, the fact being that he's had a year-long vacation now to reflect on it and to re-charge and re-enervate the motivational batteries, and personally I can't wait to see Rovers' transformation between now and May.

    Good luck to Big Sam and Rovers from "Big D" in Dallas Texas.

  • Comment number 11.

    I can't see it ending well - you can only get away with his brand of football if there is no pressure/expectation or you are winning. At Blackburn - huge pressure at the moment, and whatever effect he has they're bound to lose a few games and the fans will turn quickly.

    Oh, and if they do win games he'll immediately credit it all to himself and his "tactical genius", but if they lose it'll be all the player's fault.

    On the plus side, he's better than Souness!

  • Comment number 12.

    Allardyce, Souness, McLaren, Curbishley, Houllier, Shearer + yesteryear's Hoddle, Venables etc!
    What a bunch to choose from - and whilst they can't obtain a proper managerial position, they are employed by the fawning and ever desperate TV football industry - as 'experts'!
    It is an ever more expensive conspiracy!

  • Comment number 13.

    Thankfully Allardyce has gone to Blackburn; it takes away any possibility of him replacing Calderwood at Forest if and when he goes. Feel sorry for Blackburn fans, you're going to have to get used to the most boring football in the Premiership, along with Megson's Bolton. The only bright thing you'll have is the knowledge that as soon as Allardyce sniffs what he perceives is a better job he'll be off. When he scarpered from Notts County he didn't even have the decency to hand in his keys and he upped and left Bolton for Newcastle in a similar manner. Just a trace of bad judgement there!

  • Comment number 14.

    Allardyce will transform Blackburn into a big, overly physical, long-ball side. That shouldn't take long then.

  • Comment number 15.

    I think you guys are too harsh on Allardyce.

    For a club at Rovers level, to even talk of 'boring football' is hilarious... You are a small club. You get what you are given, and if you are lucky you stay up, and if you are very, very lucky you can stay up and be entertaining to watch for a couple of seasons every so often. As simple as that.

    Keeping a small club up is a job that requires a lot of luck, and a great keeper (I still think a lot of Rovers' recent success was due to Friedel, rather than Hughes). Allardyce doesn't have either, but perhaps can make up for it with his experience.

    There are no alternatives. He is the best Rovers can get.

  • Comment number 16.

    good blog paul. it really was an interesting read. it seems its a rare occurence when you read an insightful and unbiased article about blackburn. i was surprised to see that you didnt include Warnock with the players that can help us get out off the relegation zone. Surely he remains one of our best talents (when he's played at left-back!!!) behind the obvious select few. COME ON ALLARDYCE, fat ronaldo and nesta in the transfer window please!!

  • Comment number 17.

    Not a fan of Allardyce but he achieved a lot with a tiny club at Bolton and little cash and what Rovers need is an experienced hand at the wheel to guide them out of the mess they are in.

    It's a good appointment and Blackburn fans should be happy.

  • Comment number 18.

    There is this sad roster in English football of dreadfully mediocre managers whose reputation is based on absolutely no evidence nor silverware. These names are thrust upon any speculative managers position simply to fill space.Allardyce, Curbishley,Pardew & Souness are the Kings of this idiom and yet all examples of producing dull hoof and kick teams with no flamboyance nor tactical acumen.Allardyce is an astonishingly poor choice and shows the Chairmans lack of will and ambition precisely.How can Mancini's record be overlooked for example in favour of Big Sams'?It is a remarkably wrong move and all i can wish in disgust at this unpopular decision (the reactions of the supporters is hardly ecstatic) is that Blackburn continue their fall from grace and the next time,in May,they seek someone more thrilling and competent.

  • Comment number 19.

    The tranquilliser strikes back...

  • Comment number 20.

    For all of you chaps on here critising Allardyce from the comfort of your armchairs, could one of you, please, display your record of management in the Premiership? Or the Championship? Stop knocking the guy, he did a good job at Bolton. He probably would have done better than Maclaren in the England hotseat.

  • Comment number 21.

    Can't see them finishing above 15th.

  • Comment number 22.

    I had all sorts of respect for Sam Allardyce as a Bolton fan. Even when he left and understood his frustrations.

    But now I hate the man. How could he go manage at Blackburn after managing at Bolton? Has he no loyalty?


  • Comment number 23.

    Good blog, but why does noone from the BBC ever mention the bung allegations Allardyce was involved in? (Or indeed anything about the follow up to these allegations) Is it something that football reporters are happy to forget? Would be interested to know.

  • Comment number 24.

    To all those knocking the way Allardyces teams play, remember this Pool and more specifically Chelsea have spent millions and both of those teams success in recent years has come about by playing boring & unattractive football. Double standards perhaps?

  • Comment number 25.

    Why does the report say, "three years"?

    Everyone knows he will not be there after three years.

  • Comment number 26.

    Allardyce...good manager, shady character.

    Then again, with the situation Blackburn find themselves in, they can't be too picky; anyone with the experience to hit the ground running and raise them out of the bottom 3 should be good news to them, at least in the short term.

    As for the long-term...3 year contract means nowt these days, if you're bad you get sacked, if you're good it means they can delay giving you a payrise for a bit longer.

  • Comment number 27.

    As I noted on 606, Allardyce's career average for taking points is roughly 50%. With 21 games left, if he is able to keep up his average, that puts him on about 31 points for the remainder of the season. With 13 points in hand, that makes for a season's total of 43.

    Could be close ... should be interesting!

  • Comment number 28.

    OK. 31 + 13 = 44.

    Numbers. Never my strong point. :)

  • Comment number 29.

    Wow. Such bias against what Allardyce did with Bolton. It is strange to point out the signings of top European footballers that Allardyce made for Bolton and then take the easy media-friendly road and brand his teams 'long ball'. Bolton didn't play a whole lot of long ball football under Sam Allardyce (if you'd have ever bothered to watch) and certainly far less than either Chelsea or Liverpool were playing during the same years. The difference being if you win things while you're doing it it's considered fine, and that a long ball from Terry to Drogba
    is far more acceptable than the same one played up to Kevin Davies.

    Allardyce will likely bring a much needed toughness too a limp and lifeless Blackburn squad who have looked unmotivated and poor for weeks. If that keeps them in the premiership then good for him and them. His first, and potentially biggest, hurdle will be keeping hold of some of the better players in January.

    One last thing. Of course Allardyce failed at Newcastle. Everybody fails at Newcastle!

  • Comment number 30.

    Paul Fletcher, take a bow. What an article. Probably one of the best I've read in a LONG time.

    Come on Rovers. Sam will get us out of this mess!

  • Comment number 31.

    Geordiegibo - Rovers may have less fans than Newcastle but at least they aren't a National joke. ....and why is it that Newcastle haven't found a buyer to take over from Mike Ashley? is it because the of the fans and the fact that many take obsession abit too far. Inshort their behaviour has scared off any prospective buyer in case they're linched by a baying mob if results are quite to their liking.

  • Comment number 32.

    i think rover fans will be happier with allardyce than Souness but weather Big sam will get the backing of the board or not is a different matter and one that will in my opinion determine weather or not blackburn survive the drop, because its clear for all too see that they need investment in january

  • Comment number 33.

    Boring, the football may be. But there's only one way up for Blackburn now.

    Those complaining that he's boring, no better than Ince etc should take a football reality check, Cause you could have done a lot worseand there's a lot of fans out there who would give their right arm to be were you are now and big Sam at the helm.

  • Comment number 34.

    I'll say this one more time and never again. Allardyce deserved the sack at Newcastle.

    He set up a squad for 4-3-3 but when we got a few injuries he was forced to change to a 4-4-2 formation. We were stuck in this formation until a 2-2 draw in April with Birmingham under Keegan.

    When the players were fit again and we reverted to 4-3-3, we started winning. Nothing to do with Keegan working miracles, he just had to endure working with no strength in depth for 11 or so games with several players on the treatment table.

    The point is Allardyce does only have plan A. When this went to pot, he was completely clueless. His hand was forced into playing a formation he didn't favour backed with awful signings in the summer. Rozenhal, Smith, Viduka, Cacapa, Barton (who no-one would touch and still needs to convince me he should be on our books).

    Just to clarify I am not a Keegan = Messiah man, I was in as much if not more despair when we got him as with Allardyce and was happy to see him leave too.

    What is the point of going to a football match to watch something you don't enjoy? I can read 1-0 scorelines in the paper thanks but under Allardyce it took long balls to do it and that does not interest me. The fact we have to watch his brand of football on MOtD is enough to make my stomach turn.

    I have to laugh at other fans who slammed Newcastle for getting rid, yet when he's interested in your club everyone changes their tune.

    I feel sorry for Blackburns fans.
    Sunderland breathes a collective sigh of relief.

  • Comment number 35.

    Allardyce's time at Bolton was unique. He was given five years to get Bolton in to the top eight. These days he's unlikely to be given five months. Fans are the ones who put pressure on managers so perhaps they should be held accountable when a manager gets the sack. Perhaps they should be made to pay half the compensation before a new manager can be appointed and it might stop the current trend where even teams at the top of the premiership are booed by their own fans.

  • Comment number 36.

    Getting an experienced manager in this quickly was the one good thing the Blackburn board did. The appointment of Paul Ince - risky - followed by a failure to back him - criminal - shows the familiar lack of competence of Premier League senior executives.

    While I think it was an interesting blog, I don't agree with the comments on the strength of the squad. With Bentley gone and Santa Cruz about to go, there is little genuine quality at Blackburn. This team was always going to struggle whoever the manager was.

    Allardyce did well at Bolton, creating an unlovely team that was very effective, but I can't see him getting the time or financial backing at Blackburn to achieve anything comparable.

    Blackburn seem destined to sink back to the lower leagues of the pre-Jack Walker era.

  • Comment number 37.

    I keep reading from cliche-toting hacks like you that Big Sham prolonged the careers of 'people like' Gary Speed with his mythical scientific and adventurous approach. Who else's careers are you talking about? I would suggest that Gary's lifestyle and dedication were the truth behind that 'one'. I'd also suggest that Fat Sam is a mate of yours. Anyway, why not hire the scientists who are probably more tactically aware than " You don't know what you're doing!" Sham.

  • Comment number 38.

    Oh dear.

    I sympathise with Blackburn.

    First Big Fat Joe rising fom the dead at Newcastle, now Big Fat Sam at Ewood.

    Oh dear.

    What's the betting he will last the three year contract (not that it matters - tails he wins heads he wins).

    It proves the old adage: If intelligence and judgement were measured in elastic the average football board wouldn't have enough for a one-legged sparrow.

  • Comment number 39.

    The picture of big Sam smiling in the rain on the front page gives me a thought of 'what might have been'. Big Sam instead of that Dutch bloke with a brolly?

  • Comment number 40.

    Bob Larkin #38 hits the naill right on the head. Utter failures having a very profitable 'jolly' on the managerial merry go round.
    TV needs them in order to ask them for their inarticulate and utterly boring comments. Newspapers need them in order to write about their dreary little lives - and the 'fans' - you guys - the mugs who seem to need football to make their lives worthwhile are paying for it!
    Wise up! They are 'conning' you! There is not an ounce of loyaly in any of them - not least the latest addition to Blackburn Rovers - God help them!

  • Comment number 41.

    How crass is football - how many teams has Sam been at - won some lose some, it's a joke? He was really good at Newcastle?!
    A merry go round of stupidity!

  • Comment number 42.

    Very good article and Allardyce is a good manager.


    are spot on as well. The criticism of Allardyce, is bizarre; he is a progressive manager, but just not in the style of Wenger. Bolton's teams accommodated some flair, which is a neat trick. Anelka, Stellios, Okocha, Campo, Djorkiaff even Nolan; alongside the likes of Kevin Davis (who I remember beating four defenders at speed for Saints to score, before injuries forced him to almost reinvent himself) Bolton a few seasons ago were team who would run Chelsea close at the Bridge. With Alan Hansen saying 'this team can play as well.' Which wasn't begrudging admiration. They knew when to bypass the midfield, but could also play some good stuff when in that final third.

    The criticism of Big Sam comes from the Big4 managers, teams that wee Bolton, were consistently alone in giving a run for their money, both on the pitch and with Allardyce's backroom set up and mind games.

    His unjust sacking at Newcastle, seems to have enforced a lot of the near hysteria (sections of the Toon army well known for its level headedness) surrounding Allardyce as a bogeyman figure. The idea put out by some posters that he's journeyman manager, (Robson, Souness) is ridiculous, I cant only recall him having one job, and another when he's wasn't given a real chance.

  • Comment number 43.

    Sorry, StJameshPark you can't stand 'im. Copy n paste error there!

  • Comment number 44.

    I have to smile when I see some of the dismissive comments aimed at my team Blackburn. It's as though we have no right to be in the Premier League with such a small fan base and we should crawl back to where we belong. Maybe they should just put all the rich clubs together and put a halt to relegation/promotion. Now wouldn't that be exciting??

    What was the Rovers chairman supposed to do faced with the inevitable truth that we were for the drop with Ince at the helm? To a club like ours that could spell oblivion and every fan I know fully backs Williams' appointment of Sam. He has the interests of the club at heart and it wasn't his priority to protect Ince's future career prospects. In fact there aren't many clubs where the chairman is so closely in tune with the fans' opinions.

    All this stuff about route one football, well Ince tried to take on the big clubs playing pretty football and they just praised us for making it an open game while they strolled off with the 3 points - and an improved goal difference!

    Some of the top clubs have a player on the bench who cost more than our entire squad. If Sam (like Hughes before him) can keep us mixing it in this exalted company then at least allow him to use his own methods. I for one am realistic. I loved the 4 years with Dalglish culminating in winning the title but we knew we had to enjoy it while it lasted. Then we could play exciting football because of Jack Walker's money. Not any more, it's a simple reality.

    PS another reason I am happy to have Sam is that if the likely happens and we are relegated I'd give him more chance than most of getting us back quickly.

  • Comment number 45.

    #3 (stev666), Souness may not be everybody's cup of tea, but he did a good job in his stint at Blackburn. For a man who is "destined to achieve very little in the world of management", he's got a pretty impressive list of honours as a manager:

    Rangers: Scottish League (x4), Scottish League Cup (x4)
    Liverpool: FA Cup
    Galatasaray: Turkish Cup, Turkish Super Cup
    Blackburn: League Cup, promotion from the Championship

    Most British managers could only dream of matching that lot.

  • Comment number 46.

    The man is a fool. He will take you backwards and entice even fewer fans into the stadium.

    An idiots choice.

  • Comment number 47.

    Allerdyce was desperate for a job, absolutely desperate and so he should be.
    Allerdyce brings nothing to football but clogging, stop 'em at all costs stuff.

  • Comment number 48.

    I think the criticism of the Rovers board in the wake of Paul Ince's sacking is totally unjustified.

    We haven't sacked a manager for over 10 years until yesterday. We're hardly a club that jumps on the managerial merry-go-round at the drop of a hat. Some clubs have sacked half a dozen managers in that time!!

    The club's intentions were good when they appointed Ince. However, it soon became obvious they had made a mistake. Criticising them for sacking him so soon is ludicrous. What kind of business makes an error (and they all do) and then does nothing about it? To keep Ince would be burying their heads in the sand. By definition the events of the last 2 days are an acceptance by them of their errors of the summer.

    Its a tough old business these days. Players and managers can't expect to be paid the huge sums on offer and not have big pressure on them.

    Welcome to the club Sam, you should've been appointed in June.

  • Comment number 49.

    Big Sam is a great manager; In his own mind!

    Rovers beware

  • Comment number 50.

    tommydocherty, you seem to know all about Allardyce. So much so you can't even spell his name correctly. Stop em at all costs football eh? Yes please!! We've conceded 34 goals in 17 games. That's concede at all costs football.
    Bring it on!! Lets kick the opposition to smithereens, Blackeye Rovers here we come....

  • Comment number 51.

    Not too excited about the appointment, but he's better than some of the options being touted. And, ultimately, Ince had to go. I'm not a 'Manager Out!' type fan (few Rovers fans really are), but it was clear that Ince wasn't working, and I respect Williams for being courageous enough to admit his mistake and cut the cord before more damage is done. Whilst I'm not a huge Allardyce fan, some of the negativity in this thread is very unfair and blinkered (do some of you fans actually make up your own opinions, or do you just base your opinion on what the press tell you you should think?)

    That aside:

    36. At 9:10pm on 17 Dec 2008, Kentspur wrote:

    "Getting an experienced manager in this quickly was the one good thing the Blackburn board did. The appointment of Paul Ince - risky - followed by a failure to back him - criminal - shows the familiar lack of competence of Premier League senior executives."

    Sorry to 'get all defensive', but if you actually know anything about English football, you will be aware that the Rovers board are one of the most respected in the game.

    "With Bentley gone and Santa Cruz about to go, there is little genuine quality at Blackburn."

    And there you're just trying to justify your club spending approx. £15M on a HUGELY overrated player. Bentley is not as good as he (or anyone else) thinks he is. As you'll realise after you watch him in a Spurs shirt for a few more games, and the hopeful novelty wears off.

    "Blackburn seem destined to sink back to the lower leagues of the pre-Jack Walker era."

    Based on what? An 11 game winless run? It wasn't so long ago that Spurs "seemed destined to go down". Anyway, Rovers 'sank back to the lower leagues' after the Jack Walker era, and bounced back.

    Put it this way, over the last 15 years, would I rather have been a Rovers fan or a Spurs fan? Let me think... the Premier League title, the Champions League campaigns, the 2-1 Carling Cup win over a laughably-arrogant-yet-poor Spurs side, the 4-1 victory at White Hart Lane 4 or 5 years ago, with Spurs fans throwing their season tickets onto the pitch in disgust...

    Rather than pass comment on 'poor old Blackburn' in a 'wise man of football' way, I'd stick to worrying about your own clubs perennial underachievement.

  • Comment number 52.

    Excellent choice! Big Sam did a fantastic job at Bolton, and deserved more of a chance at Newcastle. The only person to blame for the Newcastle fiasco, in my opinion, is Mike Ashley, who should have known that the Newcastle fans would never have gone for someone with Sam's approach to the game.

    Blackburn, is an excellent opportunity for him to get back into the game, for someone who has never let a club down.

    I also hope Ince can return, after maybe a return to the lower leagues. He has shown he has the desire to follow a job through, unlike one former teammate, even if he may need longer to develop all the aspects of a top level manager.

  • Comment number 53.

    At lot of the posters on this blog should stop listening blindly to the usual pundits and actually trust what they see themselves. Allardyce was the most forward thinking coach the wanderers had had for many years and achieved things the fans of a 'small town' club could only dream of. Players of the quality of Okocha, Hierro, Campo, Diouf, NGotty, Anelka, Candela were enticed to Lancashire (a miracle in itself) and although the football towards the end was dull, they could, at times, play good stuff on the deck with this type of player. This is oft forgotten by the average armchair fan.
    If, a big if, Allardyce can capture the imagination of the current blackburn squad then not too much will be required to send rovers back up the league. His main skill is as a man manager, getting 100% out of every squad member. The last 4 months at Bolton soured it for me but let us not forget we were 3rd in the table new years day 2007.
    Best of luck to big sam and rovers.

  • Comment number 54.

    Allardyce will do well with Rovers and I wish him luck in all matches except Bolton. I am sure the Wanderers would love to have him back.

    Jack Bolt, Djr, Chief Architect, Comatosed... and Corcky C: well said.

    To the Rovers faithful, let's face it you aren't going to get a top flight international manager until you are much better financed. Big Sam will assure survival and some wonderful signings that no one else had the faith or guts to bring in. If you want pretty football watch the Gunners, but that isn't a guarantee of success either.

  • Comment number 55.

    I really don't understand the relevance of some of the arguments put forward by people as to why he's a bad choice of manager for Blackburn.

    Firstly, footballisacon says he's won nothing of importance in his career. For a start, it's all relevant. Keeping Bolton in the league and making them challenge as high up the table as they did, could and probably should be considered as as good an achievement as winning Ferguson winning the FA Cup with his United squad. I'm not for a minute suggesting he's in the same bracket as SAF but I'm pointing out that with the budget he had, he did a fantastic job.
    Also, on the same point, how many managers out there can actually claim to have won anything of importance anyway?
    I don't know the exact numbers or figures but the number of managers who have won something major or even minor for that matter, must be tiny in comparison to the number who have not won a thing, but do well to keep their respective teams in their leagues year after year, or put together good cup runs etc.

    Secondly, following on from the first point is so what if he's not won anything? He's not there to win the league with Blackburn, he's there to keep them in the league and I could not think of a manager better suited to the task in hand. This is what Sam Allardyce is good at and if it is boring and physical, I challenge anyone to find a Blackburn fan who would complain about that if Sam keeps them up.

  • Comment number 56.

    The way Sam Allardyce was treated at Newcastle was a disgrace, he wasn't given enough time to gel a team together properly, it can't be done overnight. I just hope the board at Blackburn give him the time he deserves. And as for physical long ball football, I wouldn't care if I were a Blackburn fan as long as it kept them up. I would be more than happy to see that type of football at Leeds if it got us back into the Premiership. Anyway what's wrong with a bit of physicality in the game, last time I checked it was a contact sport. Personally I'm sick of seeing overpaid idiots rolling over 5,6,7 times after a tackle... if they were that hurt they would go down like a ton of bricks and not move an inch! Good luck Big Sam.

  • Comment number 57.

    Good appointment just the man to try and keep us in the premiership. Shame we will have to endure even more boring football than before but if it works then fair play. Maybe when big Sam dissappears off again we will get Hughes back once he's been sacked at man city......

    Let's just hope Sam makes some better signings than ince and keeps roque....

  • Comment number 58.

    Big Sam is a good appointment for Blackburn. The Chairman needed to act quickly after sacking Paul Ince. A few bad results over Christams and Blackburn could have been 10-points adrift from the pack.

    Who else would have been available? Souness? People forget he left Rovers in the same position (19th in the Prem) when he walked out to join Newcastle and it was Hughes who saved them, and he did it buy making Blackburn physical and harder to beat. Curbishley was available, but could he get them out of this mess? He did it at West Ham, but had about £25m to spend and Carlos Tevez.

    Ultimately Big Sam is a fighter. He will make Blackburn difficult to beat. Teams will not be looking forward to a trip to Ewood Park. He might play boring, unattractive football, but many other teams do the same and people praise their spirit and determination, look at Stoke for example.

    Blackburn need to stay up, relegation would spell disaster. Thet would be another Coventry or Sheffield Wednesday, apart from they have half the fanbase.

    Sam will do a good job, and probably steer Blackburn away from relegation. There are worse teams in this division!

  • Comment number 59.

    Why Big Sam will 'do a Bolton', and then some.....

    There's an important difference between Blackburn and Bolton: Blackburn's board has much more ambition than Bolton's. That's what led to Blackburn's mistake in appointing Ince, but it's also what will allow Sam to achieve more than he did at Bolton.

    Back in June, the Rovers post was seen as very attractive, because Hughes had taken them to the brink of being an established top 6/7 team. Back then, Ince was regarded as an exciting up-and-coming manager who could take Rovers to that next level, with an attractive brand of football thrown in as a bonus.

    Today, the set up at Rovers is no different to how it was back in June: the decent players, excellent training facilities and fantastic board are all still there. Friedel was getting old (Robinson is showing great signs now) and Bentley was, in my opinion, an inconsistent prima donna.

    And here's the point: Big Sam will rescue Rovers from the drop this season (but it will be close) and, as long as he does keep them up, I think he could take Rovers further than he took Bolton. The Rovers board and John Williams (in particular) have great ambitions for the club. They will back Sam up and help him to turn Rovers into a regular UEFA Cup team, frequently ruffling the feathers of the top 4, and perhaps winning a domestic cup.

  • Comment number 60.

    I think Allardyce is the ideal appointment, for reasons that have been pretty much overlooked in this blog until the last post, #59.

    Big Sam had created a unit at Bolton that consistently achieved over and above their reputation, by playing a certain type of physical, pressing tactic. He left and his short-lived successor ('little Sam') tried to change the system. It confused the players, was a disaster, and led to him being rapidly replaced by Megson who promptly reverted by to what the players knew - tactics Big Sam style.

    Now fast-forward. What hasn't been analysed yet is the system Hughes inculcated into his Blackburn side that resulted in them consistently achieving over and above their reputation. The style was not entirely dissimilar to Big Sam's at Bolton. See the parallels here? Ince comes him and the players don't know what the hell's going on. Sack him and bring in a new manager who will ask them to play in a way that they are familiar and comfortable with.

    One reason Sam failed at Newcastle is that the players weren't used to his playing style; not so at Blackburn. With the exception of one (Bentley), the outfield players are the ones Hughes left; even without the benefit of the impending transfer window, Sam ought to get the players back to playing as they did under Hughes just by allowing to do what they know best.

    Anyone agree?

  • Comment number 61.

    something is amiss with your blog. Big sam left bolton with 3 games still to go before the end of the season, with bolton just about to qualify for the uefa cup. Newcastle still had a manager, sam was not appointed till 3 weeks after the season was over. By fat freddie. who would surely have heard that newcastle was soon to be sold. and his time at the helm over. giving sam a juicy contract, that if sam failed would give him a payday (as he did) that most of us can only dream of to be paid out by the new owner. I don't know if its libel laws? or that the media are not interested in a story where questions about sam should be asked. Of course blackburns board like anyother will just be happy to give him another big payday. If he can get his players to boot the ball as high as air traffic control will allow. or as far as preston high street. with opposing teams counting the walking wounded, and those that can't walk. as long as come may blackburn are not in the bottom 3 then its all that matters. and sam will be a winner and football the loser.

  • Comment number 62.

    all you fans criticising allardyce should just shut up. i mean what the hell do you know about football management? allardyce is a decent manager and i wish him all the luck in the world at rovers. yeh you may think hes boring but what kind of world would it be if every team play attacking football the likes of arsenal and man utd do? football needs teams like allardyce;s to really make it entertaining. this shows how good those attacking teams really are by whether they can break them down or not.

    it would be boring after a while if everyone attacked. give him and the blackburn club a break. ive heard ppl saying they hope they get relegated what a bitter joke you are especially newcastle fans. so he didnt succeed there? but who the hell does? your club is so bad keegan ur so called messiah walked out on ya twice. perhaps liverpool and chelsea should be demoted cus they are boring aswell, in fact other than arsenal, utd, villa and maybe spurs they are all boring teams to watch. so give them a break

  • Comment number 63.

    I think it's the first good thing blackburn have done this season, at least they look like they want to stay in the top flight with taking 'big Sam' on. good luck to them (and that's from a red)

  • Comment number 64.

    Rovers are not the worst team in the PL but are far from the best. I think Big Sam will see Rovers as an opportunity to reclaim some credibility. I believe he will keep them in the PL, but only just. It wont be pretty football, most of the points will be from drawn matches or 1-0 wins from scrappy goals, but at least Rovers will stay in the top division.

    Alladyce is a shrewd buyer so I would expect small, utility signings, mainly for competition for positions. Hopefully for Blackburn, Santa Cruz stays...

  • Comment number 65.

    i was one among the majority of the fans who hated Big Sam but my views have changed now i believe Big Sam is more then a average Manager in EPL if we compare his achievements at Bolton, premier league clubs are behind glamour these days and they dont care about the ability of the new appointment and they just wants to attract some foreign press coverage by appointing some overratted X-footballers as managers without enough coaching experience and badges, Ramos got Real Madrid job even after failing at Spurs and no one complained in Spain they thought he has what it takes to succeed but most of the english supporters started throwing stones at Big Sam for his failure at newcastle but its natural that people some times takes wrong steps and Big sam also did took one wrong step by leaving Bolton but end of the day Big Sam is better then Most of the current premiership managers who are buying success with the money i wish Blackburn stays up and Big Sam get the appreciatian he deserved for all his achievements

  • Comment number 66.

    Clearly managers make a difference. And while I cant say I am a fan of Allardyce I may wager a small amount on Blackburn being in the Premiership next year.

    These problems( or should I say excitement?) are created by the huge difference between the Championship and the Premiership, in terms of funding with clubs like Blackburn hanging on tenaciously to what they have because of the mountain they would have to climb to return, no doubt in debt have had to pay Premiership wages to their current players.

    I know there is a parachute payment but is it enough?

    Is there a way of pushing more funds into the Championship? Is the Championship where English players learn their trade? Is that why England couldn't kick its way out of a paper bag many times?
    Do we want any change, isnt all a load of fun? Actually Paul Ince might disagree but judging by the body language and his expression in recent games he knew the task in hand was beyond him.
    Anyone know what Kevin Keegan is doing at the mo?

  • Comment number 67.

    Ince sacked on Tuesday-Allardyce the new manager on Wednesday. Do you think there had been some conversation between Blackburn and Allardyce while Ince was still manager? Says alot about both parties does it not? Both should be ashamed of themselves especially Allardyce, negotiating for someone elses job while they're still in the job. Club chairman however have no shame to match their lack of football knowledge or common sense.

  • Comment number 68.

    Big Sam not interested in Blackburn Rovers but keen to talk to the Sunderland directors.

    His words, not mine.

  • Comment number 69.

    I have to say big Sam has taken some stick for his time at Newcastle and hes stereotyped as this old fashioned long ball merchant when the truth is he is trying to combine new with old techniques and methods. The only thing he could do with Bolton to gain success was make them hard to beat, which he did. He then took them as far as they could go, there were signs he wanted to improve the quality of football (didnt he sign Anelka??). As for his time at Newcastle (what was it 8 months?) , it just didnt work out for him but he was on a no winner from the day he took over, Ashley wanted his own man remember. Now I admit Newcastle were awful under him but for goodness sake his job was to stop LOSING, make them hard to beat, THEN he could maybe start getting them to make pretty passes. OK he failed to do this but lets be honest Newcastle were a sinking ship long before Sam and I think people should give the guy a break. Good luck to him and Rovers!

  • Comment number 70.

    I think Sam will be a success in the long run. If Blackburn go down (Which I doubt) then he'll bring them straight back up again.
    Don't forget he got Bolton into Europe with very little funds, and more attractive football than he is credited for. Sure they were physical and aggressive when getting the ball back and from set pieces but their midfield was quite skilful at the time. He transformed Bolton from yo-yo club to solid top 8 material - no small feat.

  • Comment number 71.

    Walked out on Notts County.Walked out on Bolton. Sacked by Newcastle. All 3 teams left in a mess by Allardyce.
    The last two and a half years at Bolton showed how limited a manager he is. It will be interesting to see how he gets on without either Sammy Lee or Phil Brown. I would have liked to see the look on Santa Cruz's face when he heard the news.

  • Comment number 72.

    Firstly, I am a Villa fan, living in North-West England, hence I get to go to alot of local Premier League games and lower divisions (hopefully saying this will discount any moanings of impartiality). I for one do not understand any Blackburn fan who sees Allardyce as a bad appointment. The reasons, you may ask, well here goes.....

    A) He has a clear pedigree in getting the best out of players (especially ageing defences, so Blackburn will be solid enough with their not-so-young defence). Look at the likes of Kevin Nolan, who under Allardyce always seemed to be on the brink of an England Call-up but has since fallen the way of other promising Central Midfielders. We know he's there but we might have a giggle at the thought of him playing in South Africa in 2010.

    B) As I mentioned previously, I get to see many games living in the local area. Bolton Wanderers Football under Allardyce was not all Long-Ball and heavy handed tactics. If that is so, how did the talents of the slight footed Youri Djorkaeff and Jay-Jay Okocha become idolised by the fans? I very much doubt it was the latter smashing the ball upto the previous who nodded it down for a simple tap-in. It simply does not fit!

    Allardyce will get the team solid, start keeping clean sheets and start nicking 1-0 wins. It won't be pretty, however, as Blackburn fans, you must be used to this as I was never particularly bowled over whenever I saw them play under Hughes.

    C) Am I wrong in thinking that Pre-McClaren, Allardyce was one of the bookies, and fans favourites to take England to glory in the Euro's and possibly World Cup? One job at a Club, where standards are unrealistic, where he was beginning to build his own team and play his own style, where he was hounded out by the fans because (and lets face it) they don't know the game as well as the Professionals, and he is all of a sudden an incapable manager? I very much doubt it.

    In summary, Blackburn are very lucky to get Allardyce in now. He will get a few weeks to assess the squad, move around one or two players in January, solidify the team before it's too late and get Blackburn back on the tracks. I feel sorry for Paul Ince, but unforetunately for him, its a results orientated business (yes, its an over-used cliche) yet i'm sure we have not seen the last of him in the Premier League.

    Best of luck Allardyce, it will be good to see you back.

    Best of Luck Paul Ince, i'm sure we will see you back in the firing line sooner than most expect.

    Best of Luck Blackburn Rovers, you need it in the position you are in, but i'm sure you will not finish there under the guidance of "Big Sam"

  • Comment number 73.

    Blackburn are going downn.

  • Comment number 74.

    oh dear oh dear, the take it all and run guy is back. i feel pity for the rovers fans, maybe he'll be different this time...maybe not

  • Comment number 75.

    I can't believe the level of negativity surrounding Big Sam. I'm sure he will have an immediate impact at Blackburn, just like he did at Bolton. In his first season at the Reebok Bolton reached the play offs and two cup semi finals. There has been a campaign to discredit him for some time but his record speaks for itself. The attitude of some supporters whose clubs have been linked with him beggars belief. Four consecutive top eight finishes, a major cup final, European qualification for the first time and establishing a club in the top flight which had spent four of the previous thirty seven seasons there. As for the long ball and cricked neck remarks, people seem to have conevniently forgotten that the likes of Okocha, Djorkaeff, Campo, Hierro etc were actually excellent footballers who were able to showcase their skills at the Reebok despite the alleged non stop hoofing.
    Blackburn's gain is Sunderland's loss in my opinion. Why some Sunderland fans would rather have anyone but Big Sam is a mystery to me. Maybe doing poorly at Newcastle should endear him to Sunderland fans in some way. After all the only major blot on Harry Redknapp's CV is getting relegated with Southampton. I don't hear many Portsmouth fans complaining about Southampton being in the Championship. If Sunderland do opt for a foreign manager, the current exchange rates mean they will probably have to pay around 30% extra in wages compared with a year ago. At certain clubs foreign managers have been very successful but at others it has never worked; Ramos, Gullit at Newcastle, Gross, Santini, Venglos, Egil Olsen at Wimbledon and countless others. Blackburn have made a safe bet and Sunderland look like taking an almighty gamble.

  • Comment number 76.

    As far as I'm concerned this is the right man - right club. And Paul Fletcher gets to that point in his blog.

    Now I'm no fan of the man, or of his style of football - there are very few people around who "like" Sam Allardyce he is an arrogant self-publicist who almost managed to spin himself into the England job, only beaten in the race by Max Clifford's mate "the Smiler" himself.

    However, I think the reasons may run deeper as to why Blackburn and not Sunderland was the right job for Sam to return.

    But let's not forget that Sam's two big successes in management have come at old "Lancashire" town clubs. He was a success at Blackpool and he was an unqualified success at Bolton.

    I think that there is a socio-cultural reason for this. I have lived in the north west and football fans in that part of the world love the blood and thunder, they cheer loudly at the whole hearted tackle, they want their teams to play at a tempo and get the ball forward and they are more willing to forgive the unskilled trier than the sporadical genius.

    That is what Sam's teams give you, tempo, committment, hard work and passion.

    I've also lived in the North-East and I have to say it's different up there. They are people who see football almost as their "escapism." It is their soap opera and theatre rolled into one. They are fanatical about their clubs and they want to be entertained. They want their sides to score lots of goals, play with pace and play with flair.

    I was living up there when Reidy was doing a terrific job at Sunderland and the sheer volume of murmerings that you would hear because of the way they played at times was unbelievable.

    I was not surprised by Sam's faliure at Newcastle, he is not a man who can deliver what north east football fans want. They want a bit of fantasy - they want a bit of box office.....

    No. This appointment is the right one. Sam will get Blackburn working and the fans will enjoy seeing a side giving 100% every single week and they'll enjoy seeing their side survive.

    At Sunderland they might go foreign and take a risk on a big name..... and their fans will cheer that from the rafters too.

    People want different things from their football clubs. But Big Sam at Blackburn is the perfect fit.

  • Comment number 77.

    Greaat article! Much better than that annoying mcnalty bloke. Anyway.
    I think he is a great signing giving the situation, he will get you out of it and get progression. Plus he wil be well up for it after not having a job in ages, and has publically announced he wanted a job whilst being a pundit recently. He will do well. Yes he had a bad time at newcastle, but who the hell hasnt!? We all make mistakes.
    I'm interested to see how well he does. How he lost the england job to McClown i dont show. I could of made a better decision than that!

  • Comment number 78.

    People that complain about Sam Allardyce are either jealous or ignorant.

    The blog tells you what systems he implemented in the background. And all at a time when such systems were reserved to only the biggest of rich clubs - not a "Bolton" club!

    Regarding his brand of football; personally I thought it was quite attractive - if you bothered to watch it!
    His teams have gone through various play types of implementing Campo and Jay Jay in midfield, two (old school) wizards of the game in that area.
    Through to Diouf and Anelka, two very direct speed freaks.
    Not forgetting Nolan who almost every week used to recieve plaudits from the MOTD pundits.

    Don't get me wrong none are exactly super high profile (barring Anelka) but come on it was Bolton - what did you expect!

    The long ball thing is complete bull. Like I say you're either jealous or your blind, or you just can't move on.
    The only longs balls you'd see would came from set plays where the play would be fast tracked straight into the box. In open play they're usual style was to play through midfield and either release players down the wings or more directly with either through balls on the ground or over the top.
    This is just normal play; it's certainly not "long hoof from the central defender and everyone pile forward" style play is it?!

    The bottom line for Blackburn is that he will keep you up and he will get you stable. You might not compete for Europe or for the cups, but that will be no fault of Sam, it's simply because other teams around you have invested and will look to compete for those places over the next few seasons: Tottenham, Man City and Aston Villa.

    So I say good luck to Sam and good luck to Blackburn and I hope you do stay up cos Blackburn, like Allardyce, get a lot of undeserved stick simply because of plain ignorance!

  • Comment number 79.

    This is the right appointment at the right time. I'm sure the majority of people mindlessly writing off Allerdyce here would have taken him as their England manager ahead of Shteve Van Claren.

    Big Sam took relegation fodder Bolton and turned them into a stable, respected Premiership outfit. He is an escape-artist, just like Harry Redknapp and when your club has no manager and looks like being cut adrift at the bottom of the league, then an escape-artist type manager is the right appointment.

    It's absolutely pointless talking about Allerdyce at Newcastle as his rather naive and now-hated board decided that a few months was enough time for him to turn them into contenders. Anyone relating Sam's time at St James' to the current appointment has no proper argument.

    I think we'll survive as there are many points up for grabs over the next few weeks and providing we're still in touch with the other 8 or 9 clubs that are all of 7 points above us, we'll be ok.

  • Comment number 80.

    Im'm sorry #78 but the long ball thing was true.

    Sam's stlye of play is to have two quick players wide in the 4-5-1 / 4-3-3 then to overhit the oppositions back four with balls into the corners for the the two to chase. That was Okacha and ampo's job to hit those diagonals, then Nolan's job was to bomb on and pick up the pieces when the backpedaling defence could only half clear.

    Or the under pressure back 4 would conceed a set piece and then Miete and Faye or in earlier years N'Gotty and Ben Haim would trot forward and attack the ball.

    It was never aimless long balls, there was very much a plan to it and it was a well put together plan that worked well. But it was certaintly long ball.

  • Comment number 81.

    Big Sam + Blackburn = going up the table.

    Thrilled with the appointment of Big Sam. Wouldn't have wanted Souness back at the club after the state he left us in to go to Newcastle and McClown & Co weren't really good choice.

    JW has gone with experience and Big Sam knows how to get the best of his players and although alot of people out there are going on about boring football then think about this......1 year out of the game is alot of thinking time and he might have some new tricks up his sleeve.

    Lets see what happens on Sat against Stoke.

    Come on Rovers....good luck Big Sam....

  • Comment number 82.

    I love some of the comments on here.Unfortunately aside from the big 4 the rest of the division have to fight and scrape for thier points(perhaps Villa are slightly different).I find it amazing that people come here decrying sam allardyces record.He kept a championship team in the premiership for 6-7 years.He will do the same for Blackburn and all you numpties who complain about stylish football wait until you are playing with "style" against the championship regulars then you would love to have "no frills" Sam managing your team in the top 3rd of the premiership.

  • Comment number 83.

    I'm off to see them Saturday and I'm looking forward to giving Big Sam a big welcome. Sad to see Incey leave but it was the right decision, we couldn't risk going down. Big Sam knows what needs to be done, we have arguably better players than Bolton did so he has plenty to work with.

    Good luck Sam, bring on the Potters!

  • Comment number 84.

    Arm chair fans are great aren't they. I've been enjoying some of the stuff on here its great. The Forest fan being the funniest.

    Why is when a player from an un fashionable club (Bolton, Stoke etc) hits a long pass its called a long ball and when Steve Gerrard lumps it from the half way line its a cutured pass? - Would love to see Stevies stats finding a team mate with some of those. I particularly remember England games where he would try and find Owen almost everytime he got the ball. Get off Sam's back he'll do a good job - just like he would have done at Newcastle given time

  • Comment number 85.

    Big Sam didn't take a wrong turn when he left Bolton for Newcastle as suggested.

    He got out of Bolton at exactly the right time as he knew the hard working, battling squad that he had assembled was coming to the end of its life and the team was in need of major investment to sustain the level it was at. He (along with many others) knew this type of investment may not have been forthcoming so looked for a new challenge.

  • Comment number 86.

    Blackburn fans - even if you think BFS is not for you, surely you should be relieved you haven't ended up with Houllier, the most clueless whinger the English game has ever seen (& that's saying something): poor old Sunderland fans have to sweat it out a bit longer but if I was one I'd rather keep Ricky Unpronounceable at the helm.

    Anyone But Houllier.

  • Comment number 87.

    "the erkband" asks why is it when a player from an unfashionable club hits a long pass it's a long ball, yet when Gerrard does it it's a cultured pass.

    Here's a few reasons:

    1. Alan Green
    2. Mark Lawrenson
    3. Alan Hansen
    4. At least 50% of tabloid football writers

    They are all:

    1. Supposed to be neutral
    2. Liverpool fans

    Hope that clears that point up.

  • Comment number 88.

    I don't think Newcastle was a wrong turn of Big Sam.

    He was unfortunate to turn up at the wrong time, when the clubs ownership was changing.

    There are very few cases of Managers staying in place when a new chairman/owner comes in. And Sam was not in line with what the new owners wanted (i.e. a little glamour)

    Given time/different ownership he would have been fine.

    He is a quality manager and his abilities/techniques have been proven over the course of the years.

    So good luck Sam and Blackburn.

    A Villa Fan

  • Comment number 89.

    Really hope they go down now. After Mourinho he's the out-of-work manager I have missed the least.

  • Comment number 90.

    With his appointment that must mean boring thuggish football is back again!

  • Comment number 91.

    Comment 90; Yes just like the team I remember fondly a few seasons back.

    You see that team was thuggish but certainly not boring. And teams were not happy coming to Ewood, even Man Utd and Arsenal. Too many teams have strolled away from Ewood this season with an easy 3 points. In the days of Neill, Dickov, Bellamy, Savage, Todd and co the big teams knew they would need to fight to the final whistle if they were to take anything awway from games.

    I can think of several games that back that up, not least the Smith and Saha 94th minute netball-style equalliser a few seasons ago, a game that Man Utd did not enjoy one bit.

    If Sam brings the fight back into Rovers, it will be no bad thing

  • Comment number 92.

    The truth is, all English managers are rubbish. All they can do is take an average club to an average position in the premier league, then have an even poorer spell and get sacked, go around the Sky Sports studios merry-go-round every week repeating they're desperate for a job, and finally get employed by another average club and hailed by the media as its saviours.

  • Comment number 93.

    Funny how some Liverpool fans on here are branding Blackburn a small club. A small club that has won the Premiership, something Liverpool have yet to achieve.

  • Comment number 94.

    I can't beleive the amount of people that are complaining that he will be playing 'unattractive' football.

    Winning is the only point of football! passing the ball around your back four with flair and passion with out a goal will see you playing Championship football next season.

    Let them play it long, let them score let them win!

    Im not a Blackburn fan or 'fan' of Big Sam but if his methods get results whats the problem!

  • Comment number 95.

    Big Sam is a good manager. His success at Bolton speaks volumes.

    The only reason it didn't work out at Newcastle is cos he doesn't play attractive football.

    Its not pretty but he's a darn site better than many of the ex-player wanna be managers in and out of the premiership, e.g. ince, keane, southgate (what a joke), maclaren and even the likes of souness and bryan robson.

    not sure why they don't spend more time under the wing of a great manager learning the trade first.

    only one that's really impressed is Steve Bruce. Excellent team at Wigan, much better than their standing in the table.

  • Comment number 96.

    As a bolton fan the success achieved by BSA was in keeping BWFC up and getting us into Europe.
    Money now prevents teams from sustaining a prolonged challenge to the "big brands".
    The likes of Nottingham Forest and Ipswich will never be seen again unless money ceases to have such an impact.
    £17 m for Jo;£20m for Keane;£28m for Veron.
    Only big money clubs can afford expensive mistakes.
    The transfer market is such that a little extra in a player costs an awful lot.
    Jamie Redknapp's flippant comment about Owen being OFFERED PEANUTS by NUFC speaks volumes of the insular world of football-don't forget Jamie unemployment is creeping towards 2 million and rising.

  • Comment number 97.

    There seems to be a whole bunch of people thinking Big Sam is a bad manager, but let's face it. He did great at Bolton (very limited resources) and he went to Newcastle and I think he was not given the chance and as for Mr Ashley I think they did not get along at all.
    Anyway, I for one believe that Big Sam is a great choice for Blackburn and he will work wonders what if it is not attractive as long as they stay up???
    As for Ragnarok comments 22, it is not about loyalty, it is about a job! So what if he was at Bolton, let's face it he could always now gift them a few points to help them stay up :-)
    I am sure Blackburn will stay up under the guidance of SA and SA will revive his career.
    Good Luck to Rovers and Big Sam!

  • Comment number 98.

    you should of kept ince...atleast give a manager a year to get it right! plus it would be great when you get relegated this year and burnley get promoted!! UTC!

  • Comment number 99.

    Look out Portsmouth! Big Sam will be after Crouchy for his master plan...

    / \
    / \ Crouch
    / \
    / \ O
    / \ |
    / \ ----|----
    0 o o \ |
    -|- -|- -|- \ /\
    /\ /\ /\ O / \

    Defender Midfield

  • Comment number 100.

    There were only 2 saying I have been fed-up with in 2008.

    One is Credit Crunch. The other is "Team GB" continuously repeated all summer.

    Now I have a 3rd....."Big Sam". As much as im sure he will do a good job with Blackburn can't people just call him Sam?

    Is it just because he has a Fat head - not fair on him to call him that because he has a large head !!!!


Page 1 of 2

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.