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Will we shed a tear for Allardyce?

Premier League Newcastle United
by Rahul - BBC Sport (U6192747) 09 January 2008
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So Sam Allardyce has become the latest managerial casualty at Newcastle. I thought about choking over my coffee when I heard the news but then decided against it.

For while a manager being sacked after just eight months would be shocking news at most other clubs, only at Newcastle can we take the news with a sigh, a puff of the cheeks, and a tut or a smile depending on your allegiances towards Big Sam.

We've been here before of course. Many times. Though this time perhaps the surprise is slightly greater for the sheer fact that Big Sam brought with him a long-term plan, something that appeared to have been swept under the carpet ever since Sir John Hall wondered aloud that a team of 11 Geordies would be rather nice.

Granted the football has been a bit of a shambles this season. Let's not get away from the fact. Any team that struggles to score goals when Michael Owen is up front has to be doing something wrong. Allardyce also spent so long concentrating on defence that he forgot we had no one in midfield with the simple ability to pass a ball through the middle. Watching Michael Owen run channels, and Viduka just not run, is not a great combination when you're looking to finish off games.

Lazy critics may mock the defence time and time again, but for me, the greatest problem was that lack of creativity in midfield. The way Man City's Elano opened us up time and time again at the City of Machester stadium earlier this season only rammed home exactly what we lacked. It was a masterclass that the likes of Alan Smith and Joey Barton could only aspire to.

My early pre-season optimism surrounding the blossoming career of young Aussie midfielder James Troisi disappeared faster than the plane carrying him to Roda JC this week.

And which first team players have we been linked with so far in January? Defensive midfielders and central defenders. You don't unlock a door by buying a padlock.

That to me was Allardyce's biggest downfall. No wonder he played a long-ball game. Bypassing midfield wasn't actually a bad option, especially when his most creative midfielder was being played at left-back.

His signings have been suspect too. Decent wheeling and dealing saw him land Viduka, Faye and Beye on the cheap, but the real money signings like Joey Barton, Jose Enrique and Alan Smith simply haven't worked for a whole variety of reasons.

And the gutless performances against Wigan and Derby in December simply was as bad as it has got since the Latics knocked out Graeme Souness' side from the League Cup a couple of years ago.

With Allardyce's priority appearing to be to stop the opposition first and foremost, rather than making them worry about our strengths first, his reign at Newcastle would always be limited. You cannot go to Reading or Sunderland looking for a draw. Even teams below us in the league would be plotting the downfall of these teams, rather than looking for a 0-0 draw like we did.

Draw first, and a win is a bonus. That appeared to be the mentality, and that simply is not what people pay their money to see. Not here, not anywhere.

A team boasting the likes of Duff, Owen, N'Zog, Viduka, Milner, Barton, Martins is simply not set up to grind out 0-0 draws.

Allardyce was fixated on defending, when the attack was crying out for some attention.

Allowing Allardyce to leave after just eight months was probably just putting an end to the inevitable long-term. Sure, it doesn't feel quite right to get rid of a manager so soon, but will anyone shed a tear if it means N'Zogbia playing at left-wing, Milner on the right, and Martins and Owen upfront?


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posted Jan 13, 2008

"Allowing Allardyce to leave after just eight months was probably just putting an end to the inevitable long-term."

Exactly! What was the point in waiting till the end of the season to do it (or more frighteningly the end of next season) when Mike Ashley did not want him at the club! Regardless of the fans view. Mike Ashley did not want Sam Allardyce and was going to sack him when he first arrived, but delayed it till now. Nothing to do with the fans!!!

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posted Jan 14, 2008

After seeing the interview with Keegan on SSN today...and an interview with the BBC in October, I'm convinced Go get him Mike and place Big Al along side, it's got to be KEV and Al.

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posted Jan 14, 2008

i don't think it was all allardyce that is wrong with this club it strikes me that the people who get paid a lot of money (the players) should be looking at themselves and asking am i doing what i can, it was said that the players went against the manager when he wanted to take them to london for the chelsea game. in a job of work, that usually ends up with you losing your job, if the workers are allowed to dictate to the managment something is clearly not right. after all they are the ones responsible for the results.newcastle looks as though they need a new mananger and a new set of players.

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posted Jan 14, 2008

Brian your comments are valid, things have not been right at Toon since Kev left, Bobby did well, but the great man was not really well and fat Freddy was......well was fat Freddy....if he was still chairman of Toon, we would have Mc Claren and his umbrella by now!

Your right about the players and thats something we have not done right for years...look at the rubbish like Marcelino...and others...dear god, lets have a total clean out at Toon, give King Kev as long as he needs with Big Al and let them have 5 years to build a real powerful team.

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posted Jan 14, 2008

"give King Kev as long as he needs with Big Al and let them have 5 years"

Is that like "hurry up and take your time?"

;-)

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posted Jan 14, 2008

Crikey Johnny....5 years is like a life time for Toon managers.haha....I guess it's hurry up Chairman and do something.lol...<laugh>

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comment by U934638

posted Jan 14, 2008

why do you want keegan and shearer again,they won nothing for you

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posted Jan 16, 2008

Is 'no' too short a reply?

Allardyce or Keegan? No contest

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posted Jan 16, 2008

start

shedding

tears

for

Big Sam

now!

Keegan will soon lose his appeal to the crowd

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comment by pjo345 (U10805131)

posted Jan 17, 2008

why o why r newcastle taking a big step back he will bottle it again. he has proved over the years he cannot coach tatics he has none so their is only 1 way 2 go 4 newcstle and thats down but i would love it if we beat them

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