Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Sam Allardyce (for Bolton Wanderers) vs York City, 26th October 1974
I honestly don't know what disgusts me more about Sam Allardyce's sacking.
-> The fact that Newcastle Utd are 11th in the Premier League with 26 points in 21 games. We're just over halfway through the season. It's not a great start, but it's hardly disastrous.
-> The fact that the owner of the club and the Managing Director have repeatedly said that Allardyce's job was safe and that they were in it for the long term, that they knew it might take some time for their patience to bear some fruit.
-> The fact that Allardyce was only given 8 months in charge before his sacking
-> The fact that the fans (urged on by press and the media) began to chant against their own manager in the very early stages of the season. I'm sure that can only have helped the manager and the team
-> The fact that the club let him give a press conference detailing his plans for the club on the very same day that he was dismissed
-> The fact they let him spend something like £26m during his stay but weren't prepared to wait for that investment to mature. They'd rather start again with another manager with different plans
-> The fact that apparently the club are apparently seriously considering replacing this experienced and (relatively) successful manager with someone who might be a club legend, but who has absolutely no practical management experience and is even crap when talking about the game on Match of the Day
-> The fact that since they sacked Bobby Robson (who had led the club back into the top 4 in the league and whose only crime appeared to be a poor-ish start to the season) in August 2004, the club has gone through another 3 managers (and 2 caretakers) and managed a best league finish of 7th. Last season they finished 13th. The facts tell us that they are a mediocre side at best. How is their current position false, exactly?
-> The fact that, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, the club and their fans seem to think that they have a right to be in the top 4, winning trophies and playing beautiful football.... and they are happy to blame every successive manager who fails to change the deep-rooted malaise at the club the very instant they arrive
-> The fact that a club this unsuccessful seems to place a greater premium on the concept of "good football" than they do on "winning football"
-> 11 managers in 11 years. Says it all. Arsenal have made do with just the one in that period. As have Manchester Utd.
I know that there's a lot of money at stake in the Premier League, but really, is this any way to run a business? Is all of this chopping and changing going to be for Newcastle Utd's long term benefit?
Who are the most consistently successful clubs in the country? Manchester United and Arsenal. Is it purely coincidence, do you think, that they are also the ones with the longest serving managers? Manchester United's loyalty to Alex Ferguson in particular is worth noting: the board's patience with their new manager and his sticky start has been repaid a hundred times. Perhaps those 8 Premier League clubs who have changed their managers should have paid a little more attention to that fact.
Newcastle United appear to be run by a committee of idiots. I thought this would change with the departure of Fat Freddie Shepherd, but apparently not.
Football makes me despair sometimes, it really does.