Beware, Newcastle. Big Sam is as good as Pep and Jurgen Klopp and he’s waiting for you thirsting to put one over a club who dared to discard him by dumping them on skid row.
Who says Allardyce is Guardiola in disguise? He does and he means it. That being so, it is a little bit of a surprise that he has been out of work for a couple of years and last time in employment he took West Bromwich down winning only four out of 25 fixtures.
Of course the new self-proclaimed saviour of Leeds is well known in these parts having played for and managed Sunderland as well as being the boss at Newcastle until Mike Ashley sacked him upon taking over to start a managerial merry-go-round that almost flew off its hinges.
Now Big Samuel must carve up Newcastle over Saturday lunch if in reality he is to have a chance of earning a £2.5m bonus for keeping Leeds up. He would love it too if as well as filling his pockets it put United’s Champions League hopes at serious risk.
However forget it fella. There is a class gap between you and us. Newcastle are still third, Manchester United are taking in considerably more water than us, and therefore they plus Liverpool must go all guns blazing to put the Magpies to the buck.
Much has been made of Allardyce and his battered troops receiving a morale boost by losing only 2-1 at Manchester City but at this desperate stage of a season defeat brings not an iota of solace, only victories count. Indeed Leeds ended up worse off after Big Sam’s debut. They and Leicester sank into the depths as did an already doomed Southampton over a definitive weekend while West Ham (1-0 v Man U), Everton (5-1 at Brighton), and Nottingham Forest (4-3 against the Saints) each claimed three invaluable points.
Leeds now have only a trio of matches to save their necks and must be desperate for their home crowd to impact the game against Newcastle. While Toon fans will pepper their former manager before kick off the Leeds faithful will rise as one knowing this is their last chance of survival.
What Allardyce will be trying to do of course is make his new United difficult to beat not gung-ho like Marcelo Bielsa, beloved by fans, who went for broke time and time again. Therefore Newcastle could have to be patient and relentless in unravelling what is before them.
Maybe ego does not permit any thoughts of failure but Allardyce has a problem. What is at his disposal does not fit easily with Sam’s trademark approach to football. Leeds’ squad has been shaped in the all-out attack image of Bielsa which was tweaked by Jesse Marsch. They can be easy on the eye when attacking but are vulnerable defensively which has drained confidence and Sam has little time to change nature.
Newcastle have to be as one-eyed as Leeds of course. The Champions League beckons and is there a bigger prize for NUFC? Forget the big yin, Leeds and relegation, past rivalry. This is about the here and now for the Mags. We are on countdown so foot to the floor and go for it.
Having lost at home to Arsenal and with Liverpool coming up on the rails United need to be ruthless. They have to concentrate on the positives and return immediately to winning ways as they did after last losing at Aston Villa. Man for man Newcastle are better. Confidence wise they have more in the tank. Eddie Howe has had much more time to instil his beliefs. Allardyce has had to undergo a crash course.
Big Sam says he is looking to have the impact of Roy Hodgson and Neil Warnock as the perfect flying doctor but could end up more like Frank Lampard who has bombed spectacularly at Chelsea with six defeats out of seven matches.
Let us make certain he is Lampard and not Hodgson. He gave us nothing as a Magpie manager having a worse win percentage than the likes of Graeme Souness, Kenny Dalglish and Jim Smith. He tells it differently of course but then he usually does.
Allardyce is remembered as affectionately as other Ashley managers such as Steve McClaren, Joe Kinnear and Steve Bruce. He may be a legend in his own house but not at the cathedral on the hill. Here we love Kevin Keegan and Bobby Robson, Joe Harvey and Eddie Howe. We appreciate what Chris Hughton and Rafa Benitez did despite being severely restricted by Ashley but not what Allardyce gave us.
That he could prevent United from gaining Champions League qualification is beyond contemplation. Therefore let all such thought be confined to the trash can. Let Eddie get the job done and let Big Sam concentrate on the games which follow for him to try and find redemption.
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