So it’s done and done, Newcastle let the rumours swell around Eriksson and Houllier but eventually settled on the man who the bookies stopped taking bets on ages ago – Sam Allardyce.
For ages Fat Sam has bombarded us with his moans and self-praise – fighting to to get enough recognition for his work that he could step up to a bigger club. Job done.
And what a perfect fit. Newcastle don’t need someone who can come in and just change the tactics a bit, the club needs help in every way possible from the physio room to the training pitch to matchday events. It’s hard to imagine Eriksson or Houllier being able to do much without a stronger foundation behind them.
Sam is well known around the Premiership for his progressive ideas when it comes to all aspects of creating a successful football team, applying science to training and diet to get years out of aging stars like Ivan Campo and Gary Speed. He’s also proved to have the motivational abilities to handle, and get the most out of, even the most troublesome lads like Nicolas Anelka and El Hadji Diouf. And for his greatest trick, turning Kevin Davies into a highly effective, and feared, Premiership player. The long ball was played out of necessity to get the best out of the players he had, and they actually played some solid football – no different to how Chelsea or Liverpool attack matches these days.
So to sum up, he can make players healthier and fitter, get troublemakers to perform for the team, and turn previously toss players into effective ones. It’s destiny.
And, almost enough to consider holding on to Albert Luque after all. Almost.