Despite being the bookies’ favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave, it appears that Sam Allardyce still has the firm backing of his chairman and owner. According to The Independent, the Newcastle gaffer will remain at St James’ Park, even if the club bow out of the FA Cup to Stoke on Sunday and results don’t improve in the short-term.
Even were they to lose, the strong message from the hierarchy at St James’ Park is that Allardyce will be in charge for the Premier League games against Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers that follow, and the determination of the owner, Mike Ashley, and the chairman, Chris Mort, to stand by the manager means that he is likely to be at the club at the end of the season. Stoke is not make or break.
Mort said after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Chelsea that he finds speculation surrounding Allardyce “tedious” and that “there is just no truth in it”. The chairman was not inclined to repeat the message yesterday in the wake of Wednesday’s 2-0 home loss to Manchester City, but that is not because he is back-tracking from his weekend statement. It is because he is wary and weary of issuing phrases that can be interpreted as a vote of confidence.
It’s good to see the Newcastle board aren’t as short-sighted as many of the Toon Army. The Magpies are in no danger of being relegated this season and a potless campaign would hardly be a disappointment to the already success-starved fans at St James’ Park. While Allardyce may not be the man to deliver success to Newcastle United, to form a complete judgement on him at this stage is rash.