Sam Allardyce couldn’t have asked for a better start at Everton.
Sitting in the stands as Everton stuffed West Ham 4-0, then his first game in ‘proper’ charge being another gift of a home game against Huddersfield, another victory following.
His first away league match, arguably the toughest of the season, seeing his Everton side totally outplayed and scoring a very dubious penalty, their only real chance all game.
Sam Allardyce absolutely loving it, winding everybody up, especially Jurgen Klopp.
This is arguably even bigger for him personally though, Fat Sam visiting a Newcastle side that is struggling badly due to a serious lack of investment, Allardyce also up against this old adversary Rafa Benitez.
Sam Allardyce earlier this year said that Rafa Benitez could have asked for no more than when Mike Ashley promised him ‘every penny’ to strengthen the team this summer, ‘every penny’ turning out to be a net spend of £11.5m. Despite spending nothing in January and Rafa actually producing a £40m transfer profit in the summer 2016 market.
At his pre-Newcastle press conference on Tuesday morning, Sam Allardyce saying: ‘Mike Ashley has said he (Rafa Benitez) can have every penny to spend. As a manager you have to use that spending power the best as you can.’
Sam Allardyce pre-Newcastle press conference:
“Liverpool had scored 12 goals in two games, my position was to frustrate their quality. That’s exactly what they did. I make no apologies for that. We had to go with the best way to get something out of it and that was to stop Liverpool scoring.
“Against other teams they’ve scored five or seven. Our determination was outstanding.
“I install the basics in the team and then they express themselves. They have to make the right or wrong decisions.
“If you make fewer mistakes than the opposition then you give yourselves the opportunity to win the game. Quality then pays off. The quality of our defence paid off and then one moment we took full advantage of.”
“Jagielka and Keane are back, but no Baines and none of the other long-term injuries are back.”
On Mike Ashley:
“For the first time in my entire life as a manager I heard an owner say it was a mistake he let me go.
“I don’t hold grudges. Life is too short. The only people it affects is you. Why focus on it and get yourself distracted. My past is one fantastic journey from 15 to 63.”
Rafa Benitez rivalry:
“Past history wasn’t great but previous history is okay. Chelsea and Newcastle fine. I am amicable with everybody. Recently I haven’t had any animosity. It was a good battle at the time.
“The way we played he (Rafa) didn’t like it. If you want to say it’s mind games, it’s mind games. But at that particular time Liverpool weren’t supposed to lose to Bolton, but people didn’t know how brilliant Bolton were.”
“The test is to nullify Newcastle’s attack because it keeps the crowd quiet. Then you get the opportunity to go and attack their defence.
“They conceded three goals against Leicester and we will be looking at that.”
“I don’t expect it to be any easier than the Liverpool game.
“If you sit off for a second then teams will punish you. We have to be 100% and we have to play a difficult tactic. Our plan will be slightly different.”
“I think it’s difficult compared to what he (Rafa Benitez) is used to. It’s a different set of tools.
“I think that I have listened to what they have said and frustration is always a manager’s concern when it comes to quality of player.
“Mike Ashley has said he can have every penny to spend. As a manager you have to use that spending power the best as you can.”