Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


Sam Allardyce at it again “Where was the stick for Rafa then?”

2 years ago

When you put the ingredients together it is never going to end well: Sam Allardyce, a Talksport studio, the subject is Newcastle United.

Sam Allardyce at it again.

Fat Sham talking about Saturday’s game at Carrow Road, which saw a shambolic display from Newcastle where they were lucky to only lose 3-1.

Norwich deserved all the praise that came their way because they were as good as Newcastle were bad.

Allardyce heaping the praise on Norwich, Daniel Farke and Teemu Pukki.

Farke having put a Championship winning side together last season despite having to also make a large profit on transfer deals, relying on budget buys and free transfers such as Krul and Pukki. The striker ending up the second tier top scorer with 29 goals last campaign, now with four goals in only two Premier League games so far.

When talking about Newcastle United, I can agree with Sam Allardyce on one thing, when he declares: ‘ There is much more pressure on you as a manager at Newcastle, than there is at Norwich.’

That is undoubtedly true. Just as there is say more pressure on a Liverpool manager compared to one at Everton.

Newcastle have more money coming in, more fans and subsequently, more expectation than Norwich fans, or at least we should have.

However, Sam Allaradyce then gets on to defending Steve Bruce.

I don’t have a problem with that but that then doesn’t justify him then having a go at Rafa Benitez.

As for Rafa getting Newcastle relegated…that was most definitely the work of Mike Ashley, with the assistance of Steve McClaren, Rafa brought in far too late and ending the season with an unbeaten six game run of three wins and three draws, after getting to grips with who he could trust.

Allardyce saying ‘No win until November (for Rafa and Newcastle last season) and Steve’s getting some stick now. Where was the stick for Rafa then?’

Sam Allardyce is asking the question but he knows fine well the answer(s).

Newcastle fans had faith in Rafa Benitez as the best possible manager the club could reasonably attract, somebody with a great CV and having already done a great job over two seasons at NUFC. Fans also respected that Rafa was his own man and wouldn’t be part of Ashley’s circus, they also understood that due to that, Ashley had refused to give him any transfer budget and instead only allowed the Spaniard to spend a fraction of the transfer fees generated by players being sold, no net investment and instead a £20m+ profit on deals in summer 2018. Plus key signing Rondon wasn’t allowed to be signed until just before the season started and even then, it was only a loan deal.

So fans understood why Newcastle faced a difficult start to last season and knew they had the best possible person in place to eventually get it on an upward curve. The same as the previous season.

In contrast, Steve Bruce has arrived at Newcastle at a time when no other Premier League club would have employed him, bought totally into the Mike Ashley way of doing things, given no authority whatsoever, yet pretending he decided to sign the likes of Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin, even when Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley are saying these deals were set up months before Bruce arrived at the club.

This is all before a ball had even been kicked.

Newcastle fans most definitely see Steve Bruce as part of the problem and not part of any solution but even then, the vast amount of anger and frustration is aimed at Mike Ashley, not his hapless head coach.

Alan Shearer told Steve Bruce he shouldn’t take the job and Newcastle fans were saying the same thing…but for very different reasons.

The patter from Steve Bruce at press conferences has been as bad as supporters were expecting and the second half shambles against Arsenal and 90 minutes at Carrow Road are simply reinforcing the preconceptions.

When somebody has managed for over 20 years and of those to have managed 250+ Premier league games, has only one person (Bryan Robson) with a worse winning ratio, if this had all turned out good it would have been a minor miracle.

Sam Allardyce speaking to Talksport:

“Steve (Bruce) has been there three weeks is it and getting to know his players and his staff there.

“Huge huge pressure, there’s much more pressure, believe you me, because I have been there, there is much more pressure on you as a manager at Newcastle, than there is at Norwich.

“Of course he (Daniel Farke) has done a fantastic job at Norwich, an unbelievable job.

“And Pukki, wow, what a free transfer.

“It’s amazing, he has suddenly turned his life around and he’s a real handful.

“I loved the quality of his finish (the first goal, a volley) on Saturday.

“But Steve needs to find a result or two to get a bit of time.

“But it is fair to say what Tony (Cascarino) said, no win until November (for Rafa last season) and Steve’s getting some stick now.

“Where was the stick for Rafa then?”

“[Rafa Benitez] played a very, very good PR game shifting it all onto Mike Ashley. That’s what the Newcastle fans took up: Rafa got no stick but Mike Ashley took it all.

“And now just two games in Steve Bruce is getting it as much as Mike, and that’s quite sad for somebody who is a Newcastle supporter and has had his dream move to Newcastle United.

“I think the supporters need to give him a bit more time.

“At the end of the day it’s a really difficult job; you have to remember Rafa couldn’t save Newcastle.

“He got them relegated and every manager that’s been relegated at Newcastle since I left has always bounced back the next season and got into the Premier League.

“Rafa jumped ship for the first job that came available to him.

“He did do a good job keeping them up and getting them out of trouble for a couple of years, and he did a very, very good job getting them back up again [from the Championship], and he is a very, very good manager.

“But Steve Bruce has got really good credentials about looking after teams in the Premier League, getting teams to the Premier League, keeping them in the Premier League, and I think he should be given time to get his own team available.

“But he needs a few results to get himself that time.”


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]

Have your say

© 2021 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks