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I am not here to be popular

 

Oct 22 2007 by Paul Gilder, The Journal

Sam Allardyce

 

BEING popular does not concern United’s Sam Allardyce as the thick-skinned manager insisted he is not afraid to upset Newcastle’s players and supporters as he strives to bring success to St James’s Park.

 

But the 53-year-old – whose side will attempt to preserve their unbeaten home record against Tottenham tonight – has rejected suggestions that he has fallen out with Michael Owen and revealed that his relationship with the £16m striker remains intact.

 

The England international was annoyed to have started United’s last top-flight fixture on the substitutes’ bench but, although Owen will be in the side that lines up against Spurs, several other first-team players will feel aggrieved at their respective roles this evening.

 

While Steven Taylor has outlined his discontent on the sidelines, Emre is keen to start for the first time in the Premier League this season, David Rozehnal is desperate to win back the defensive role that he has lost to Abdoulaye Faye and Steve Harper is still coming to terms with his return to the bench.

 

Although Shola Ameobi has admitted that a failure to command a regular place in Newcastle’s starting XI could prompt him to consider his future at the club, Allardyce last night insisted that put-out players are nothing that he has not encountered before.

 

“It’s all just part of life as a football manager, you have got to make decisions that players don’t like or don’t agree with,” said a manager who knows that it is impossible to please all his players all the time. “Players will walk out of the training ground on a daily basis, players won’t like me. No matter what you do, someone will walk out, someone will not be satisfied. What I want is for them to come and knock on the door. We’ll discuss it and we’ll get on with it. I get up the following morning and whatever has gone on has gone on and we all have to get on with it together.”

 

Considering his Newcastle squad’s size, Allardyce knows that he can not keep all his players content. But a manager who will continue to pick what he feels is the best side to win the fixture in question has told those who feel disgruntled that it is up to them to ensure their involvement.

 

“Most of the time it isn’t my fault,” said the former Bolton boss, who has assembled a squad that can boast fierce

 

competition in all departments. “It’s the players’ fault. They drop themselves. But there’s a good level of communication with all the players here.”

 

Allardyce maintained a regular dialogue with Owen while the 27-year-old was with the England squad, but the Magpies manager is adamant there are no problems between the pair. “I’ve encountered no friction with Michael,” he said. “What was said between us will remain private between us, but there isn’t a problem. I spoke to him on a regular basis while he was with England. Michael’s a quiet lad. Michael isn’t someone who’s chirping away all the time like some players. When we do have something to discuss, we sit down and discuss it and then we get on with it.”

 

Allardyce was dismayed at suggestions that there had been a rift in his relationship with the club’s biggest name. It was something he was keen to address.

 

“Media-wise, Michael’s the biggest player I’ve ever dealt with,” he said. “When you have a player like Michael, with his reputation and outstanding talent, it’s more about what will get in the papers than what has actually been said. With anybody else there can be some truth in it. But most of the time (with Owen), it’s exaggerated.”

 

All Allardyce is concerned about is attempting to end the club’s long search for silverware and, although he knows that not all he does will be popular with the club’s long-suffering supporters, it will not deter him from doing what he feels is best. When the Magpies boss replaced Obafemi Martins with Owen during the club’s last Premier League game against Everton, some supporters booed. There was a suggestion that the dissent had been aimed at Owen, although Allardyce does not agree.

 

“I don’t think supporters were booing Michael – I think I was being booed for bringing Obafemi off,” added a manager who is not perturbed to have elicited such a reaction. “I would rather the supporters booed me than Michael. Getting booed is part of the job.”

 

Spurs boss Martin Jol believes winning a European place would be “a tremendous achievement” for Allardyce and Newcastle. “It would be fantastic for them if they were in the first six or seven, playing European football next season.

 

“Sam always seems to create strong teams, and at Newcastle you have the resources as well.”

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If Ameobi doesnt like being dropped he should stop being shite, I`m sure Derby would take him

 

Taylor deserves to be benched, he has had chances and not taken them. Cacapa/Faye/Rozy all above him & rightly so

 

As for Emre he should play TBH after his display against Everton @ the expense of Milner

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If Ameobi doesnt like being dropped he should stop being shite, I`m sure Derby would take him

 

Taylor deserves to be benched, he has had chances and not taken them. Cacapa/Faye/Rozy all above him & rightly so

 

As for Emre he should play TBH after his display against Everton @ the expense of Milner

 

Midfield vs spurs: Zog - Emre - Butt - Geremi. I think Geremi could do a decent job down the right and be able to get plenty of ball into Owen and Martins. Milner would be a decent impact man in the 2nd half if things aren't going well =/

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If Ameobi doesnt like being dropped he should stop being shite, I`m sure Derby would take him

 

Taylor deserves to be benched, he has had chances and not taken them. Cacapa/Faye/Rozy all above him & rightly so

 

As for Emre he should play TBH after his display against Everton @ the expense of Milner

 

Midfield vs spurs: Zog - Emre - Butt - Geremi. I think Geremi could do a decent job down the right and be able to get plenty of ball into Owen and Martins. Milner would be a decent impact man in the 2nd half if things aren't going well =/

 

Spot on there :razz:

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Although Shola Ameobi has admitted that a failure to command a regular place in Newcastle’s starting XI could prompt him to consider his future at the club,

 

:razz:

 

Perhaps he should use a small part of his ridiculously large wage and pick up a copy of "Footballing for dummies" so he can learn about hidden secrets such as the offside rule and what constitutes a foul before he makes ludicrous demands about being a regular starter.

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If Ameobi doesnt like being dropped he should stop being shite, I`m sure Derby would take him

 

Taylor deserves to be benched, he has had chances and not taken them. Cacapa/Faye/Rozy all above him & rightly so

 

As for Emre he should play TBH after his display against Everton @ the expense of Milner

 

:razz:

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