Sam Allardyce could also be one of many Premier League’s most famed escape artists, however when he took on his newest survival mission with Leeds United having simply 4 matches of the season remaining – changing into the membership’s fourth head coach of the season, aged 68 and having been out of labor for 2 years – loads of eyebrows have been raised.
May ‘Large Sam’ work his magic once more, and maintain the well-known Yorkshire membership within the prime flight – as he has executed beforehand with Sunderland, Blackburn and Crystal Palace – or is there merely not sufficient time left for the previous England supervisor to do his Houdini act?
After what many would name a free hit in his first recreation – a seemingly unwinnable fixture in opposition to Manchester Metropolis, from which they emerged with a creditable 2-1 defeat – the true job arguably begins immediately with the lunchtime go to of nouveau riche Newcastle.
Allardyce, who mentioned his 2008 sacking by Newcastle after simply eight months in cost was a “large knockback”, claimed will probably be a “cauldron” inside Elland Highway immediately due to the “stress now we have placed on ourselves by the place we’re in” and his gamers might want to trip that wave of emotion – not be crushed by it.
That defeat by Metropolis dropped Leeds into the relegation zone, however matches in opposition to West Ham and Spurs after immediately appear like they may yield factors. Allardyce is large on old style man administration and Leeds followers will hope he has lifted his gamers spirits sufficiently for them to elevate the membership out of the drop zone this lunchtime, and pile stress on their rivals Nottingham Forest, Everton and Leicester.
“I do know Leeds are in lots of hassle,” Allardyce mentioned upon taking the job. “However I’ve seen lots of hassle earlier than.”
For Newcastle, immediately is about getting their thrilling ambush of the ‘large six’ again on observe. A run of emphatic wins over Spurs (6-1), Everton (4-1) and Southampton (3-1) was delivered to a juddering halt final weekend by a sobering 2-0 dwelling defeat by Arsenal, however Eddie Howe’s facet are nonetheless third, three factors away from fifth-placed Liverpool with a recreation in hand.