Another New Era for Newcastle United Football Club

Newcastle United Football Club have taken a brave step in hiring another manager to lift the so called sleeping giants out of hibernation. It must be such an old cliche for the fans of the club to hear, but with a massive fan base and a huge stadium they are a Football Club that could achieve so much more than their history suggests.

In Sam Allardyce they have what seems to be a traditional English manager who builds Football teams that are very hard to beat, yet in the not so traditional sense, Allardyce employs extremely modern techniques at his clubs. With a team of experts around him Allardyce ensures that he has the expertise in areas of a football club that he himself does not have time to run.

I played for many clubs who hired Nutritionists, Specialist Coaches (When I played for Newcastle in the early 90s they had a sprinting coach even way back then), motivational experts, Physiotherapists and other such gurus to enhance the performance of the team.

At Charlton Athletic we had a fitness coach called Joe Dunbar (who also worked with World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Lennox Lewis) who was responsible for the fitness routines, pre match warm ups, post match warm downs and any other Cross Training required at the Club to enhance the players physical attributes. Including a revolutionary exercise program called Plyometrics, which I personally found to be very useful adding enormous amounts of strength and power to my legs.

When I was at West Bromwich Albion, Alan Buckley hired a motivational expert to try and help the players out of the worse slump in the clubs history, 13 straight defeats. In the early 90s this kind of specialism was just beginning although it really failed to have much of an impact on the players or the club at that particular time.

English Football has come a long way since, and Allardyce confirmed that he will be implementing at Newcastle what he did at Bolton, although of course that took 8 years to do. Whether Newcastle United and their impatient fans will give him this amount of time, especially as he has only signed a 3 year contract remains to be seen.

Allardyce has an impressive record at Bolton, finishing 16th, 17th, 8th, 6th, 8th and 7th in the last 6 years. He also points to his ability to inspire older players, star names with so called egos, and also to Boltons exceptional injury record losing just 72 player days to injury this season, compared to Newcastles extraordinary 340 player days.

It doesn't take a Brain Surgeon or indeed a Football expert to analyze these figures and realize that the more time your players are available and the less injuries they are carrying, the greater chance the team has of winning games. With Newcastle Uniteds financial clout and impressive squad, a fully fit team will instantly perform better than most other sides (excluding the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea) and if you average out these performances over a season Newcastle should see steady progress under Allardyce.

Needless to say a lot will depend on Allardyce tinkering to find the right squad plus his ability to build his team of experts and motivate the motivators.

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