Why I Hate Big Sam
Date: Sunday 20th February 2005OK, now before you all jump on me shouting about how we are in a lofty position etc etc, I am not saying Sam is a poor manager. That would be ridiculous. What I am saying, is that he is a lucky manager, a terrible tactician, and not a very nice or professional person. Oh, and he buys some right shite!! LUCKY I mentioned this at the start, and will briefly show you why this is the case. Firstly, Sam had a huge amount of luck to be given the manager's job in the first place. His track record was mediocre, but his BWFC links and the lack of money at the club to bring in a big name got Sam the job at the Reebok. He also had a huge slice of luck as he had an amazing assistant already at the club in Phil Brown. Phil was unlucky not to get the job himself, and had to settle for second place. I still maintain that a lot of the success is down to Phil. Sam is also lucky to have a great board (yes he has!). For a club in huge debt, it would be all too easy to make do with the type of player who you can see in the squads of West Brom, Norwich etc. Despite the debt, the board have allowed big wages to be paid to some top name players. And before you say, “well, Sam had to get the players in the first place”, actually, that is yet more luck. A great set of scouts have highlighted these players to Sam. Hell, some players he has been credited with signing he admits to having never seen play. When Sam has gone on his freebie holidays to find players (such as Euro 2004), he returned empty handed. Eye for a bargain? Not Big Sam that’s for sure. Lastly, Sam has been damn lucky with his players and injuries. He's never had a real bad injury crisis as such (certainly nothing in the same league as Liverpool this season) and when injuries have happened, they have given him an unforeseen bit of luck - such as Davies getting injured forcing Sam to change the tactics he had stubbornly stuck with during December's losing streak (see below). TACTICIAN Be honest now - how many of you said during the last two years on the many occasions after we have thrown away a lead or draw in the last minute, “why the hell do we sit back?” If you recall, we had a clutch of goals go in against us in the last minute of crucial matches. Why was this happening? The naïve, or stupid, Sam blamed it on his players switching off, or being unprofessional. What absolute rubbish. The reason we let in goals was clear to everyone else, we would sit and defend to the final ten minutes, a recipe for disaster if ever there was one. Any decent manager would see this, or at least admit to seeing it. Sam was either a very poor judge of tactics, or too ignorant or stubborn to admit he was wrong. Look at this season. A run of nine games without a win, including six losses in a row. Why? Well ask any fan and they will tell you that the long ball tactics were not working. It was ugly to watch, and not effective in the slightest. Imagine a skilful gem like Jay Jay being subjected to role where he was asked to do long throw ins and nothing more. Again, Sam did not, or refused to see the reason for the slump. Again, he blamed confidence and even bad mouthed players in the squad. Yet the answer was obvious. Sam got lucky. Big Kev got injured; so he could change the tactics without having to admit he was in the wrong. Sam came up smelling of roses, and the fans forgot all the mistakes he had made. Without the input of Phil Brown, and the luck element, I really wonder what the team selection would be each week. Remember Nolan being played as a striker? UNPROFESSIONAL Everyone who knows me knows that I hate Sam mostly for the way he treats certain players and the job as a whole. The original JJ (Jermaine Johnson) was one player who Sam treated badly, but the list does not end there. Simon Charlton, great servant, booted out; and then there's Youri Djorkaeff, Anthony Barness, Akin Bulent, Fernando Hierro, and Henrik Pedersen. All treated with contempt by their manager. Once your face doesn't fit, forget playing your way back into the team. And if it does fit, you can be as crap as you like as you know you won’t get dropped. As for being unprofessional, in times of crisis, most managers would be down the training ground, bellowing at his players, getting the best from them. Sam? You're more likely to find Brownie down at Euxton as Sam is too busy either sunning himself, ‘scouting’ for invisible players, or getting his ugly mug on the TV at every opportunity. Sky Sports, Football Focus, Match of the Day, and let's not forget flirting with Sue Barker on A Question of Sport. And the Barclaycard adverts. Sam is a media hog, and it makes me sick. He even tries to crack jokes, but he's not a funny man. BAD JUDGE While scouts find players for Sam, he does have the final say as to whether or not they are signed. The media raves on about the great buys Sam keeps making, but are all his signings little gems, or just most of them? Or are they actually, really in the minority. For every Jay Jay, there is a Djibril Diawara. Sam's Roll of Shame Djibril Diawara Akinori Nishizawa Akin Bulent Kostas Konstantanidis Jon Ostemobor Les Ferdinand Ibrahim Ba Blessing Kaku Fredi Bobic Salva Ballesta Steve Howey Michael Bridges Pierre-Yves Andre Mario Jardel Javi Moreno Oh, and lets not forget the appointment of Frank Stapleton as striker coach, and the personal trainer of Johnny Wilkinson to assist the long ball tactics. All in all, Sam isn’t a bad manager, but he isn’t the best. At a big club he wouldn’t last six months. I for one can’t wait for the day he leaves and we get a real manager who can take us to the next level. SAM OUT!!!