Allardyce Lays to Rest Demons of His Newcastle Nightmare

illya mclellanSenior Analyst IJanuary 19, 2009

Big Sam Allardyce was at a Newcastle game again in the weekend, again watching them lose through some poor finishing and an apparent lack of desire.

Comfortingly for him though he was managing the opposition to the victory and up out of the relegation zone. This victory would have been a sweet salve to the wounds he picked up in his time at Newcastle, and the recent form of Blackburn since his arrival has gotten the monkey off his back for the time being.

He has demonstrated again that he does have an eye for a team and the improvements and changes he has made to the Blackburn starting line up and squad since his arrival seem to be already paying dividends for the Lancashire outfit.

A far cry from the meek exit he had to endure at Newcastle.

But the war is far from won and over the next few months Allardyce is again presented with an opportunity to show his management nous to the watching eyes of the football world.

The question for him is whether he can keep turning this team out week-to-week and obtaining the points needed to steady the ship. Hughes is a hard act to follow at this club, as Paul Ince found out to his detriment, even if Hughes is not exactly setting the oil field on fire at Newlands.

Blackburn have definitely held their own since returning to the top flight but for a club that have actually won the Premier League have shown none of the ambition that drove them under Jack Walker.

Perhaps Allardyce can turn them into a side that again challenge for European places again, as they definitely still possess a very strong group of players.

McCarthy has been in great form since being put back in the starting line up, with four goals in four matches and this has to be one of the best things that Allardyce has done so far.

If he can get the same hunger out of the rest of the side it may be that Blackburn are back among the European contenders, before the end of the season.