Allardyce Should Listen To Shearer
A "chance" ... no more, no less. Five years to be a major power in the Premiership with the money Mike Ashley has spent? Not on your life!
Suddenly Allardyce is looking at picking up the Carling Cup, THIS coming season. A U-turn indeed.
But as Alan Shearer said so often in the past "it is impossible to pick and choose what competition you are going to win. We were asked if our priority was was the FA Cup, UEFA Cup, Carling Cup or qualifying for the Champions League. You take each game as it comes, there is no such thing as a priority".
Allardyce: "At this club the priority is the Carling and FA Cup as well as finishing as high as we can in the Premiership.
"Hopefully, we'll have the squad to do it.
"We have no distractions of Europe this year, so it means we can go all guns blazing in the Carling and FA Cups. And for me they are the shortest route to European qualification. If you win the Carling Cup, you are in Europe.
"Of course we want to finish as high as we can, but to get a cup means a UEFA Cup place, which is very important here. In years gone by people have dismissed the Carling Cup too easily.
"I have been accused of that in the past at Bolton - but my agenda at Bolton was different to here. I had to keep Bolton in the Premier League and doing what the board of directors instruct you to do is the most important thing.
"Priorities have to come into play. If you have a small squad that you know will find life difficult in the Premiership, then you can ill afford to go into the cups with all guns blazing.
"I would like to win something because I know how much it would mean to the United fans. I know how long it has been since they won anything, and I am exactly the same.
"I came into the game in 1969 and never won a major trophy as a player or up until now as a manager. But I would love to do that as soon as possible.
"We came painfully close to getting our hands on the Carling Cup in Cardiff when we lost 2-1 to Middlesbrough in the final in 2004. It was one of the worst days of my life. It was the best chance of winning a trophy for any club in a final when you look at the way the teams were balanced.
"It was a great experience getting there, but the only thing I really enjoyed was having my grandson as mascot. The experience of losing in a final was bad, but going to the final is something I would like to do again - and this time make sure we win it.
"At Bolton somewhere along the line there had to be a sacrificial lamb, and that was the early stages of the cups.
"Now because of the emergence of Chelsea, it has rekindled the interest of the Carling Cup. Everyone wants to win it, but most people want to stay in the Premiership."
NEWCASTLE UNITED'S LEAGUE CUP HISTORY
The Football League Cup has had many names, but has never been lifted by a Newcastle United captain.
The competition started in the 1960/61 season and Newcastle lost to Colchester United 4-1 in their first fixture, and to be honest, there hasn't been much glory since.
United beat Tottenham in the 1975/76 season 3-1 at St James' Park to overturn a 1-0 defeat at White Hart Lane and reach their one and only final.
They played Manchester City at Wembley but lost 2-1. Ex-Sunderland winger and Newcastle-born Dennis Tueart scored the winner with an incredible 'bicycle kick' and picked up his winners medal wearing a black and white shirt.
That is the closest we have come. United's side that day: Mahoney, Nattrass, Kennedy, Barrowclough, Keeley, Howard, Burns, Cassidy, Macdonald, Gowling, T Craig. Cannell was sub.