Sam Allardyce has revealed he was surprised Newcastle United approached him for their vacant managerial job.
The Magpies recently parted company with Rafael Benitez following a three-year spell after failing to agree a contract extension.
With pre-season underway, the managerless club are looking to appoint their seventh permanent head coach under controversial owner Mike Ashley and the 11th overall including interim bosses.
One of Ashley’s first decisions after acquiring the club in 2007 was sacking the unpopular Allardyce, who joined before his takeover was completed. Renowned for his pragmatic approach, the much-travelled coach would oversee 24 matches in all competitions, winning just eight of them.
His successor, club legend Kevin Keegan – returning for a second managerial stint after establishing them as England’s second-best team in the mid-1990s – was a popular choice. However, he’d suffer empty promises from Ashley, which future Newcastle coaches would deal with – most notably Benitez, who has since taken charge at Chinese Super League outfit, Dalian Yifang.
Incredibly, on their shortlist to replace Benitez was Allardyce, who has to date managed seven Premier League clubs – most recently Everton – and never suffered the ignominy of relegation, but the approach befuddled the one-time England manager, who politely declined.
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.
“I was very flattered that I was considered but it’s that thing… don’t go back,” he told talkSPORT.
“It never got to the type of talks people are suggesting but it wasn’t for me. I politely said ‘no’. I never got to talk to Mike Ashley. My agent contacted me, I had a think about it and a quick look at the situation and thanked them very much but it’s not for me.
“Maybe if it was the first time around I would have jumped at it. I appreciate the offer but I was surprised, I’ve not worked for a full season. It wasn’t something I thought about for too long. I thought it’d be better to make a quick decision for everyone. We’re in pre-season now and they’re back in training.”
Why did Newcastle approach Allardyce? Five key things to know…
- Newcastle have suffered two Premier League relegations under the ownership of Ashley.
- They returned at the first time of asking with Chris Hughton in 2009/10, and again with Benitez in 2016/17.
- Allardyce previously managed Newcastle for 24 matches in all competitions, winning eight.
- To date, he’s coached seven Premier League clubs and never suffered relegation.
- The next Magpies boss will be the 11th overall (including caretakers) under Ashley.