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Sam Allardcye

The Long ball Menace
Started on 3 December 2015 by Hortensius
Latest Reply on 7 December 2015 by Jack
  • POSTS14
  • VIEWS3863
The Club

Preston North End, Proud Preston, The one and only North End (if you ignore the amateur clubs in Glossop and Dundee)

Preston North End Football Club (often shortened to PNE) is an English football club located in the Deepdale area of Preston, Lancashire. They currently play in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system, having won promotion from League One via the play-offs at the end of the 2014–15 season.

The club was a founding member of the Football League and completed the inaugural season unbeaten to become the first league champions, in the same season winning the FA Cup without conceding a goal to become the first club to achieve the English football "Double". Preston's unbeaten League and Cup season earned them the nickname "The Invincibles".

Preston's most recent major trophy success was their FA Cup victory over Huddersfield Town F.C. in 1938. Many notable players have played for the club, including Tom Finney, Bill Shankly, Tommy Docherty, Alan Kelly, Sr. and Graham Alexander.

Based on results achieved in the Football League from 1888–89 to 2014–15, Preston were ranked as the fourth most-successful English football club of all time domestically, while only Notts County had played more Football League games than Preston ( this is a super questionable and irrelevant statistic)


Not the longest list in football but one to be proud of, one that includes being the first Invincibles and the first double winners. Players like Arthur Wharton(first black professional player who was a goalkeeper/winger of all things), Bill Shankly, Joe Marston, Tommy Thompson and Tom Finney (the latter three who have all sadly passed away in the last year or 2) even Sir bobby Charlton had a spell at the club.

It’s a club with a great deal of history much of it in the more distant past but still something to be proud of.

Any section mentioning shankly is wasted without some quotes

Shankly was asked how a Kevin Keegan compared to Finney and Shankly replied: "Aye, he's as good as Tommy – but then Tommy's nearly 60 now"

Tom Finney would have been great in any team, in any match and in any age, even if he had been wearing an overcoat

And it was once said “if Tom was injured the club would keep it a secret because if anyone knew, word would spread and 10,000 would be knocked off the gate”

The Stadium

Since 1875 football matches have been played at Deepdale (there is some dispute between ourselves and Sheffield over which is the oldest active football league stadium in use) and long may it continue it. It also has the distinction of having in my opinion the finest piece of football statuary in existence. The stadium has seating for 23404 including two corporate dinning areas and a number of executive boxes. There is also a café/ restaurant in the old national football museum. It’s not the largest but it definitely has the feel of premier league quality, the only sad aspect is how rarely it has been filled.

“The Splash”


The club trains at Springfields there are a few pitches sandwiched between a housing estate and a golf course with a brook running down one side… aand that’s about it I’ve never been so I can’t comment but I suspect it’s something the club needs to look at improving in the coming years.

(literally the only picture I could find that wasn’t a fence)

The academy facilities are actually slightly better, training at the university owned Preston sports arena has a wide variety of pitch sizes and types with a special designated goalkeeper area? (I would have thought that was just the penalty box but whatever)

The executive branch

Only two of any interest the owner and the “acting chairman”

Trevor Hemmings is difficult to write about because for a man who has won three grand nationals and owns a football club he doesn’t court media attention. He used to own blackpool tower, pontins and he started out as a bricklayer. He worked his way from bottom to the top. He currently owns a stake in; a number of hotels (I think), Property developers, over 100 racehorses and a championship football club. He currently has a net worth estimated to be £900million and being an utter gent has recently written off PNE’s debt. Top Bloke.

The Riddler, The man who rented tropical fish as leeds chairman. Controversial is the word. Leeds was as large a cockup as has been seen in football he has tried to lay the blame elsewhere. It’s not a situation I’m familiar enough with to comment on. Cardiff was mixed the club was in a dire situation he played a role I feel from what I read in staving off the devil at the door and kept things going where otherwise they might of gone to the wall but he lied to the fans, money raised on promises of transfers and promotions went to pay Her Majesties Revenue and Customs which is probably not what people thought. At PNE however I have to say he has been decent he was right to get rid of Phil Brown, Graham ‘Westtext/Mr Medal Winner’ Westley was a gamble which did not pay off but the recruitment under him formed the spine of a promotion team so I wont judge to harshly as tempting as it may be to do so. Simon Grayson was the right choice no one gets teams out of league one more consistently than Larry, the football is mixed but he’s a nice bloke he does the business and he was just what we needed culminating in an outstanding play off victory.

What a day that was

The Manager

In this hypothetical world where Simon Grayson has gone for pastures new I’ve decided to go for a former player and manager, a man who’s reputation is of doing the business.

David Moyes he hears you cry

Can you hear the people sing,
singing the song of big sam
it is the music of a team
that will moderately over achieve
When the kicking of the ball
Hits the striker on his head
There is victory about to start
When the clean sheet comes

...Yeah its Sam allardyce

The Dream

To dream of Managing real Madrid
To fight Like joey barton on a night out
To bear Adrian Durham saying mean things
To run where Diouf could not be bothered

( I bet you are surprised I went with the man from la Mancha instead of another Les Mis number)

Fortunately the dream is not to put on an amateur show of the play about the making of an amateur production of a play about Don Quixote, but to reach the premier league, Win the F.A cup and do one better the he did at Bolton, not to play in the europa League but to grace its finest competition The champions league. In true big sam fashion I will also aim to get the England job with a super power point and knock their bleeding socks off and become alardycio and manage Real Madrid

Sam allardyce really reminds me of marlon brando in on the waterfont

“You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am” if only the world could learn to love a long ball and the skill of Kevin davies’ elbowing

I was tempted to double up on the les Mis theme but decided against it. Here is my rejected number

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When balls where kicked long
And Kevin Davies worth playing
I dreamed we would not concede
I dreamed that referees would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And signings were made and Kevin Nolan was used not wasted
and there were large bungs to be paid
No ball unkicked
No centre back unelbowed

But Mike Ashley Came at night
With his voice as load as thunder
As he tore my dreams apart
as he sacked me on the spot

I spent the summer in my villa in spain
I filled my days with beer and sunbathing
I took my lunches and teas outside
But all was gone when Blackburn came

And still I dream Real Madrid will come
That we will win all the trophies
But my long ball reputation stops me
And there are reputations we cannot shake!

I had a dream my life would be
Managing big teams in warm places
So different now, from what I dreamed
Now skysports has killed the dream
Very interesting introduction, and club.
Good luck for your story.
Lovely intro, good luck, mate!
The Squad


A former England international and potentially a future England international in between the posts leaves me with the impression that there is little to be done here. However initial impressions may not be accurate. Chris Kirkland despite his tremendous levels of experience is further down the hill than jack after he went to fetch a pail of water. Pickford is young with a relatively good level of experience. His all round game is good but his distribution is exceptional. He essentially has a howitzer for a foot. The downside is he isn’t ours and his wages at £7000 are not high but that being said there is little long term value for the club in developing him just for him to return to Sunderland.

I don’t know much about Steven James, he looks like he has some potential but I can’t see Preston being the place for him to fulfill it. He will most likely be loaned out and released when his contract expires


If a low cost keeper of comparable quality becomes available I will look to recruit but I’m happy to let Pickford continue as the No.1 for now.


Probably helpful to ignore McCarthy and Heaton here as the former isn’t at the club in the game and the other is in the u21’s. A strong part of the squad as is shown by the number of clean sheets kept under Grayson’s tenure. There are however question marks hanging over many of the players about how they will adjust to the championship. Tom Clarke never nailed down a starting role when playing in the division, Bailey Wrights only experience was of an abject relegation campaign however he is in tremendous form since recovering from injury last season and has even bagged himself a few Australian caps and even a goal. Cunningham and vermijl have slightly better experience but the former still has suffered relegation from the division and Vermijl’s experience is minimal in any sense but at least includes staying in the league. Huntington has played in the premier league… I haven’t got over the shock. But apart from that he has always looked a league one centre back and his lack of pace, grace and ability on the ball are all troubling. Finally we come to Calum woods, Classic Grayson as versatile as a swiss army knife, solid as granite. A proper steady player, but not one that has managed to nail down a consistent position never mind a place in the team.


A few outs and a few in’s planned here, Huntington and woods are most likely to leave Clarke is our best defender currently and plays well at centreback or full back. Bailey Wright has a bright future I hope to nurture and I am a big fan of Cunningham. I will look to recruit a Left footed centre back and some cover for Cunningham in the coming weeks.


(ignore Reach sadly he’s not at the club in game)

Some talented footballers in this area, with a great mixture of age, promising youngsters and experienced old hands, its also the area I feel needs the most work. We have one winger. We need more, Humphrey is one of life’s great tryers ive seen him loose the ball and run across every blade of grass to get it back and he has pace, the issue is how rarely he seems to utilise it. More is needed here. Browne, Brownhill and Johnson are all young technically adept and talented. It is certainly my intention to deploy and develop these three as key players in my starting 11. Deeper in the squad we have two old hands. Welsh and Kilkenny. A controversial opinion but I’m not a fan. Welsh can’t pass and runs at a pace I can only describe as steady and Kilkenny can pass but isn’t so flash in the tackle. A holding midfielder to replace or compete with these two is a matter of upmost urgency. Last but not least is the man with more loan appearances for one club than anyone else, ever. 113 of them adding 24 goals and even more assists, He was a key player last season and despite a few more miles on the clock he still posses the quality to do a job in the division. In summary we wingers we need holding midfielder/s but our centre midfield is strong I feel.


One holding midfielder preferably 2 if the budget allows, if not Alan Browne can fill in whilst trying to get rid of one or both of the current CDM’s. I will look to recruit 2-3 wingers with potentially Humprey leaving the club if a decent fee is available. Some competition for Gally is also a need if not the most pressing one.


From the desert we arrive at the land of milk and honey. Garner and Doyle where amongst the highest scorers in English football last year, Stevie may has arrived for a 6 figure fee and Will Keane prior to a bad injury had a burgeoning reputation as a potential superstar. Beckford sadly is out with a long term injury but his goals and performances in the second half of last season where nothing short of incredible and I am still smiling from some of them. Hugill kept Hartlepool up last season, he’s got a tremendous size about him but is still quite spritely, I’m unsure however what sort of role he will be able to play for us with such a well stocked offensive line up and he could me moved out on loan. Finally Andy little my mother always said if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all. I generally ignore this advice but I’ll heed it here.


Try and get rid of some of them to be honest, I tend to play one up top and it would be impossible to do so and keep a happy ship with so many strikers. So a few loan cancellations and trying to flog Andy Little to anyone that will listen
looking forward to this!!!
Very nice update, mate.
2015-12-03 23:17#222506 Murtagh : Very interesting introduction, and club.
Good luck for your story.

thanks very much, in hindsight to song adaptations are probably a bit weird but i’ll take interesting and preston are my hometown club and the one i support so a natural if niche choice.

2015-12-04 12:33#222548 No1VillaFan : looking forward to this!!!


2015-12-04 21:57#222565
thank you
Transfers In

The football fans christmas and with the number of in’s and outs santa is going to have to switch his sleigh for a double decker bus.

Ho Ho Ho Happy Transfer Window

the transfer that jumps out is no doubt Josh brownhill, I had intended to build the team around him and Browne and had offered them both long contracts to make it happen but when tottenham came knocking and started off by offering 2.8million for him he wanted to go and seeing pound signs i wanted much the same. I managed to negotiate them up to a healthy 5.25million just short of the club record 6 million received for england international David Nugent. Kilkenny, Jones, Little and Reid took the bulk of the work to move on and played a big role in both reducing the wage bill and getting the squad close to the small tight knit group i prefer. Huntington, Humphrey, Woods and Welsh constituted more ideological changes. Welsh is too slow and limited and will be replaced by a younger, quicker and technically adept player. Huntington has an identical list of issues and the replacement will meet the same requirements as above. Woods and Humphrey had clubs interested which for me was enough to get rid simply on the basis i love a busy transfer window. Not mentioned here is Pickford returning to sunderland, i was unable to make the move permanent and i decided if we’re developing a young goalkeeper for anyone it might as well be our own it was also mainly due to the fact i found someone better.

This Gives us a less of a transfer kitty more of a transfer lion for recruitment

Staff in

no staffing outs and the coaching staff if surprisingly competent so i’ve decided to leave things be in a highly uncharacteristic move but the scouting network was a one man band named Ian so we’ve brought in some international friends to develop a Europe wide scouting network, Mr Anderson specifically had some interesting suggestions
good luck to this story
Tranfers In

Anderson said Ajer and Sondre Rossbach would be interested in joining. i almost dropped my biscuit in me brew. I then got on the blower and offered them the biggest contracts i could, apparently the quite liked the offer turning down offers from European heavyweights like Chelsea, Manchester United and P.S.G i think the technical term for this is a coup. These two will either earn us lots of points or massive fee's in the coming season.

Sonni Nattestad is a great big centre half which is Big Sam's favourite type, he is also a little better technically than some of what we had. I feel this is a relatively short term signing i'm not convinced he's an out and out defender like bailey wright but he adds much needed height and the ability to play out of defence.

The club lacks width and pace out wide and i reckon i've brought in a decent amount with Hammar, Assulin and McAleny i feel we've got some great addition in these three. A nice mix of pace, technique and trickery which is just how i like my wingers.

Paul Gallagher scored 13 goals and got 21 assists in all competitions last season but i feel we needed a little bit of back up and a little bit of scouting unveiled a cracking player in Juan Carlos

Mikkel Kirkeskov is a versatile left back who can fill in well at centre back and right back. he also represents the biggest gamble of the lot. he comes for a relatively large fee for PNE and will need to hit the ground running.

The season preview has us down as going down rock bottom of the league, these transfers i feel should make us mid table contenders and at worst safe from relegation.
Not gonna lie, the Scandinavian leagues have some incredible players for incredible prices, nice signing with Ajer also ;)
Pre Season and August

Pre season matches where intended to be money making affairs first and foremost and where left to my assistant to manage so there is not much to be said, for the most part we played larger teams for the most part we lost.


The good the bad and the ugly

A busy month 6 matches in total with only two at home. We also face three teams I would expect to be in contention for promotion come the end of the season, fortunately we face two who I expect to be our competition to stay in the division


Attendance 16,731

PNE MoM Marnick Vermijl- defensively resilient offensively rampant a great all round display from the full back

A tough match straight off the bat but a cracking performance, we created 3 clear cut chances to their 0 and had the bulk of the shots in the match. As to be expected against strong opposition we struggled a little on the ball in terms of possession and pass success which was a slightly disappointing 46% and 66% respectively. First Match and 3 points against tough opposition is not something to be sniffed at though.


Attendance 2440

PNE MoM Ziri Hammar the only bright spark in the match scoring a goal which briefly brought us back into contention in this fixture.

When all of your defense has performance ratings <6 you know its going to be a bad day but this was worse, an absolute battering against a team we should of at the very least matched, our ability to pass the ball is increasingly a concern with 62% pass completion and 41% of possession,

MK Dons

Attendance 11128

PNE MoM Unsure for this match pretty poor, worryingly for the second match Kirkeskov is the worst player on the pitch

The Match was close up until Marnick Vermijl got sent off on 26 minutes. We then quickly conceded two either side of half time which finished us off. Our possession and passing is getting worse by the week but I will hold of judgment on account of the red card.


Attendance 11,548

PNE MoM after a few poor displays and lack of goals I made a change up top bringing Stevie may in for garner…I’d say it worked delivering a man of the match display as well as winning himself the match ball and PNE all three points.

A brilliant performance, we beat them in every category out passed out fought and most importantly out scored, slight concern about our defensive situation, we do appear a little frail at the back and if this continues much longer I will be looking to make a tweak weather that is the tactic or in personal I am currently undecided.


Attendance 15,942

PNE MoM Sonni Nattestad the reason I love a tall centre back is for matches like this, Mick’s side fired in crosses trying to get their front two in on goal but sonni was having none of it today, top class.

We edged the number of shots and chances created in this match but everywhere else it was an even battle with the height and heading ability of Sonni clearing danger and doing his part in earning a valuable clean sheet. Ipswich have been playing well this season and are amongst the favourites for promotion so this is a tremendous result


Attendance 17,993

PNE MoM Tom Clarke a cracking performance from my make shift right back good going forward great at the back a shame it wasn’t quite enough to grab the three points.

So close to being a classic smash and grab. Hull are a great team one you would have to say who are certain to gain promotion, lashings of quality in every department and in this match we competed admirably. A valuable point gained but hard not to feel a pang of disappointment after going so close.

We finish this month at the lofty position of 6th earning the respectable tally of 10 points from 15 against on the whole strong opposition.

not a great start Sam Allardyce :O
An okay start to say Preston are new to the Championship, it's all about gaining momentum now!

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