Sam Allardyce is confident that West Brom will scale through the impending hurdles and survive the Premier League relegation.
He said, “Taking pressure off the players is a big part of it. As soon as results fall away confidence drains away. Positivity has to involve hard work and good leadership— it is about pointing out the things we are doing wrong and the things we are doing right. I am not sure how they have taken to me yet. I have cracked a few jokes and got some strange looks back.
I have come back into the Premier League to be among the West Brom players and enjoy their company. They must interact with each other and have a sense of humour. Having fun with each other is a part of the building process. I’m not sure what they think of me the manager having a joke but I’m here to enjoy myself and while we might get miserable when we lose and happy if we win, between times we have to enjoy things.”
The jokes paid off as West Brom looked much more confident against Liverpool and they played well to take a point of the title favourites.
It is interesting that Big Sam must have a blueprint which annoys Liverpool. He was the last manager to beat the Reds at Anfield over three years ago and he is unbeaten after taking his previous four different clubs to Liverpool; Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Everton and West Brom. Sam said after the Liverpool game that he believes he can keep West Brom in the top tier after analysing his current crop of players but the fight is going to be an enormous challenge as we go into the new year.
Edinson Cavani is both impressed and pleased that Manchester United have looked after him well since he joined from PSG. He and his family had two full-time assistants to help them look for a house in the Manchester area and they have settled in perfectly.
He is happy and he is in the best frame of mind to help United. I am delighted to report that Manchester tipped me off on Sunday that the club is ready to extend Cavani’s contract beyond the end of the season. The Uruguayan has a one-year optional extension and that will be triggered.
33-year-old Cavani has become a firm fans favourite after scoring four goals since he joined from PSG and has several assists.
Manager Ole Gunner Solskjaer said: “At the moment, it looks like he has a few years left in him. I won’t say anything else but he has made a great impact since he came here. He is definitely a starter and players have to believe in themselves and I believe in him. We have good competition for places but he will probably start more games than he will not start.”
Cavani turns 34 in February and will be involved for Uruguay in the Copa America, due to be played between June 10 and July 11 so he will probably miss the main part of next pre-season training. Cavani inherited the famous No.7 shirt worn in the past by George Best and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Solskjaer said: “When he came here he asked me if he could wear the Number 7 shirt. I was never in any doubt that he would wear it with pride. He is so meticulous and professional. His habits and everything about him shows why he has had a great career. Even at the age, he is now, he is one of the fittest players we have got.”