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Hirshey: The Great 'Wexit' Debate

Premier League

Loftus-Cheek impresses in preseason

By ESPN Staff

Newcastle 'wasn't big enough for me' - Big Sam

Former Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce has risked inciting the anger of the Geordie fans by claiming the Magpies were not a big enough club for him and insisting the St James' Park outfit 'didn't live up to my ambitions'.

Allardyce arrived in the north-east confidently brandishing a five-year plan to restore success to Newcastle but was afforded just eight months at the helm after a change of ownership brought Mike Ashley to the club.

He dispensed with Allardyce's services after a disappointing start to his tenure and eventually replaced him with returning boss Kevin Keegan.

But former Bolton boss Allardyce, who has yet to take a new role in football, has absolved himself of any blame for his aborted stint with United.

'When you get sacked, reflection is a difficult scenario. The one thing you have tio evaluate first and foremost is how much of it was your fault,' he told The People.

'I think you can accept it a lot more if you can come to terms with the fact that a good percentage of it was your fault - but that doesn't apply to me at Newcastle.'

And Allardyce went on to claim that suggestions he was not up to the task of rebuilding a club famously starved of silverware in recent times were wide of the mark.

'The usual rubbish that goes when someone like me is sacked from a club like Newcastle is that that job ws too big for me. That's just not true.

'If I'm honest the reverse is probably true. Newcastle probably wasn't big enough for me - it didn't live up to my ambitions in the short time that I was there. And because it didn't do that the club missed a chance to realise its own ambitions.

'The more I analyse it, the more I come to the conclusion that it was never about me or results and we have seen that the appointment on Dennis Wise and various others.

'It was about things they wanted to put in place.'