Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Big Sam Would Be Delighted If His Hammers Sunk United; LEE RYDER on the Cast of Characters Who Will All Have a Big Part to Play on What's Sure to Be Dramatic Final Day

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Big Sam Would Be Delighted If His Hammers Sunk United; LEE RYDER on the Cast of Characters Who Will All Have a Big Part to Play on What's Sure to Be Dramatic Final Day

Article excerpt

NEWCASTLE UNITED are still haunted by relegation in 2009.

The scars from six years ago are still there for all to see at a club that has often been mis-managed and left supporters heartbroken at events on Barrack Road.

On Sunday - or should that be "Survival Sunday" - a nail-biting afternoon lies in store.

For the fans who back Newcastle to the hilt and who have stuck with the club through thick and thin Sunday could be as bad as it gets.

To make matters worse there could be one or two old faces that come back to haunt Newcastle - while others may come to their rescue. Here we look at the cast of characters involved in Sunday's showdown.

SAM ALLARDYCE THE West Ham boss has already spoken this week about how he won't show any "sympathy" to Newcastle at St James' Park in what could be his last game in charge of the Hammers.

Big Sam was sacked by Mike Ashley in 2008 as Newcastle fans turned on his long-ball tactics and subjected him to some tough criticism.

In 24 games Allardyce won eight, drew six and lost 10.

Newcastle actually made a strong start under Allardyce but he was fired after a bad run before Christmas.

Back in the days when Ashley sat with away fans, the Toon tycoon went with public opinion and axed the former Bolton Wanderers boss.

That's why Allardyce would no doubt take pleasure in sending Newcastle down on Sunday.

KEVIN NOLAN THE West Ham star may not feature for personal reasons on Sunday.

But there's no doubt that the Scouser is a popular figure for the fans after his efforts during three seasons on Tyneside.

Sold for PS4.5m to West Ham after a glut of goals in the Championship and Premier League, Nolan would hate to see United go down.

However, he is always Mr 100% no matter who he plays for. So the goal-getter will need close attention on Sunday. …

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