Date: 2nd December 2005 at 6:09pm
Written by:

Evening Chronicle: ‘And if this was not bad enough for the United boss, he woke up to headlines today saying Freddy Shepherd is expected to sack him and lure Bolton boss Sam Allardyce to St James’ Park.

‘But a source close to the United board told me today: ‘Any talk about Allardyce coming to St James’ Park is utter garbage. We already have a manager and we have made no plans for any replacement.’

‘I understand Shepherd tried to contacted his Bolton counterpart Phil Garside in Australia today to tell him United were not eyeing Allardyce.

‘My reading of the situation is that if Souness was to leave St James’ Park in the near future, then those managers who turned them down 14 months ago would be at the back of the queue. And this means Allardyce and Steve Bruce at Birmingham.

‘Ladbrokes chopped the odds on Souness leaving St James’ from 10-1 to 9-2, 3-1 and finally 7-4 favourite during a frantic day’s trading yesterday, with O’Leary second favourite at 9-4. Even Sunderland’s Mick McCarthy is rated a better bet to hold onto his job at 5-1.’

Graeme Souness 7/4
David O’Leary 9/4
Mick McCarthy 5/1
Alan Curbishley 7/1
Steve Bruce 8/1
Bryan Robson 12/1
Chris Coleman 20/1
David Moyes 20/1