Leeds manager Allardyce reveals the reason for the ‘As good as Guardiola’ comment and the football icon who inspired it
SAM ALLARDYCE has revealed the true motivation behind his recent claim that he is ‘just as good as Pep Guardiola’.
Big Sam, 68, returned to the coaching bench two weeks ago and is tasked with saving Leeds United from being relegated to the Premier League.
After replacing Javi Gracia, he was left with just four Premier League games to turn the tide.
Allardyce has picked up a point from his first two games, a defeat at Manchester City and a draw against Newcastle, and takes his side to old club West Ham tomorrow before a showdown at home to Tottenham on the final day.
After his appointment and as he prepared to face leaders City, Allardyce made headlines when he stressed he was “as good as” Guardiola – the man on the verge of guiding the Cityzens to an historic treble.
That comment drew plenty of snide remarks from many quarters but now the veteran Englishman has admitted he just copied a trick straight from icon Sir Alex Ferguson’s playbook.
He said The times: “It’s about taking the pressure off the players and focusing entirely on yourself.”
“The master taught me that… Fergie.
“He said you’re a distraction, a stir. Say something to the press to divert attention from players who are constantly being criticized.
“I went in there to say that. And hey, I never said I was better than her.”
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Allardyce added, “Far too many people think I’m old and antiquated, which is so far from the truth. I’m 68 and I look old, but nobody’s ahead of me when it comes to football. Not pep, not [Jurgen] clop, don’t [Mikel] arteta I have everything.
“They do what they do, I do what I do. But in terms of knowledge and depth of knowledge, I’m on par with them. I’m not saying I’m better than them, but I’m definitely as good as them.”
Guardiola actually agreed with Big Sam after hearing his remarks earlier this month and vehemently defended the former Bolton, Newcastle and Sunderland manager.
He said: “He’s right. I want to be honest. Now look at what happened to Neil Warnock in Huddersfield, for example.
“Now there’s a tendency for these incredible managers to come out of this Premier League or this competition in a better position.”