'Brave or crazy' - Blockbuster 'popcorn moment’ predicted as Leeds United coach branded delusional
and live on Freeview channel 276
The former Anfield defender believes Allardyce’s assertion that he is on a similar plane to the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, is wide of the mark. Leeds’ newly-installed manager made the remark during his press conference unveiling earlier this week, which saw him compare his ‘depth of knowledge’ with the likes of the Manchester City supremo, Liverpool’s revolutionary German coach and Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta.
“Far too many people think that I’m old and antiquated which is so far from the truth. I might be 68 and look old, but there's nobody ahead of me in football terms. Not Pep, not Klopp, not Arteta. It's all there with me and I share it with them,” Allardyce began on Wednesday.
"They do what they do, I do what I do. In terms of knowledge and depth of knowledge, I’m up there with them. I’m not saying I’m better than them but I’m certainly as good as they are,” he added boldly, ahead of facing Guardiola’s rampant Man City side this weekend.
Writing in his Daily Telegraph column, Carragher believes it unfair for Allardyce to equate his ability and achievements with the Liverpool and City bosses.
“Was Allardyce’s tongue in his cheek when he said he considered himself the equal of Pep Guardiola, Klopp and Mikel Arteta? I would like to think so,” Carragher said.
"Otherwise, it’s a toss-up as to whether it is brave or crazy to make such a statement when facing Guardiola and one of the best teams to ever grace the Premier League in his first game.
"Can you imagine the reaction if an overseas coach with no major honours to his name introduced himself to a Premier League club in such a way?
"How would Brighton’s manager, Roberto de Zerbi, have been received had he declared himself on the same level of two of the most successful managers of the modern era? At best ill-advised, and at worst deluded.”
Allardyce was asked during his pre-match press conference on Friday morning what he had made of Neil Warnock’s great escape with Huddersfield Town. The veteran manager had been drafted in at the John Smith’s Stadium with the team marooned in the Championship relegation zone, but has gone on to guarantee the club’s safety with one game to spare.
"I hope that it's going to be a trio. There's Roy [Hodgson], Neil [Warnock] and I hope I get something similar to that in terms of results in the next four games. It would be good for the oldies, wouldn't it?" Allardyce told reporters with a smile.
Carragher offered his opinion on the matter, relating to older managers’ preferred styles: “That more direct way can still be highly effective for teams fighting relegation or in the lower leagues. Thus, managers like Allardyce and Neil Warnock continue to be lured out of 'retirement'. Good luck to them.
"They have built long and profitable careers doing what they do. That does not change the fact there are limitations to how successful you can be playing that way.
"He has been appointed in the hope the force of his character will inspire an upturn. If he succeeds he will be justifiably applauded. Then we can all prepare the popcorn for his final Elland Road press conference,” Carragher added, anticipating a blockbuster final press call for the 68-year-old, if he manages to pull off a great escape of his own in LS11.