'Not capable' - Leeds United legend John Giles poses Marcelo Bielsa question and rips into Sam Allardyce view
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Fourth-bottom Leeds are only outside of the division's drop zone on goal difference and the club have appointed experienced 68-year-old manager Allardyce to take the reins for United's final four games.
Giles, though, says the move has made him "even more worried" amid personal doubts over Allardyce's credentials and a lack of confidence in United's defenders. Speaking on Off The Ball sports radio, Giles also slammed the moves of United's board in sacking Marcelo Bielsa last February en route to ultimately replacing the promotion-winning Argentine with three managers in 15 months in the shape of Jesse Marsch, Javi Gracia and now new boss Allardyce.
Ex-Whites midfielder Giles also took particularly issue with Allardyce's comment at Wednesday's press conference that none of Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp or Mikel Arteta were ahead of him in footballing terms.
Asked what he had made to Allardyce's arrival at Elland Road, Giles declared: "I was very worried about them. I thought a few weeks ago they would get through it. In the last few weeks I have been very, very worried about my old team and the appointment of Sam Allardyce has made me even more worried.
"You heard his chat when he came in. He's as good as Pep and he's as good as Klopp. But when he was in management he wasn't that good.
"I never fancied him as a manager, he was too mouthy for my liking and I played against him as a player and he was a very, very ordinary player playing at Bolton, a very ordinary player. Plenty of mouth without producing it.
"He's coming back to Leeds now with four matches to save them from relegation and immediately he's talking about the best managers in the game at the moment, that he's as good as them. Well, he must have improved a lot since he went out of management because he didn't do it. He wasn't one of the best of then when he was in it so for my old team. I'd be very, very worried. Very worried.
"I don't think he's ever proven he was as good as Guardiola and Klopp and the lads of today. He's never been in that class but he has been noted for his self praise. He has been out of the game for two years, over two years now and he didn't save West Brom. They went down.
"Now as soon as he comes back he is up there with the best in the game at the moment. I hope he saves Leeds but I certainly wouldn't be confident about it in any way whatsoever."
Leeds announced the appointment of Allardyce on Wednesday morning ahead of a run in which features tests against three of the division's top six in their final four games. First up is the hardest test of the lot with Saturday's trip to the Etihad to face long odds-on title favourites Manchester City, ahead of which Allardyce has highlighted the importance of tightening up United's leaky defence. Giles, though, believes his former side ultimately do not have the players to do it.
"I think the biggest problem they have Leeds is defenders," said Giles. "When they were at their best going forward that was very good because they were mostly on the attack not defending.
"What's happened in recent times, they haven't been going forward as well so they are having to defend more than they ever did before and they're not capable of it. With the players that they have and that I see, I don't know how he's going to make these players into good defenders straightaway. I'd been very, very surprised. I just don't think they are good defenders.
"He might improve them, without a doubt. But while he is improving them defending they are going to lose in certain ways what they do going forward. That's the way I see it. But he's not going to save that now. He's coming in and saying he's as good as the best there, that's the last thing they need. He needs to keep his mouth shut and get on with the job of not trying to save them. But I don't think they have the actual defenders to be honest."
Reflecting on the Whites board firing Bielsa and then going from Marsch to Gracia to Allardyce, Giles reasoned: "When you look at the Leeds situation they have brought an awful lot on themselves. Look at Bielsa, would they have been in any worse a situation than they are now? This is their third manager since Bielsa went. They never backed Bielsa at all. Bielsa performed miracles for them and they got rid of him.
"Unless this guy does a miracle and saves them, the two managers that they got were Jesse Marsch and this other guy who came in (Javi Gracia) - they couldn't have been worse off if they kept Bielsa.
"It was a bad move. Bielsa did a miracle job with Leeds, there is no doubt about it and I thought they treated him very, very badly. Whatever they have brought to Leeds now, the group that is there, it's their fault, there's no doubt about that. They're in big trouble and you are waiting for Big Sam now who has four matches to save them and I hope he does. But I think it's gonna be very, very difficult for them."