Jamie Carragher has hit out at new Leeds United manager Sam Allardyce for comparing himself to some of the best coaches in the Premier League, while also explaining why Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are far better.
Leeds appointed Allardyce on Wednesday after sacking Javi Gracia, who himself had only arrived at Elland Road in February. The Whites have tasked Allardyce, a known relegation firefighter, with keeping them in the top flight. They occupy 17th spot in the Premier League and are only out of the bottom three on goal difference.
As per the Daily Mail, Allardyce will earn £500,000 no matter how Leeds’ season ends. But if he is successful in maintaining their Prem status, he will take home a cool £2.5m bonus.
The 68-year-old is facing a tough task in his first game as Leeds boss. They travel to league leaders Manchester City on Saturday afternoon.
Allardyce made some incredible claims during the pre-match press conference for the City clash. He said: “Far too many people think that I am old and antiquated, which is far from the truth.
“I might be 68 and old, but there’s nobody ahead of me in football terms. Not Pep, not Klopp, not Arteta.
“It’s all there with me. 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 certainly as good as they are.”
Allardyce has a great record when it comes to keeping teams in the Prem. Indeed, his first relegation from the division came with West Brom in 2021, which was his last job in management before taking over at Leeds.
Jamie Carragher reacts to stunning Sam Allardyce claim
Despite this, Allardyce is being incredibly ambitious when comparing himself to Guardiola, Klopp and Arteta. Guardiola and Klopp have won a host of major trophies between them, while Arteta looks set to follow in their footsteps.
And former Liverpool defender Carragher has blasted Allardyce for his daring comparison. In his column for The Telegraph, Carragher wrote: ‘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.
‘With respect, if Allardyce was in charge of the current Manchester City or Liverpool squad, there isn’t a chance they would be playing the possession or ‘gegenpressing’ game that has brought their respective coaches every honour.’
As Carragher states, Allardyce is way behind the likes of Guardiola and Klopp when it comes to tactics, winning matches and triumphing in major competitions.
However, there is a chance this could have been a ploy by the former Bolton and Everton manager to take the pressure of his players. Instead, he is drawing all of the pressure and media attention to him, which might help the struggling Leeds stars play with a bit more freedom and confidence in their final four games. Whether the strategy works remains to be seen.