Sam Allardyce ‘just as good’ as Guardiola, Klopp and Arteta

Leeds United sacked Javi Garcia and appointed Sam Allardyce to guide them for the final four games of the season. The 68-year-old will be taking charge of his sixth Premier League club and confidently boasted about his credentials.

Despite being out of the game since 2021, Allardyce believes he is the pinnacle of football. Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klipp and Mikel Arteta have changed the way fans see the game but do not match Big Sam in terms of knowledge.

Allardyce ageing like fine wine

Allardyce did show some restraint in his first press conference in charge of the Whites. He admitted that he might not be as good as the aforementioned foreign managers but had he been given the right opportunities, he could prove otherwise.

“I may 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 shared it with them.

“They do what they do. I do what I do. But 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. I just wish that sometimes you can get the opportunity that you can show it.

“But that’s never going to happen for me now, apart from [aiming to] keep Leeds up, and if I stayed at Leeds, [hoping] this club was big enough to build a team that was going to challenge those boys eventually, but that’s a long story away.”

Leeds’ dressing room shares Allardyce’s belief

Allardyce engineered Bolton Wanderers’ promotion to the Premier League and made them a mainstay in English top-flight football. Since then, he managed a further five ailing clubs and ensured the continuity of four at the top of the English pyramid. Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham and Everton have also profited from his unique skill set.

His inability to stop West Brom from being relegated remains the only blemish of his storied career. Leeds are well aware of his abilities and the dressing room seems to be in unison. While many disregarded his credentials, winger Jack Harrison has faith in his abilities.

The 26-year-old attacker acknowledged his grasp of the beautiful game and pointed at the accolades he has accumulated. While not adding much silverware to the trophy cabinets, Allardyce is a name to reckon with in English football after proving himself time and time again.

“In his own way, he has the right to say that,” Harrison told Sky Sports. “He’s very experienced and has a lot of knowledge about the game. It’s Sam Allardyce. Everyone knows who he is and it’s for a reason.”

Allardyce has changed with time

English top-flight football has seen revolutions since its inception. Arsene Wenger brought Arsenal to the forefront while Jose Mourinho was credited for Chelsea’s dominance. Roberto Mancini made City stoic while Pep Guardiola changed the landscape with his version of total football. This period will be remembered for gegenpress disruption by Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

Junior Firpo is in his second year with the Whites after arriving from Barcelona. The defender has done his homework on the veteran manager and was quick to point out the transitions Allardyce has seen in the Premier League. Throughout the upheavals, the 68-year-old has found ways to guide his teams.

“He’s an experienced manager,” Firpo told to Sky Sports. “He’s been managing for 29 years so he has the right [to say it]. He’s been in football a long time and throughout all the changes [in the game], he has been changing as well.”

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