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Liverpool: the “new Bolton”?



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I am confident that I am not alone in being frustrated and annoyed at Sam Allardyce’s recent pre-match snipes at Rafael Benitez and Liverpool.  Mind-games is a part of football, but it tends to lack credibility when a team fails to back up their manager’s bold words with a victory. Firstly, Allardyce vowed that Blackburn could “beat them on any given date.”  Okay, well it probably would have been a good idea to win on Sunday then, considering your team is still hovering in the lower half of the table. Not content, he then delivered the ultimate insult by claiming that Liverpool were currently playing like Bolton did under his reign.

He’s used all that stuff that he always says he doesn’t like – it’s ironic isn’t it? I watched them at Manchester City and they got six players booked so it shows he’s brought the physical side out as well – Sam Allardyce

Allardyce and Benitez. Not the best of friends
Allardyce and Benitez. Not the best of friends

No Liverpool fan would be ignorant enough to claim that the performances of their team have been nothing more than satisfactory this season. The side has struggled for form from the beginning, but to compare them to Bolton under Allardyce – a side who often seemed more intent on injuring players than playing football – is just wrong. One only had to look at Sunday’s match between the two teams to see the utter thuggery which Allardyce has brought to his teams. A total of 25 fouls, with 5 yellow cards. Two of them should have been red. Steven N’Zonzi got away with shoving Lucas Leiva in the face and Pascal Chimbonda went unpunished for kicking out at Maxi Rodriguez.  In comparison, Liverpool had only the one player booked. Surely Blackburn fans agree that a manager who employs such a style on and off the field is unfit to represent a club that has won the Premier League.

Benitez had his revenge with a sarcastic post-match interview, in which he claimed that Barcelona were looking to copy Blackburn’s style.

I think it is a model for all managers around the world, their style of football, his behaviour. It is the perfect model for all the kids and I’m sure the parents will enjoy this model and encourage their kids to be the same. The style of football, I think, Barcelona are thinking of copying – Rafael Benitez

Furthermore, I’m sure no-one will forget the ridiculous debacle surrounding the Liverpool-Blackburn game towards the end of last season, when Allardyce accused Benitez of lacking respect. It was a desperate attempt to divert attention and pressure away from himself and thanks to Sir Alex Ferguson, it worked. The two friends joined forces to villify the Liverpool boss in the English media.

Benitez's "dismissive gesture"
Benitez's "dismissive gesture"

Arrogance is one thing. But you cannot forgive contempt, which is what he showed Sam Allardyce.  When Liverpool scored their second goal he signalled as if the game was finished. I do not think Sam deserved that – Sir Alex Ferguson

Everyone has their own opinions about Benitez’s current position at Liverpool.  Should he have gone long ago? Should he still go even if Liverpool make fourth? Me? Well, all I can say is, look no further than Sam Allardyce for an example as to why foreigners are being  preferred over home-grown managers.