Allardyce is back and he's ready to ruffle feathers of Klopp and Co

Calling Jurgen Klopp a ‘soft German’, Arsene Wenger ‘arrogant’ and saying ‘I don’t give a sh***’ what Jose Mourinho thinks… Sam Allardyce is back and he’s ready to ruffle rivals’ feathers as he bids to keep West Bromwich Albion up

  • Sam Allardyce succeeded Slaven Bilic this week as West Bromwich Albion boss
  • The 66-year-old is hopeful he can still get under the skin of his rival managers 
  • Allardyce famously called Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp a ‘soft German’ 
  • He also had run-ins with Jose Mourinho after criticisms of his style of play  
  • Sportsmail picks out some of Allardyce’s most stinging rebukes at his rivals 

Sam Allardyce could barely disguise his excitement after ending a two-year exile to return to Premier League management with West Brom.

The Baggies are 19th and so there is a lot of work to do to turn them around but Allardyce is determined to enjoy it – and he’s determined to wind up rival bosses while he does it.

With that in mind, Sportsmail picks out some of Allardyce’s most infamous run-ins with Jose Mourinho’s ’19th century football jibe’, Arsene Wenger refusing to have a drink with him and Jurgen Klopp being a ‘soft German’.  

Sam Allardyce is ready to get under the skin of rival managers to turn West Brom around 

West Brom are in the relegation zone with just one win and eight defeats so far this season

What was said in 2015: ‘He’s a soft German if that’s a red card. It’s a yellow, a foul. There was some foul and abusive language towards my staff that I didn’t like.’ 

This row exploded into life after Jermaine Lens’ tackle on Mamadou Sakho at the Stadium of Light in 2016.

Allardyce was Sunderland boss at the time and the two sets of coaching staffs clashed after Lens put in a very strong challenge on Sakho, which Klopp wanted to see merit a red card.

Police officers even stepped in to diffuse the situation on the touchline but tensions remain frayed in the post-match press conferences where Allardyce, when told Klopp felt it was a definite red for Lens, called his opposite number ‘soft’.

The two will meet again and renew hostilities on December 27 at Anfield.  

Jurgen Klopp (right) was labelled a ‘soft German’ by Allardyce after a touchline row in 2015

Police stepped in to separate the two benches after a row erupted over a Jermaine Lens tackle

JOSE MOURINHO

What was said in 2014: ‘He just can’t take it. He just can’t take it. I knew he would say (we play nineteenth century football). He can tell me that all he wants, I don’t give a sh***. 

‘He can’t take it that we’ve out-tactic-ed him and outwitted him. He just can’t cope. I love to see Chelsea players moaning at the referee, trying to intimidate the officials, and Jose jumping up and down. It’s great to see.’

Grinning like a Cheshire cat, Allardyce loved it when he got under Mourinho’s skin back in 2014.

He taunted the then-Chelsea boss after grinding out a 0-0 at Stamford Bridge. 

Mourinho was livid at what he felt were ‘nineteenth century tactics’ by Allardyce and his players but all that confirmed to the Englishman was that he had successfully rattled the cage. 

Allardyce will have to wait until February 6 until he can get stuck into Mourinho again as West Brom travel to the capital ready to turn back time in their fight for survival. 

Allardyce (left) was delighted when he got under the skin of Jose Mourinho (right) after a draw

ARSENE WENGER

What was said in 2015: ‘I enjoyed beating Arsenal more than anyone when I was in charge at Bolton. We’d really got to them and Arsene Wenger hated us.

‘There was one time he wouldn’t shake hands with me at Highbury because we got a draw. I saw him ripping his tie off and throwing it on the floor in anger. He takes it all very personally and has an air of arrogance. He’s not one for inviting you into his office for a drink after the game. The more I wound him up, the more I liked it.’

Allardyce seemingly gets a kick out of annoying other people, treating other managers like a younger sibling. 

Arsene Wenger proved a long-time jousting partner for Allardyce but given he has since left Arsenal, this one will be resigned to the memory bank for the West Brom boss.

So irritated was Wenger after one draw against Bolton at Highbury he ripped off his tie and threw it to the floor in anger, according to Allardyce’s autobiography ‘Big Sam: My Autobiography‘. 

He added that he would never be invited into Wenger’s office for a drink and they would rarely ever shake hands. It was, very much, personal between them. 

Safe to say these two weren’t on each other’s Christmas list with Wenger, like Mourinho, far from a fan of Allardyce’s firefighting tactics.  

Arsene Wenger (left) was ‘arrogant’ and never wanted to drink with him, said Allardyce

The two clashed on a number of occasions with Wenger (left) bemused by Allardyce’s style

RAFA BENITEZ

What was said in 2009: ‘I was hugely disappointed by those gestures (against Blackburn). I think they were disrespectful and quite humiliating. Having looked at them again this week, I think I’m right and ­everybody will see why I’m complaining.

‘The feeling was that he had written us off. It was open arms and then a ­crossover of the arms as if to suggest that was it. I admit it was a hard game, a difficult game for us, and we were well beaten by an outstanding Liverpool side. But in terms of respect, you don’t expect those sort of things to happen in a game of football. I was very, very upset by it.

‘The game is hard enough as it is without a fellow manager doing what seemed to be an undermining gesture. I then waited to have a word with him after the game in his room, but as usual and unfortunately, he didn’t turn up.

Allardyce (right) felt disrespected by Rafa Benitez (left) after Blackburn took on Liverpool

‘Not explaining himself by not turning up in his office really shows what he is like. The only people I saw were [Liverpool head coach] Sammy Lee and a few of the staff, but he never showed his face. That was just as disappointing as the gesture, and it typifies the man.’

Tensions had been bubbling under the surface for some time. Again, Benitez was not on board with Allardyce’s style when he was at Bolton.

But things came to a head when Allardyce was at Blackburn and he felt he and the club had been disrespected after Benitez crossed his arms following a Liverpool goal.

It seems fairly innocuous but Allardyce was enraged by the ‘undermining gesture’ and he went off in the post-match press conference and the days that followed. 

Attempting to clear the air with a drink after the game, Benitez was nowhere to be seen which, in Allardyce’s mind, ‘typifies the man’. 

Allardyce has since taken aim at Benitez during radio work and they’ll be no reunion this season – but that may well be for the best. 

They have had many battles over the years and have one of the classic managerial rivalries

ROY HODGSON   

What was said in 2016: ‘He’d send them all to sleep, Roy. Woy. He hasn’t got the personality for it.’ 

While all of the other remarks were said in the media or to the managers directly, his mocking of Hodgson in 2016 emerged during a newspaper sting while he was England manager. 

Allardyce appeared to mock Hodgson for a speech impediment, calling him ‘Woy’, playing on the difficulty to say the letter R.

He also pointed to Hodgson’s personality, suggesting he bores players and would ‘send them all to sleep’.  

For years the row went unresolved but in 2018 Allardyce did make an apology for Hodgson and it appears their relationship has been smoothed over. 

The acid test will be when Hodgson’s Crystal Palace host West Brom at Selhurst Park on March 13.  

Allardyce (left) has since apologised after appearing to mock Roy Hodgson’s (right) speech




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