The mutual antipathy between Rafael Benítez and Sam Allardyce has been laid bare yet again with the Blackburn Rovers manager accusing his fellow manager and long-time adversary of turning Liverpool into a physical side in his desperation to secure Champions League football.

In a withering and, as yet, unanswered attack, Allardyce also claimed that Benítez is so obsessed with the way the teams managed by the Rovers manager play football that he sent a video dossier to Keith Hackett, the former general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board.

The pair have long been at daggers drawn, with Benítez having been critical of the style of football used by Allardyce, a sentiment that dates back to the Spaniard’s third game in England in August 2004, when Sami Hyypia, the defender, had his nose broken in a challenge with Kevin Davies, the Bolton centre forward.

Their relationship plumbed new depths last season when Allardyce accused Benítez of making “disrespectful” gestures during Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Blackburn at Anfield.

With the latest outbreak of hostilities coming before tomorrow’s clash between their teams at Anfield, the indications are that the antagonism between the pair remains as strong as ever.

Allardyce said: “It’s not of any importance to me what Rafa thinks about what I do and don’t do. I know how good a manager I am and how good a job I can do. I wouldn’t be here for ten years if I couldn’t do it. So I have no worries about what he thinks about me or my team.

“We can beat them on any given date, that is the most important thing to me, and we know we can beat them because I did it at the Reebok. Because he didn’t like it he found an excuse about how we played. Wenger did it, Mourinho did it, they all do it when they get their backsides smacked.

“That will get him moaning about me again, but I am not bothered. He even went as far as putting a DVD together and sending it to Keith Hackett. He doesn’t know I know that, but I do. He has a bee in his bonnet.

“He is entitled to have his opinion as everyone else is and it’s nice to have someone complaining about you when you are beating them. It’s not about me or him though. It’s about my players going to Anfield and playing good football.

“Liverpool’s physical side has come out in them in recent weeks. Based on how well they finished last year, I am very surprised they have gone through the turmoil they have in the past few months.

“They have not been as pretty and fluid as they could be, but they have done the job and got the results they needed to get themselves back in the pack. They’ve had to go back to basics.

Steven Gerrard readily admits that Liverpool have been some way short of their best this season, particularly in terms of attacking football, but he still believes they can finish in the top four of the Barclays Premier League.

Liverpool did manage a 3-1 win away to Unirea Urziceni on Thursday to move into the last 16 of the Europa League, although they will be without Martin Skrtel for around two months after the defender suffered a broken metatarsal in Romania.

Gerrard said: “It was slightly worrying that we were not creating enough. To win football matches you have got to create a lot of chances and we did that against Unirea. Now we’ve got to get the balance right between now and the end of the season.

“You have to be good defensively but have a bit of bottle and be a bit risky in the final third as well. It does play on your mind. The most important thing is to defend well and keep clean sheets but it is also important that you do well going forward.

“Everyone knows the key to this club is finishing in the top four. It’s vital. We have got to be realistic. We know the season up until now has been very frustrating. In an ideal situation we’d still be in the Champions League and the title race.

“That’s gone now, so we have to reassess and go for different targets. The target now is to try and win the Europa League and finish fourth. That would be a bit of a nice way to finish a disappointing season.”

Read the article on Times Online

Sam Allardyce reignites his feud with Rafael Benítez

The mutual antipathy between Rafael Benítez and Sam Allardyce has been laid bare yet again with the Blackburn Rovers manager accusing his fellow manager and long-time adversary of turning Liverpool into a physical side in his desperation to secure Champions League football.

In a withering and, as yet, unanswered attack, Allardyce also claimed that Benítez is so obsessed with the way the teams managed by the Rovers manager play football that he sent a video dossier to Keith Hackett, the former general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board.

The pair have long been at daggers drawn, with Benítez having been critical of the style of football used by Allardyce, a sentiment that dates back to the Spaniard’s third game in England in August 2004, when Sami Hyypia, the defender, had his nose broken in a challenge with Kevin Davies, the Bolton centre forward.

Their relationship plumbed new depths last season when Allardyce accused Benítez of making “disrespectful” gestures during Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Blackburn at Anfield.

With the latest outbreak of hostilities coming before tomorrow’s clash between their teams at Anfield, the indications are that the antagonism between the pair remains as strong as ever.

Allardyce said: “It’s not of any importance to me what Rafa thinks about what I do and don’t do. I know how good a manager I am and how good a job I can do. I wouldn’t be here for ten years if I couldn’t do it. So I have no worries about what he thinks about me or my team.

“We can beat them on any given date, that is the most important thing to me, and we know we can beat them because I did it at the Reebok. Because he didn’t like it he found an excuse about how we played. Wenger did it, Mourinho did it, they all do it when they get their backsides smacked.

“That will get him moaning about me again, but I am not bothered. He even went as far as putting a DVD together and sending it to Keith Hackett. He doesn’t know I know that, but I do. He has a bee in his bonnet.

“He is entitled to have his opinion as everyone else is and it’s nice to have someone complaining about you when you are beating them. It’s not about me or him though. It’s about my players going to Anfield and playing good football.

“Liverpool’s physical side has come out in them in recent weeks. Based on how well they finished last year, I am very surprised they have gone through the turmoil they have in the past few months.

“They have not been as pretty and fluid as they could be, but they have done the job and got the results they needed to get themselves back in the pack. They’ve had to go back to basics.

Steven Gerrard readily admits that Liverpool have been some way short of their best this season, particularly in terms of attacking football, but he still believes they can finish in the top four of the Barclays Premier League.

Liverpool did manage a 3-1 win away to Unirea Urziceni on Thursday to move into the last 16 of the Europa League, although they will be without Martin Skrtel for around two months after the defender suffered a broken metatarsal in Romania.

Gerrard said: “It was slightly worrying that we were not creating enough. To win football matches you have got to create a lot of chances and we did that against Unirea. Now we’ve got to get the balance right between now and the end of the season.

“You have to be good defensively but have a bit of bottle and be a bit risky in the final third as well. It does play on your mind. The most important thing is to defend well and keep clean sheets but it is also important that you do well going forward.

“Everyone knows the key to this club is finishing in the top four. It’s vital. We have got to be realistic. We know the season up until now has been very frustrating. In an ideal situation we’d still be in the Champions League and the title race.

“That’s gone now, so we have to reassess and go for different targets. The target now is to try and win the Europa League and finish fourth. That would be a bit of a nice way to finish a disappointing season.”

Read the article on Times Online

Postat de pe data de 28 feb., 2010 in categoria România în lume. Poti urmari comentariile acestui articol prin RSS 2.0. Acest articol a fost vizualizat de 89 ori.

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