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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Charlie Bennett

Jamie Carragher has perfect response to Sam Allardyce's claim about Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

Jamie Carragher has laughed off Sam Allardyce’s suggestion he is “just as good” as Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.

Following his appointment as Leeds United boss, the 68-year-old outlandishly compared himself to the two elite coaches - as well as Arsenal chief Mikel Arteta. While Allardyce is yet to win a major honour in his managerial career, Guardiola and Klopp have won 13 league titles and three Champions Leagues between them.

“Far too many people think I am old and antiquated, which is so far from the truth,” he said at his first Leeds press conference. “I might be 68 and look old but there's nobody ahead of me in football terms.

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“Not Pep, not Klopp, not Arteta. It's all there with me. 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.”

The comments immediately gained a reaction from the football world - with Guardiola surprisingly agreeing with Allardyce’s observation. However, some believe he was simply playing mind games ahead of a huge clash at the Etihad.

Former Liverpool defender Carragher has blasted the comparison, insisting Guardiola and Klopp are “game-changers” operating on a different level. Writing for the Telegraph, he also doubted Allardyce - who briefly managed Everton - would be able to replicate Liverpool and Manchester City’s playing style.

“With respect, if Allardyce were 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,” Carragher wrote. “They would still have the traits of every Allardyce team. Fair enough, too.

“I’m a massive believer that football is enhanced by different styles. It would be boring if every coach wanted to play like Guardiola or Klopp. What I object to is the suggestion that these great managers are not truly worthy of their place above their peers, as if their success is more a consequence of opportunity than talent.

“Guardiola and Klopp are genuine game-changers. The levels of coordination between all 11 players (including the goalkeeper) in Guardiola’s Barcelona and Manchester City team are of another level. Nobody was playing like this 20 years ago, let alone in the 70s and 80s. Why pretend or argue otherwise?”


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