Monday, May 3, 2010
Allardyce has Wenger's Number
A good manager crafts a game plan by looking at the opposing team's strengths and weaknesses, and looks at how he can minimize their strengths while exposing their weaknesses.
'Big Sam' Allardyce was unapologetic after he crafted a game plan that allowed Blackburn's approach to pay off in the 2-1 victory over Arsenal. The two have waged a war of words that should continue well into next EPL season.
Allardyce bombarded the Arsenal 18-yard box that put Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski under pressure all game with high balls.
Blackburn also could have had a penalty when Morten Gamst Pedersen went down under pressure from Sol Campbell.
"If you expose the opposition's weaknesses enough then in the end those weaknesses will be exposed," he said.
"The amount of balls we put into the box on the keeper, who has obviously been a weak link for them, paid off.
"We beat Arsenal fair and square. The referee gave some that were fouls, he gave some that weren't fouls and he didn't give some that might have been fouls.
"You can't give everything as a foul on the goalkeeper and he certainly gave his fair share.
"You can argue all you want about those two particular incidents but we could argue Morten Gamst Pedersen should have had a penalty when he got brought down in the second half.
"I'm not overly concerned about what Arsene says - he's said it before about my tactics.
"But we know these tactics work against Arsenal and they've worked again today."
Allardyce admitted he was delighted to come out on top in the battle of wits against Wenger.
"We play the game as managers, we look at each other and you see if you can find any weaknesses in the opposition manager as well as the team.
"Criticising me is great because I'd sooner him criticise me when I've beaten them rather than him praising me when they've beaten us.
"It is very pleasing we have won the game and I think we won the game because we deserved to."
Sam Allardyce's spoiling tactics are nothing new to Wenger and he is unhappy a lot of their manhandling play went unpunished.
Wenger felt Rovers' players often played the man and not the ball.
"There is no purpose to play the ball from the Blackburn players - they don't even watch the ball," he said.
"He (Fabianski) had two players in front of him all the time and every time it was to stop him getting the ball.
"In football when you don't go for the ball and you stop the keeper going for the ball it is a foul.
"I think the referee cannot allow that. I am very disappointed the referee lets that happen in a football game, it is unfair to a goalkeeper.
"They (Blackburn) do it well but when you feel that as a referee you have to give more protection.
"It doesn't take away the fact we weren't good but that is completely unfair."
Posted by Mike Jacobs at 1:56 PM