Pep Guardiola agrees with Sam Allardyce’s claim that he is as good as he is, as the Manchester City manager launched a defense of experienced English managers.
Beleaguered Leeds turned heads this week by turning to 68-year-old Allardyce in a last-ditch attempt to avoid relegation.
Allardyce’s presentation on Wednesday was equally surprising, as he stated that “there is no one ahead of me in football terms, not Pep, not (Jurgen) Klopp, not (Mikel) Arteta.”
The new Leeds boss will have a chance to prove it on Saturday afternoon when his relegation-threatened side travel to the treble-chasing city.
Allardyce’s comments were sent to Guardiola after Wednesday’s 3-0 win against West Ham and drew a surprisingly positive response.
“He’s right,” said the head of the City. “I want to be honest. Now look at what happened with, for example, Neil Warnock at Huddersfield.
“Now there is a trend for these incredible managers, they have made this Premier League or this competition in a better position.
“It seems like now the young coaches are there with the tactics or whatever…so they’re really good, they help us to be who we are.
“Look at the managers, Roy Hodgson of Crystal Palace, what they have done.
“They are really good, they have incredible experience, they know the game inside out and if you feel that is why.
“It will be difficult because he has the charisma, he will put pressure on the players and he knows exactly what to do in this type of situation in a relegation battle.
“It seems like these kind of old managers… I’m honest, so what they’ve done for the club (is written off as) ‘they’re old, whatever.’
“Now people who are 35, 40, 45, we invented soccer or we created soccer.
“No, soccer has already been created and these guys belong to that league and they helped us do it and that’s why.
“So, Neil Warnock, Huddersfield were in last (place) and now they are out of dangerous positions.
“I couldn’t experience what Harry Redknapp has done in this country.
“There are many, many English coaches who have done very, very well.
“You don’t have to be young to be a good manager. No matter how much experience you have, you are good.”