Shy Sam Allardyce, Angelic Alex Ferguson, and The Evil Rafael Benitez

Jamie WardSenior Analyst IApril 17, 2009

It is a moment like this that I wish I wasn't a Liverpool supporter. Not because I am embarrassed or ashamed of something our manager has done. It is because my article or opinion can't be lauded as biased.

If I supported Manchester United my opinion would be exactly the same. If I supported Blackburn Rovers my opinion would be exactly the same. If I hated football, you guessed it, my opinion would be exactly the same.

Alex Ferguson is one of the biggest hypocrites this game has, or will ever see and it looks like Sam Allardyce is trying his hardest to emulate the United manager.

If your not upto date with the current episode of Home and Away (that's the Premier League soap opera, not the Australian serial drama on Channel 5) then your missing out on the latest round of the Benitez vs. Ferguson saga.

Judging by the reaction of a "humiliated" Sam Allardyce—with the unexpected inclusion of comments from a usually media-shy Alex Ferguson—the Liverpool boss has simply taken things so far in his personal attack of the Blackburn manager and his team that an FA inquiry for bringing the game into disrepute will surely follow very quickly.

When I got home from work and switched on Sky Sports News the headlines suggested that our manager had finally cracked (before you say it, no, he didn't crack up earlier in January) and passed comments that where so derogatory about another club or manager, that I really would struggle to believe or defend it.

Just reading through some of the comments made by Alex Ferguson and Sam Allardyce and anyone would probably come to the same immediate conclusion I did when I first heard about the situation.

The United manager doesn't normally enjoy the media spotlight but this time he truly felt that the behaviour of his Liverpool counterpart towards his close friend, Allardyce, warranted him to offer his opinion on such a disgusting display from Benitez.

The gobsmacked United manager shyly speaks to the reporters and states: "...arrogance is one thing. You cannot forgive contempt, which is what he showed Sam Allardyce last weekend." He finishes his unrehearsed speech with: "In my experience no Liverpool manager has ever done that. It was beyond the pale."

Beyond The Pale: Unacceptable; outside agreed standards of decency.

Just reading those two comments alone and your imagination would be racing to all sorts of conclusions. Rafa spat at Allardyce? He gave Big Sam the finger? He whispered in his ear after the match that he should give up wearing suits? He pointed and laughed at "Big Sam's" earpiece? He ran along the touchline with his finger to his mouth, offering a chance for the Blackburn manager, the squad and their fans to shut up?

The comments from a "humiliated" Sam Allardyce continue from where the shocked United manager left off: "I was hugely disappointed by those gestures. I think they were disrespectful and quite humiliating."

The fragile Blackburn manager continues by saying: "you don't expect those sort of things to happen in a game of football. I was very, very upset by it."

For those who know absolutely nothing about the latest act of evil behaviour from the Liverpool manager; after reading the comments so far, you must surely be thinking something horrendous has taken place and surely, surely, Benitez will be reprimanded for his obviously disgusting acts of contempt towards the angelic Sam Allardyce?

Well I guess I had better divulge you with the gory details of that fateful day which saw the pride and honour of a respected football manager smashed to pieces by a horrible "foreigner" who had the sheer audacity to show any form of emotion in the presence of the people's prince, "big" Sam Allardyce.

Rafael Benitez signalled to Xabi Alonso to take a free kick in a particulay way. However, Alonso ignored his manager's instructions and instead performed something diferent, which led to Liverpool scoring a goal.

Benitez smiled when his team scored and made a small sarcastic and jokey hand gesture towards Alonso, and in the opposite direction of Sam Allardyce, telling the player to ignore his instructions from now on.


Propaganda: is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.

Propaganda often presents facts selectively, thus lying by ommision, to encourage a particular synthesis, or gives loaded messages in order to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented.

Back to the main reasons for this article. Firstly, Alex "I am clearly suffering from dementia but no one cares whilst we're winning" Ferguson.

At this point it might be interesting to note that Ferguson's comments on the issue became public before Sam Allardyce had offered his opinion on his "humiliation." It makes you wonder when and what the conversation between the two managers could have been prior to informing the world on "Big Sam's" feelings.

Let's start with the most obvious of his fallacies, according to the papers this is what Ferguson said:  "...[for Allardyce] to get that kind of contempt...I don't think any other Liverpool manager would have done that"

Without even needing to browse Wikipedia or Google to find all sorts of facts and quotes to prove these "claims" by Ferguson to be completely wrong. I know off the top of my head that one Liverpool manager in particular routinely showed "contempt" towards another football club.

Bill Shankly is pretty well known for saying such things as: "When I've got nothing better to do, I look down the league table to see how Everton are getting along." and "If Everton were playing at the bottom of the garden, I'd pull the curtains."

A Liverpool manager showing arrogance and contempt? How can that possibly be if the messiah that is Alex Ferguson claims that he doesn't believe a Liverpool manager has ever done it?

The "Mindgames Master" goes on by saying "...arrogance is one thing. You cannot forgive contempt, which is what he showed Sam Allardyce last weekend."

Alex, please, you make this too easy for people. It is almost as hypocritical as Jose Mourinho accusing someone of being cocky and arrogant in an interview.

You have not shown any contempt, arrogance or disrespect for Rafael Benitez at any point in his Liverpool Career have you Alex? You are safe in the knowledge that you are completely without hypocrisy in regards to showing contempt towards another manager?

You must be, otherwise you wouldn't go on record and claim "contempt is unforgivable."

Do I really have to trawl through the Internet and provide links to everyone when  every time the innocent Alex has shown contempt or arogance towards the media, rival players, (his own players) rival supporters, (his own supporters) the Football Association, match officials, and most importantly of all, rival managers?

If your one of the Manchester United supporters who back your manager regardless of the glaringly obvious hypocrisy, I'm sure I would have to. Im certain you would still ignore it for the sake of petty rivalry.

I guarentee if you were at work with Alex Ferguson as your boss and he showed the same arrogance, hypocrisy, immaturity, and ignorance towards you or your work-mates; you would be first in-line to punch him on the nose.


Hypocrite: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.

Sam Allardyce is also not a manager who enjoys the media spotlight and will routinely pass up the chance to provide us with his comments about other managers and teams.

So we should consider ourselves lucky to get an insight into how Big Sam feels on an emotional level when it comes to interactions with his fellow managers: " 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."

Allardyce is clearly a broken-man and the emotional wreck goes on to say: "the game is hard enough as it is without a fellow manager doing what seemed to be an undermining gesture."

If we re-wind a few days and go back to the previous comments made by Sam Allardyce before the Liverpool-Blackburn game, you will hear Big Sam claim: "Bolton always used to batter them [Liverpool] at the Reebok"

Surely a manager showing respect to a fellow manager would perhaps mention that his team always "played well" instead of "battering" the opposition?

My version of "agreed standards of decency" would suggest that "battering" is showing signs of "arrogance" and "contempt."

The heartbroken Allardyce also said " can't help him whingeing and moaning, can you? He loves it."

Come on Sam, it's a little disrespectful to claim someone whinges and moans. Especially when that's all you seem to do when you talk to the reporters. The papers are currently filled with your whinging and moaning. Just like they have been for most of your career.

The offended Blackburn manager goes on to say "...if I can beat Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United home or away, then I am a major tactician and a very good manager."

No Sam, that's not arrogant at all, is it?

I have been through several Liverpool-Blackburn match reports and have not found a single mention of this "incident" from any reporter and more importantly anywhere in Big Sam's three minute interview following the game.

Surely someone who has been so incensed by Rafa's actions that he waited in his office after the match to get "clarification" on the incident, would mention it at some point during his post-match interview. Or at some point during that day. Or maybe the next day. After all, Big Sam was "very, very upset."

Perhaps the reason is because Big Sam is such a media-shy manager who doesn't normally voice his "concerns" and this meant he instead chose to pass-up the opportunity to discuss the incident with the post-match reporter and possibly get some idea of what the reporter thought Rafa's gesture might have meant.

Allardyce apparently went in to Rafa's office after the game: "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."

As usual? How many times have you been in to Rafa's office for a word Big Sam? After your "contempt" in many previous comments about Rafa, I was surprised you even managed to be allowed in to Rafa's office.

Even though the Blackburn manager failed to get "clarification" from Rafa Benitez on the hand-gesture, he took it upon himself to interpret what it actually meant and decided to concur with his close pal Ferguson before informing the media (several days later) of his "humiliation" over the hand-gesture. Despite not knowing what the actual meaning of the hand-gesture was.

"What I expect is a little more respect from a fellow manager." —Sam Allardyce


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