Allardyce is as good as Wenger, if not better, claims ex-Premier League boss

Sam Allardyce Press Conference 12/02/2014

Phil Brown claims West Ham manager Sam Allardyce should be regarded as highly as Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

Former Hull City boss Phil Brown has told BBC Radio 5 Live that West Ham's Sam Allardyce deserves respect.

In doing so he also claimed that his ahead of trend approach to data should see him regarded alongside Arsene Wenger, for the innovations he brought to English football management.

He said: "Sam Allardyce gets almighty stick from all comers. The throwaway comment that got up Big Sam's nose was what Graeme Souness said, probably 15 years ago, that Liverpool in a game found it hard to play against "this long-ball rubbish. These days Sam is enjoying himself.

"And remember, Sam was the first manager in England to embrace ProZone - he is well into his stats. He may have dyslexia but he's not thick. I think he's a statistical genius. I think he's as good as Arsene Wenger, if not better."

Brown, currently Southend manager, will know it's a bold claim, but such is his respect for Allardyce he didn't shy away from making it.

It also says a lot about the respect the Hammers boss has from his peers, despite his recent high profile run-in with Louis van Gaal, and previous clashes with Wenger himself and Rafa Benitez.

Allardyce told SkySports early last year that the data he adopted has grown substantially since his time at Bolton.

"When I went into Bolton ProZone was in its infancy but I think every club uses it or a similar system to it now as there has been a real growth in that industry.

"I had one or two analysts at Bolton whereas at West Ham we now have seven or eight who help us deliver what I want, not only in the first team but in the academy as well."

Allardyce has never won a major trophy in English football, coming closest as a losing League Cup finalist over a decade ago, while Arsene Wenger has a list of honours including FA Cups and Premier League titles at one stage it was hard to keep track of.

The West Ham manager may argue however, that having been overlooked for English football's so-called top jobs, he simply has not had the opportunity to realistically win silverware.

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