Writer: Mikey Delap
Date:Thursday September 16 2010
Rovers boss Sam Allardyce has kick started another inevitable war of words with nemesis Arsene Wenger by claiming that the Arsenal boss has been influencing referees with his interviews and pre-match comments.
In a Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs moment, Big Sam even seems to acknowledge it as a skill that Wenger has perfected, much like everyone's favourite Whiskey nosed Scot Sir Alex Ferguson does.
But Big Sam is bound to light a fire up the nerdy looking one's backside with his latest outburst against the moral high ground taking professor.
Big Sam said, when interview by Sky Sports - 'Arsene has most of the media in his pocket now and is almost - almost - affecting the officials so that you can't tackle an Arsenal player.
'That's something he's very clever at working on and it's almost working in his favour, you can see that.
'Read his interview before the Stoke City v Aston Villa match, what he said and how he said it - he's a very, very clever man in terms of influencing referees, officials and everybody in football.
'He can't be brought up for it because it's about another match - rather just before he plays us.
'There is a perception that we kick everybody and Arsenal's motivation is that you can't tackle us as you aren't supposed to.
'In terms of saying people are trying to injure players he's trying to influence, through the media, the referees and that's something they shouldn't get sucked in to.'
The difference in ideals between the two managers becomes apparent in Allardyce's words as whilst Big Sam knows that football is a contact sport, he insists that the days of footballers deliberately trying to take out other players (not like that, this is not Assassin) are long gone.
The Rovers gaffer continued - 'He's deflecting attention from the situation which says the game of football is a contact sport. You have to try to win the ball at all costs and if someone doesn't get it quite right people get injured.
'It was much more apparent in my day when people used to go out to try to hurt an opponent every week, but today it very rarely happens.
'I completely deny that my team deliberately injures players, certainly not. In the Premier League the commitment and speed unfortunately brings players together at such pace that it's almost impossible to avoid injuries.'
The comments probably come about as in the past Wenger has criticised teams managed by 'good pal' Allardyce, but the Rovers boss feels that those criticisms are wide of the mark.
In the next phase of his interview, Allardyce has bought back the 'fear factor' comments he made the other day but in a different context.
The Blackburn boss continued - 'We don't do what everybody says we do and kick everybody, we don't do it.
'You are associating fear with bullying, but it's not that, it's about the dominance of the team.
'The fear factor at Old Trafford is about Man United getting the ball and making life very, very difficult for you - that's the fear factor I'm talking about.
'When you play the big boys you have to make sure what you do out of possession is giving you a chance to expose them when you get possession, as we did with Arsenal.'
I agree with what Sam is saying but the timing seems a bit odd?!
Date:Thursday September 16 2010
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