Allardyce: What They Said

With a career spanning more than 45 years as a player and manager, Sam Allardyce is a well-known and highly-respected figure in the football world.
Naturally, he has been quoted on a wide range of topics, while he has earned plenty of plaudits from his counterparts and former colleagues.
Here we look back at some words from Allardyce’s past.

Former Bolton striker, Kevin Davies...

“He’ll try to instil a bit of confidence – I think that’s one of his best assets. Obviously he’ll assess his group and see what the strengths and weaknesses are, devise a plan of trying to win some games, to get the confidence up, and just try to build it up from there.

"I think that’s one of his strengths: he’ll try to tie everyone in – players, staff, get the fans back on board, just try to create a togetherness, really, an atmosphere where they enjoy their training, work hard and try to get the rewards on the back of that.

"He’s a brilliant judge of character – what kinds of players they are: do they need a rocket or a bit of a cuddle? He knows how to get the younger ones on board. There’s not many players who worked under him who didn’t enjoy doing so.”

Champions League winner and former Spain international, Ivan Campo…

“Sam taught me everything I know when I made the move from Spain to England. He taught me how to adjust to life in the Premier League.

“Sam is a great coach and I have great memories of him.

“His man-management was the reason that he was able to attract the top talent such as Fernando Hierro to Bolton.”

World Cup winner, Youri Djorkaeff, while playing under Allardyce at Bolton Wanderers…

"It is very hard to find people like Sam – people who will listen to you and not just talk to you. The last time I had a manager like Sam was [France manager] Aime Jacquet [when we won the World Cup] back in 1998.

"It is true that I am happy and it is because of Sam. I have worked with some great managers in my life but Sam is different.

"I don't like to talk about my manager but he is a real person and in this job it is very difficult to meet real people, I speak a lot with Sam but all the time it is in confidence, what I tell him and what he tells me is between us.

"This confidence, this trust between me and Sam is very important for my life in general and my life at Bolton.”

Former African Footballer of the Year, Jay Jay Okocha…

“Sam is a very ambitious manager who wants to succeed at any club he is at... and he knows how to get the best out of players.

"He is very specific in his details, there is nowhere for you to hide. He will show you everything in terms of stats and I think he prepares his players in the best possible way.

"It is all about knowing the quality he has got to try to bring the best out of them.”

Former Newcastle and Sunderland goalkeeper, Steve Harper…

“He exposes players to all areas of the game – sports science, sports psychology, etc – to get the best out of them. He teaches them that it’s not just what happens on the pitch that matters but what happens off it, too.

"He organises them – and makes sure his side is well-drilled. His teams will be a threat from set pieces and what he gives you is a platform to get results. And then, by having given them that platform, he will give them the opportunity to go out and play from there.”

Former Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson…

“Sam is very underrated [as a manager], it's as simple as that. There's a sort of impression about him being a certain type of manager. It's not really fair.”

Andy Morrison, who captained Blackpool under Allardyce in the mid-1990s…

“He’s very precise in everything he does. His preparation is very thorough and that’s his strength, for me. He works with the players he’s got to get the best out of them. And if Sam had been given better players to work with I believe he would have won leagues. He’s that good.

"The problem he’s had is the ignorance of others, for me – people who don’t know the man. Just ask any player who’s ever played for him, whether it’s Jay Jay Okocha, players of that calibre, and they’ll say what a good manager he is.

"He’s had success everywhere he’s been, whether it’s trying to get a team that are struggling into a better position, or a mid-table team into the top six, as at Bolton.”

Ian Hendon, who played under Allardyce at Notts County and later became one of his coaches at West Ham United…

“I’ve played under some great managers, like Terry Venables and Peter Shreeves, who knew everything there was to know. But if I was going to emulate any of my managers it was always going to be Sam Allardyce. He tells you it how it is, and you know exactly where you stand as a player.

"If I ever need any advice he is always on the end of the phone. I had a brilliant year playing for him at Notts County. You can’t fail to learn from Sam – his organisation was an eye-opener. Sam brings organisation and defensive stability, and is renowned for his preparation.”

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