Ex-Liverpool Boss Benitez ended his feud with Sam Allardyce after a Chelsea West Ham game in 2012.
In his press conference ahead of West Ham’s game against Liverpool, Sam Allardyce revealed that his legendary feud with former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is over.
Quoted in the Liverpool Echo, the former Newcastle manager revealed that Benitez had defused the feud while he was interim boss at Chelsea in 2012, in typical football manager fashion.
“For the first time ever, when he was manager at Chelsea, Rafa Benitez invited me for a beer after the game.
“So the row which lasted nearly ten years is now water under the bridge.”
This is heartening to hear, although Allardyce undermined this statement somewhat by then going on to reveal that he still takes issue with Benitez for originating the vicious rumour that Allardyce’s teams play direct football. In 2010, when he was at Liverpool, the Benitez sarcastically compared Big Sam’s Blackburn side to Barcelona. Allardyce blames these comments for the reputation he has as a long ball merchant.
“The criticism about my ‘direct’ style of play wasn’t from journalists to begin with – it was from other managers with Benitez starting it, but my teams never played like that.”
Allardyce’s claims are fairly bizarre, given that in 2006 he was already tired of answering questions about “long ball football”, but there you go.
The Allardyce – Benitez spat reached its peak when Benitez made a gentle “game over” gesture after Torres scored a second goal against Allardyce’s Blackburn. Allardyce took great offence at this, and it was in the aftermath of this, with Sir Alex Ferguson taking Allardyce’s side, that the mental pressure began to take its toll on Benitez, eventually leading to his famous “facts” rant.