West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce is throwing things at the wall to see if they stick as he bids to save the Baggies from relegation.
Allardyce has a reputation as a survival specialist having never been relegated and he is — yes, really — speculating that Arsenal players could be affected by relegation worries.
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He says Arsenal is in the relegation fight with West Brom, and will be upset by losing to Man City in the League Cup.
This guy… (from the BBC):
“Getting beaten, even though it is not in the Premier League, as it would do with ours, drains the confidence of Arsenal’s players. They will be wondering what has hit them. They will be wondering why they are down there. They will be wondering what it takes to get out of that position. I know what it takes. I hope to convince my players to respond to that.”
Well, sounds like Mikel Arteta is out of luck, having never been in a relegation fight and subsequently never having to get out of one.
West Brom hosts Arsenal on Jan. 2 and the Gunners certainly won’t be overlooking the Baggies.
Game. Set. Allardyce.
The big-mouthed Big Sam is loving being back in the spotlight, even if his first match was a 10-man blowout derby loss to Aston Villa.
“I think the never having been relegated thing, to lose that would kill me if we did go down. I’d be massively upset,” said Allardyce, who then for whatever reason kept talking. “If I stay at West Brom and get them back up, that might be a relief from that, to get them back up again.”
So if you’re keeping track at home, Allardyce is already preparing to rebuild the Baggies if he fails to keep them safe. We suppose that’s reassuring, but if the “survival specialist” couldn’t overcome what was a four-point disadvantage with 25 matches to play (now 24) then perhaps West Brom should look elsewhere.