Big Sam on Rafa tactics: I wouldn’t have got away with it up there

Sam Allardyce reckons he would have been slaughtered by both the Newcastle fans and the press had he deployed the same type of negative tactics as current Magpies’ boss Rafa Benitez.

Benitez’s side have only picked up one point in the Premier League so far this season, although their three defeats have come against Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester City – something that Big Sam of course conveniently choose to leave out when he accused Benitez of playing defensively both home and away.

“He’s doing it home and away [playing defensively] is Rafa. I would have been slaughtered,” Allardyce told talkSPORT.

“But Rafa has decided and he is so strong-willed and so he should be, that the way to keep Newcastle in the Premier League with what he has got is to play a counter-attacking system, by defending with all 11 players in his own half home and away certainly up to now, and if that succeeds with Newcastle staying in the Premier League, then he would have done a good job and Mike Ashley will be very happy with him.

“I didn’t have the tools, most of us didn’t get the tools when were there so we were no different there. At my time at Newcastle, they would not have put up with me playing like that. In the press up there, they were the instigators of a lot of it by saying ‘Newcastle fans would sooner lost 5-4 than win 1-0.”

Things aren’t going to get much easier for Benitez this weekend with his side set to face Arsenal at home tomorrow afternoon.

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