Sam Allardyce. “Big Sam”. His name doesn’t evoke nice memories.
We know how his West Brom will play. Eleven men behind the ball and knock it long. It’ll be ugly.
But Jürgen Klopp has a genuine respect for the man’s methods.
“I haven’t got to know him too well, we only met at the sideline and obviously he is very animated and I’m very animated but I respect him a lot,” the Liverpool manager told Sky Sports News. “West Brom is in a difficult situation and they decided to bring in Sam and he has a proven record in these kind of situations.
“So we are aware of that and it will be a tricky one because, I wouldn’t say we are obsessed, but we love to analyse the opponent before a game to know as much as we can.
“That makes it really difficult this time because Sam had only three or four days before he played against Aston Villa so maybe not too many changes before that. But now a full training week for our game so he can change a lot of things.
“It makes analysis tricky. We expect to face a lower block, we expect facing a team who tries to play channel balls in behind with a lot of runs and a lot of sprints this kind of stuff and we have to be creative, concentrated and defend, especially in the counter-pressing moments.
“We know what Sam is able to do, how he is able to organise a team and in one and a half weeks you can do a lot as a coach, so we expect that.”
To be honest I’d have been more relaxed about facing Slaven Bilic’s West Brom. But that’s why they hired him, and we know what kind of game we’re in for.