Dirty Tackle - World Soccer

When we last left the blood feud between Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce and Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez, Benitez was piling on the sarcasm like lunch meat on a giant sandwich after beating the Rovers two weeks ago. In case you've filled your brain with things that are actually important in the time since, here's what Rafa said:

"I think he's a model for managers all around the world. I am sure his style of football, his behavior - everything. It's the perfect model for all the kids.

"The style of football - I am sure Barcelona are thinking about copying the style."

Well, it took Sam a while to respond -- probably because he first had to smash every item in his house and then calm down enough to develop a semi-rational comeback -- but he finally did and laid it out about as bluntly as you would expect:

"He's got personal with it for many, many years now. That's why I don't like him and the feeling is probably mutual. I don't get personal with him; I get into him and under his skin, yes, but that's all part of the game. The tit for tat will probably go on until one of us is no longer a Premier League manager."

So we've got that to look forward to. Which is, uh, kind of annoying. But the good news is that at least one of these two men might not be a Premier League manager much longer. With Liverpool continuing to lose games they really shouldn't lose, Rafa appears set for a summer sacking and Real Madrid just might be waiting to pick him up

As for Rafa's response to Sam's response, it merciful:

"No comment. No publicity for him."

Right. Because Premier League managers have such a hard time getting publicity on their own. 

Photo: AP

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