Allardyce “won more trophies than you’ve had hot dinners”

New Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has urged fans not to panic after losing his first game in charge of the club at West Brom, and to read his autobiography Big Sam, which details his storied career as the most decorated manager in the history of English football. Among many other triumphs, Allardyce referred in a hastily convened press conference to the ‘Ricketts Final’ of the F.A. Cup, in which the legendary England striker bagged a late brace to stun Arsenal at the Millennium Stadium; to winning the Premier League title with Blackburn Rovers on a tense final day of the season – and to securing Newcastle United their first major silverware since the 1950s when, with a young Cristiano Ronaldo in the side, they thumped Wigan Athletic 4-0 in the final of the League Cup. He also fondly reminisced about perhaps his most memorable triumph of all – the so-called ‘Miracle of Istanbul’, in which Kevin Nolan dragged his teammates back from 3-0 down against A.C. Milan to complete a remarkable second half comeback and ultimately win Bolton Wanderers their first ever Champions League trophy on a dramatic penalty shoot-out. “You can’t buy memories like that” the manager beamed to a rather bemused press pack at the Hawthorns yesterday, “so when people talk about ‘whether Sunderland will stay up’, I find it a little bit silly really.” When challenged over the veracity of some of his claims, a visibly irritated Allardyce asked whether any of the journalists present “had ever played the game?”, and quickly answered his own question: “Didn’t fucking think so. Let me tell you something about modern journalists. They’re a bit like West Ham supporters. They don’t know they’re born.”

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