Allardyce and Blackburn target oppositions unfairly

Allardyce and Blackburn target oppositions unfairly

Arsenal fans know for a long time that Blackburn and Sam Allardyce use foul plays to score against oppositions in Premier League. Allardyce’s players target goalkeepers unfairly and there are video evidences of this on more than one occasion within a few months time.

Arsenal lost to Blackburn 2-1 in the first week of May 2010 last season. During one of the two goals scored by Blackburn, Fabianski had been deliberately blocked and pushed by Blackburn players. It is true that Fabianski did not assert himself strongly in the built up but the foul on him was blatant enough although the referee and the media did not agree.

One media source reported that “Blackburn are within the rules and had an uncanny knack of succeeding against the current Arsenal side, who have a tendency to wilt under physical pressure.”

Allardyce has come out and admitted that he has targeted Fabianski. He said: “If you expose the opposition’s weaknesses enough then eventually those weaknesses will be exposed, and the amount of balls we put into the box on the keeper, who has obviously been a weak link for Arsenal recently, was our main tactic. And that paid off because we’ve beaten Arsenal fair and square. The referee didn’t see them as fouls. I’m not concerned about what Arsene says. He’s said it before about my tactics but we know these tactics work against Arsenal and they worked well again today.”

In fact, the problem was not the amount of balls sent into the box like Allardyce tried to portrait. It was the unfair blocks, pushes, body checks and the physical challenges on the keeper.

On the winning goal by Blackburn, both Samba and David Dunn can be clearly seen pushing backward against Sol Campbell just in front of Fabianski and at the time Samba hit the ball with his head, David Dunn was clearly blocking Fabianski and then pushing, bundling him down into the Arsenal net. David Dunn almost stepped on helpless Fabianski on the floor inside the net. Normally players will be physical and many of them in the box grabbing each other during a corner (or) a free kick are normal but targeting a keeper intentionally is only done by a few teams. This is a routine tactic for Blackburn but the referee, commentators and the media thought nothing was wrong with that.

Video: [ HERE ]

However, in the game against Fulham last weekend, Blackburn used the exact same tactic of unfairly targeting goalkeepers, only more blatantly on a more experienced goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. Not just once, more than two occasions in a single game including getting a goal, there were fouls, body checkings and pushings on the keeper. The incidents were discussed in BBC’s MOTD but there were no major follow ups in the media although Ian Wright in the Sun did question Allardyce’s claim regarding his calibre on coaching top European teams like Real Madrid, Inter Milan and his team’s deliberate foul plays. Allardyce hit back using a north-south divide by saying “A lot of Southern-based columnists never even watch Blackburn play so what they say doesn’t really bother me.” He asked: “Has nobody ever fouled a goalkeeper before?” before adding: “The blame lies, not with El-Hadji Diouf, but with the referee.”

Video: [ HERE ]

Arsene Wenger has been vocal about teams unfairly targeting his goalkeepers but this has been overshadowed by under-performing goalkeepers like Fabianski. When people see the goals, they normally blame the keeper and the goal as a blunder. “The keeper should have done better” is a usual line. It is true Fabianski does flap and he should have done much better but in the away game against Blackburn last season, the foul on him was not picked up by the officials and it was unfair on the poor bloke.

On those fouls on experienced, world cup Aussie keeper Mark Schwarzer, MOTD blamed El-Hadji Diouf. But the ultimate responsibility must go to Allardyce and the Blackburn team, not Diouf alone. Diouf has a reputation but he was only following team orders and the usual tactics. Allardyce is using Diouf’s notorious characteristics to his team’s advantage in a bad way. There are many compelling evidences that the Blackburn players have been instructed to target the opposition players, and to make unfair physical challenges on goalkeepers to score in numerous occasions. If the Premier League officials pick up these evidences and act upon them in the coming games is another matter.

by kyawthu

Debate this more on our forum –



  1. Jack

    September 23, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Diouf hasn’t become Diouf for no reason and Allardyce’s love for dirty play is forever stuck with a tag. They will kill an OAP to score a goal, dont mention about fouling oppositions!!

  2. mott

    September 23, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    ONly that bastard would sign Diouf, for simple some reasons, play dirty, provoke their opponents.

  3. el tel

    September 23, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    How anyone can call cheating a tactic is beyond me. I am sure SAF helps the dopey FatWan when on the Golf Course.

    The Dopey bastard takes the fall for his friends so called cheating tactics. The whole League has a Northern bias just check out the History of Football in England and you will see.

    Us Londoners are seen as foreign to anyone North of Watford.

  4. Johnny Hoy

    September 23, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    All of what you say is undoubtably true. I’ll add that my opinion of Big Sam pretty low. However, and this isn’t going to go down too well here but you’ve got to deal with it. Yeah they’re targeting the keeper and we know they’re going to do so. They don’t get away with it against United or Chelsea. The fact is we’ve got to toughen up. You can moan about Sam’s ‘tactics’ as much as you like but he’ll continue to employ them for as long as they work. This isn’t a case of reckless tackles breaking out players legs, this is something we actually can end by manning up. With the two new centre backs, the maturing of Song, and our new centre forward, I suspect we’re on our way. You’ll be up in arms about this but… it’s a man’s game.

  5. Max

    September 23, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    He’s a cheater first and fore most. They hit players after the whiste every time it blows. He is a thug & he manages a team of thugs

  6. kyawthu

    September 23, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Fair comment Johnny Hoy. We have got to toughen up, and probably be physical like Viera used to be for us.

    But what I am talking about is text book foulings. Strong points in any team used as advantages, we have got absolutely no problem with it. For instance, Stoke’s long throws by Delap. Super effective, strong and fair, no arguments. If we have a player like Delap, we should employ that tactic. We should even train our throwers or hire Delap himself.

    But fouling goalkeepers is a totally different thing. When Robin van Persie body checked the opposition goalkeeper, he got sent off. We can’t complaint. Diouf did the similar against Schwarzer but the only difference is the situation surrounding the incidents. The goalkeepers are protected for a reason.

    There are some goalkeepers who can handle this kind of fouls on them and then dish out a few for themselves. Chilavert, Jens Lehmann and Buffon are a few of them. They use their elbows and knees to protect themselves and sometimes get sent off for it. But they are the only kind that can withstand thugs like Diouf and intentional foulings…

  7. rafi

    September 23, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    And Some wondered why alardyce was ignored for the england job in place of steve mclaren. this fat sam guy is a mug. at bolton he had such dubious transfer dealings involving his son and in defiance of all refereeing stanmdards he employed thed anti football kevin davies (who he wondered why he didnt make the england squad). god forbid if the fa had hiored him. i would have vommited at every england game. on delusions of grandeur, fat sam also believes his rugby football makes him a very able candidate for manU, real and ac milan. the world has surely gone mad to have this dick as football manager.

  8. Curt

    September 23, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    One of the keepers who sufferes like this, be it ours or another clubs, needs to eventually just stand up and and throw Dunn or Diouf or Samba or whoever it is out of the way. Get angry, get mad, made a fuss, make sure the ref knows just what’s going on. The ref isn’t going to send a goalkeeper off for getting pissed off at being foulded, nor will he allow a FK?corner to be taken while the goalkeeper is enaged in a very vocal tussle with another defender

  9. Joey

    September 24, 2010 at 2:28 am

    Johnny Ho cmmonted thus “…However, and this isn’t going to go down too well here but you’ve got to deal with it. Yeah they’re targeting the keeper and we know they’re going to do so. They don’t get away with it against United or Chelsea…”.
    As far as I recall SAF ONLY complianed that Bolton had been too physical against his team during the Gary Megson era soon after Allardyce left!(Actually Bolton won 1-0)He had never been subjected to these assaults and only cried faul when he came into direct firing line with some one else in charge!
    When SA was later asked why he doesntAPPLYthe same tactics agianst Man U , he says because he REALIZEDit does not Work against them!(HIS MASTER?)
    Actually the world thinks differently about this.This agenda was formulated around OT and benefits flow inthe direction of OT.The agenda has deteriorated into being racist and cynical as the disciples(one Alex M?) feel breaking legs of players from a team lebelled ‘foreigners’ is O.K .
    While these selfish lebels ( untrue and criminal) prevailed ,the beneficiaries have mobilized against a simple honest club the media, pundits, public, FA ,referees etc and in the process fiilled their cabinets with trophies.

  10. josh

    September 24, 2010 at 3:17 am

    Dear Kawthu, on the two points you brought up I would like to add to this.
    Fabianski is more than just underforming. He is rubbish and not fit to wear an Arseanal GK shirt. Considering the many blunders he has had cost Arsenal, I really don’t understand why Arsene Wenger is still standing by his side even until now. Arsene Wenger could have taken any of the other reserve GKs and I think he would have performed better. I also believe that Arsenal players really got to be able to stand up to fight physical with physical and still be able to play beautiful football at the same time. Other teams look at how everytime Blackburn use such ‘tactics’ and manage to get away from the referees have encouraged other lesser teams like Blackburn to do the same. If MU and Chelsea can manage this football ‘rough tactics’ trend from lesser Premier teams and still win, I don’t see why Arsenal cannot!

  11. gunner-4-life

    September 24, 2010 at 4:08 am

    As Fabianski is consistently low in confidence, the best is to send him out on loan to mid-table teams in Championship team for at half season or full season, and see how he perform. We can then give our other 2 reserve keepers some chance to shine (or if they cannot fulfill the potential, we know we need reinforcement). Our 2 reserve keepers are at the age that they can only improve by playing, and not rot on the bench, and Fabianski can also not getting a run of game to rediscover his form that make Arsene go for him in the first place.
    It is not a lose-lose situation….

  12. Kyawthu

    September 24, 2010 at 4:12 am

    Hi Josh, thanks and I agree with you. Probably what you said is similar to Johnny and I concur it again. Definitely we should toughen up. If we get a bit more red cards, then be it. We topped fair play table last season and was also second on EPL disciplinary table. Our boys should put more of their foot into the tackles and get at the opponents’ faces. Rafi’s comment has a point there as well. We need more of Jack Wilshere spirit!! But at the same time, we should only take reds and yellows for physical and fiery situations but not for cheating.. and the likes of Diouf, Blackburn and co. shouldn’t get away with their below belt low ball cheating…

    Regarding Fabianski, Curt has discussed about it in another post, but I think I understand why Arsene is still using him although he is consistently rubbish. Fabianski really had potential for his age around 3 seasons ago. If you google or search in youtube with keywords “top saves”, he came out with his double reflex saves time and again. One game is Roma and another is an older game which I forgot. Probably those saves were his only good performances that make Wenger still using him as our No.2..

    What I dont understand is how he lost his mojo completely, how he lost his confidence and talent. Probably he needs to be loaned out (aborad preferred) to get first team experiences. But again, I truely believe David Dunn and Samba targeted him unfairly and there was foul play. Then Diouf proved that point on Fulham game…

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