Tony Pulis, during his pre-match press-conference for West Brom’s clash with Burnley (not Liverpool…) went into a bitter rant about the way foreign managers are perceived compared to British ones – picking on Jurgen Klopp in particular.
The Welshman complained that exotic managers like Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte are lauded for their tactical innovations and the way in which they conduct training, when actually managers like he and Sean Dyche have been innovating themselves for years – just without credit.
Here’s his sarcastic tirade in all its glory…
“That’s the way it is, they come into the country, they’re sexy, they’re new, they’re bright,” he began, according to the Daily Post.
“That’s fine, brilliant, not a problem for me.
“I’ll listen to them, they say Klopp trains them three times a day in pre-season, absolutely amazing.
“I’d never have thought of that…
“That’s what Sean’s on about, they do stuff that is astonishing that we’ve ‘never heard of’.”
These quotes would perhaps have more affect had we not seen the way Pulis’s teams have played football in the Premier League over the past ten years.
Every side he’s taken charge of base themselves around a deep, rigid defence and a physical, brutish midfield. They play long-balls and look to win set-pieces from which they can score goals. It’s the Pulis blueprint. It keeps sides in the Premier League, but very little else.
Klopp, on the other hand, has cultured a style of football now synonymous with his name that breeds goals, wins and enjoyment for all.
If Pulis wants the plaudits Klopp receives, then perhaps he should focus on improving himself. It’t not because you’re British Tony, it’s because you’re boring.