By Kealan Hughes

15th Apr, 2021 | 8:10am

Gary Lineker and Rio Ferdinand liken Zinedine Zidane to West Brom boss Sam Allardyce

Gary Lineker and Rio Ferdinand poked fun at West Brom manager Sam Allardyce when analysing Real Madrid’s style of play.

The pair were covering Liverpool vs Real Madrid for BT Sport and noticed Los Blancos played a lot of long-ball football in the first leg.

They immediately thought of Allardyce and could not help but mock the Albion man, albeit in a light-hearted manner.

“He’s the new Big Sam,” Lineker said of Zidane on BT Sport 2 [19:00, 14/04].

And pundit Ferdinand was in agreement, adding, “Yes that’s right, long-ball merchant.”

Unfair on Allardyce

Big Sam has built up a reputation as a long ball manager but it is rather harsh judging by his spell at The Hawthorns.

We have played some lovely football in recent weeks and Matheus Pereira has rediscovered his best form under Allardyce.

The Brazilian would struggle in a long ball side but has been key in recent weeks, so we think the Baggies boss deserves a bit more respect.

We completely outplayed Chelsea, handing them a thrashing in what is their only league defeat under Thomas Tuchel.

Sure we can be physical at times, particularly with Okay Yokuslu and Mbaye Diagne in the side, but that should not be confused with long ball.

Allardyce has seven games remaining this season to try and convince his doubters, but after more than 20 years managing at the highest level he faces an uphill battle to do so.

We do not mind though, as long as it means teams underestimate us and we continue to outperform the likes of Chelsea and Southampton.

In other West Brom news, ‘100% he’s not staying’ – Joseph Masi makes claim about future of West Brom midfielder.

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