Sam Allardyce ɾeʋeαls he was almost Man City manager with a deal for Bolton legend to become boss

Sam Allarcyce has claimed that he had a deal “done and dusted” to become Manchester City manager instead of Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Big Sam made his name in management with Bolton Wanderers.

Sam Allarcyce claims he was set to take charge of Man City in 2007

He was in charge of the Trotters from 1999 to 2007 and led them from the Championship to the Uefa Cup while bringing in a host of star names such as Jay-Jay Okacha and Nicholas Anelka.

However, the summer he left the club for a short and ill-fated spell at Newcastle could have ended up very differently according to the 68-year-old.

Speaking to William Hill and Footy Accumulators’ No Tippy Tappy Football, a series in which Allardyce and host Natalie Pike discuss the big stories surrounding the 2022/23 Premier League and beyond, he said: “I was going to be the Manchester City manager when Stuart [Pearce] left in 2007.

“That was a deal that was done and dusted which was going to happen with John Wardle and David Makin, the owners of JD Sports.

“I think that they wanted me to come and help rebuild the club because they’d seen what I had done at Bolton.

“I’d left Bolton and was ready to go into the job and of course the day before it was due there was a phone call from either John or Dave to say ‘I’m very sorry Sam but we’ve sold the club and they want Sven-Goran Eriksson.’

“That was a disappointment but I ended up at Newcastle, so it looked like it was going in the right way at Man City and that changed unfortunately for me when the ownership changed, but Mike Ashley took over from Freddie Shepherd at Newcastle who chose me as manager.”

Allardyce went on to manage Blackburn, West Ham and Sunderland before landing the England job – only to be infamously sacked after just one game in charge.

Big Sam then saved Crystal Palace from the drop before replacing Ronald Koeman in the Everton dug-out back in 2017/18 with the Blues deep in a relegation fight.

He spent just six months there but he guided them away from danger and to an eighth place finish.

Allardyce then ended up at West Brom midway through the 2020/21 campaign and was tasked with a similar job, but he was unable to stop the Baggies from sliding into the Championship which led to his departure and he has not managed since.

Gary Neville rҽvҽals SEVEN reasons Arsenal will not win Premier League as he backs experienced champs City

The Gunners hold a two-point lead over the defending champions and can go five clear with a win in their game in hand at home to Everton on Wednesday evening.

Arsenal have a two-point lead over Manchester City and a game in hand

Gary Neville has consistently predicted Man City to win the title

But Neville has repeatedly insisted Man City will eventually overhaul Mikel Arteta’s team – and listed a host of reasons for Pep Guardiola’s side being his favourites.

They include Arsenal finishing seasons poorly, playing in the Europa League, a lack of experience in title races, and the emotion they showed after the win over Aston Villa.

Speaking on The Overlap, he said: “Arsenal have struggled in latter parts of seasons, with last season the most recent example of this.

“This is why Manchester City will win the Premier League, because when it gets to the last ten games, Arsenal will start to panic a little bit, the anxiety will kick in, pressure builds.

“Playing in the Europa League, potentially travelling away from home on a Thursday and playing a league game on the Sunday, with everyone looking at you – at this point, Arsenal will wilt because they haven’t proven to anybody yet that they can go the distance.

“If Arsenal do it and win the league it will be an unbelievable achievement, but they haven’t been around the block like Manchester City.

“When it gets to the final ten games and it really kicks in – De Bruyne, Haaland, Dias, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Kyle Walker – these guys who have been there before, they’ll push on.

“But there are teams who get over the line for the first time and this could be the year for Arsenal.”

He then went on to add: “It’s too much emotion, too early for Arsenal. To be that desperate and to celebrate that much with half the race still to go, it’s not a good thing.

“After the Aston Villa game, I can understand how big of a moment it was, but that level of celebration was quite desperate, quite early.

“There was a lot of celebrations at the end of the game. The emotions are something that’s a nҽgativҽ, it’s not a positive for me in a title race.”

Arsenal are seeking a first Premier League title in 19 years.

By contrast, Man City have won four in the last five seasons.

Anything but a win for the Gunners against Everton would hand Guardiola’s team the opportunity to move above them with victory over Newcastle on Saturday lunchtime.

Arsenal host Bournemouth later that same day.

Man City’s players have experience of winning Premier League titles

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