We’ve had the Redknapp tax trial. Then along came Terry v Ferdinand to keep us all amused. Now, in the spirit of the best of the Hollywood movie trilogies, we’ve got a third offering. So, in our best Michael Buffer voice, “Are you ready? For the thousands in attendance and the millions watching around the world, from the High Court, London - ladies and gentlemen, "let's get ready to rumble!"
Fighting out of the red corner we have ‘Big’ Sam Allardyce (hurray!). Weighing in at quite a lot, Allardyce played over 400 games before moving onto a successful managerial career with the likes of Bolton & Blackburn. After being unceremoniously dumped from Ewood Park he moved in at West Ham and guided them to promotion. His less than subtle tactics – or Hoofball as it’s rather cruelly dubbed – are often criticised, yet his ability to get the best out of limited resources can’t be ignored.
In the red corner is Steve ‘Keanocchio’ Kean (boo!). Weighing in at significantly less than his opponent, Kean’s playing career amounted to pretty much nothing. It’s been claimed he led Fulham into the Premier League in 2001 (don’t tell Jean Tigana), but it’s fair to say his managerial career appears to be heading the same way as the one he ‘enjoyed’ as a player. His non-existent tactics - or Loseball as no-one else has called it so far – and inability to manage a football team, have left Kean’s reputation in tatters. Not that he had much of one to begin with.
This grudge match centres around a recent video where Kean is shown calling Allardyce “a crook” – a reference to allegations of corruption made in 2006 against Allardyce by the BBC’s Panorama programme which, to date, have never been proven. There’s also the small matter of Kean taking Allardyce’s job at Blackburn but this has nothing to do with that. In a previous encounter with the legal system, Kean lost out to district judge Nicholas Sanders, who banned the Scot from driving and concluded he’d lied to police. This, coupled with completely alienating every Rovers fan inside 18 months, means there can only be one winner.
So there you have it. Allardyce v Kean. Superman v Lex. Bart v Krusty. Good v Evil. With Kean’s recent form weighing so heavily against him and the video evidence pretty damning, we shamelessly take Allardyce to win by knockout (hurray!). Let battle commence. Ding, ding; round one.