Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has slammed foreign Premier League players who overreact to incidents such as Jermain Defoe’s alleged elbowing of Nicolas Otamendi, as reported by The Sun.
The 5’7” Black Cats striker bowled over the burly Manchester City centre-back with a flailing arm during the visitors’ 1-0 victory at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday.
Allardyce has been quick to defend his player while slamming Otamendi’s exaggerated reaction to the clash, suggesting the Argentine’s behaviour is more widely accepted overseas than in England.
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“Jermain Defoe doesn’t elbow anybody on purpose.
“They make a big fuss about it and that’s what they do,” the 61-year-old said.
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“That’s mostly foreign players, they do make a big fuss of it.
“That’s in their nature. They react in a more volatile way to incidents like that than we do.
“We accept that but I don’t think Jermain intentionally did it.”
The ever-entertaining Allardyce also made a remarkable claim about the performance of one his January signings, Jan Kirchhoff, who joined for a bargain £750,000 from Bayern Munich.
Allardyce elected to give the 25-year-old his Stadium of Light bow at the base of midfield, an unexpected decision considering he has primarily operated as a defender throughout his career.
Despite playing Kirchhoff out of his natural position, the ex-West Ham and Blackburn Rovers manager reckons his new signing produced the best performance of any Premier League star this season.
“I don’t know anybody who’s played as well as that in central midfield this season, for anybody – Everton, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester City,” he said.
“He played that well they changed to a three and tried to block it up at half-time because we were dominating them.
“We were dominating because of Jan’s quality of passing and his quality of finding space.”
However, an inspired performance from their new German star was not enough for Sunderland to overcome a City side who were not at their best.
The hosts certainly had their chances to put at least one goal into Joe Hart’s net, ending the game with nearly twice as many shots as Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
City managed to keep within three points of league leaders Leicester, who secured a 2-0 win over Liverpool last night, thanks to Sergio Aguero’s 13th strike of the campaign after 16 minutes.