Allardyce takes blame for Kirchhoff disaster

Jan Kirchoff had a nightmare Premier League debut, but Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce says it is himself who should take the blame.

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce takes full responsibility for Jan Kirchhoff’s disastrous debut in their 4-1 loss to Tottenham last Saturday. 

Kirchhoff came on as a second-half substitute and was at fault for two of the four goals, which included giving away a penalty for Harry Kane to score. 

The centre-back joined Sunderland at the start of January after spending two seasons at Bayern Munich, which included a one and a half year stint at Schalke. 

However, following his "difficult" Premier League debut at White Hart Lane, Allardyce said the blame should be put on himself instead. 

"Jan’s experience of that match was massive for him," the manager said. "He saw, in one fell swoop, what the Premier League was all about and how difficult it is compared to being in Germany, where he knows the language and the players and how comfortable it is.

"When you come to a new environment in the middle of January and are thrown in the deep end, which is what I did, it’s different.

"So, it’s me to blame, more than him for throwing him in the deep end. I wasn’t angry with him at all, I blamed myself really."

Allardyce tipped Kirchoff to bounce back, using his former players Jay-Jay Okocha and Ivan Campo as examples. 

"When you’re watching it from abroad they think, “Ah, I’ll be alright there” – and they all say that – right from Fernando Hierro to Jay-Jay Okocha," he said.

"I took Jay-Jay off at half-time in the first game of the season at QPR and he almost begged me to take him off because he couldn’t cope. In the end he turned out to be an outstanding player.

"[Ivan] Campo was called a clown early on at Bolton. That’s because of his long hair and he runs around with ten-to-two feet and doesn’t look like a footballer.

"But he was better than Rodney Marsh, who said that, and he never won the Champions League or the title in Spain."

Sunderland, who are second last in the Premier League table, host 15th placed AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.