David Moyes has branded Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola “the Heston Blumenthal of football”.
Celebrity chef Blumenthal is famed for his unusual culinary creations, such as bacon and egg ice cream and snail porridge.
Guardiola, meanwhile, has found his recipe for success this season with another innovation, the almost free role given to Portuguese full-back Joao Cancelo.
West Ham manager Moyes, who must rustle up a way of dealing with Cancelo and co on Saturday, said: “I might draw a really bad analogy here.
“Heston Blumenthal, who mixes chocolate with eggs or something stupid and outrageous. Pep is nearly the Heston Blumenthal of football.
“He does things where you think ‘that is never going to work, that’s not going to taste right or look good’.
“Pep does things in football terms which are remarkable. He is always looking for new ideas. He is innovative.
“I get this feeling he is in a think-tank room, thinking about how he can make his players perform better, or where they can receive the ball in space and make it so difficult for the opposition.
“That is how I look at Pep. I look at him in such high esteem. He has worked at clubs that have given him the chance to do that. But at the top clubs, the only way you keep your job is to win and he is doing a good job.
“He has done lots of things you would never dream of. Pep has done lots of things lots of people would not have thought of doing.
“Snail porridge? That’s what I’m talking about. It’s ridiculous. Full-backs going into midfield… he’s done things as a football coach which lots of people wouldn’t have thought of doing.”
As for which chef Moyes likens himself to, another hardline, fiery Scot sprang immediately to mind.
“Gordon Ramsay, all day long!” he smiled. “And you know what you’re getting there, don’t you?”
Guardiola has also praised Moyes and believes West Ham are capable of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in their history.
The fourth-placed Hammers have already surpassed their points tally from the 2019-20 campaign and are now targeting a top-four finish, a feat they last achieved in the top-flight in 1986.
“They are in a Champions League position. That is not a good run, it is many months and they are there,” Guardiola said on Friday.
“It means how strong they are. What I saw is the rhythm increased a lot on previous seasons.
“They have fantastic players like Declan Rice. I am a big admirer of him and Michail Antonio is always a headache for his movements. David Moyes – I admire this type of person, like Roy Hodgson. They have incredibly long, long careers.
“I would love to have these careers for many years and the passion to do the job. I cannot forget my first game in the Premier League was against Sunderland and he [David Moyes] was the manager there.
“He was so kind to me, he gave me some advice about the Premier League. I have friends, supporters [who are West Ham fans]. Come on you Irons! We will see what happens tomorrow.
“The season speaks for itself. [Moyes] understands football perfectly and has a lot of experience. I dream of arriving one day where everything is calm [a bit] like Carlo Ancelotti.
“They live a Buddha life. In the good moments, [these managers] are calm. In all moments, they are calm. [Moyes] gives you experience to do this. It is a real tough game tomorrow because all the big clubs suffer against them.”