Leeds United boss Sam Allardyce dismissed criticism of Newcastle’s infamous game-management techniques, accusing Manchester United of the same.
On Saturday, Allardyce will take command of Leeds’ first home game against Newcastle United at Elland Road. Throughout the season, Eddie Howe’s team has been accused of employing game-management strategies, with Nick Pope taking the longest on goal-kicks in the league.
Ten Hag called the Magpies’ tactics ‘annoying’ ahead of the Carabao Cup final at Wembley in February, pointing to statistics indicating that their matches had the ball in play for the shortest length of time. But Allardyce slammed Ten Hag and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, arguing that every team does the same thing.
“Who doesn’t do it?” When asked about Newcastle’s time-wasting, Allardyce reacted. “Who objected? [Jurgen Klopp] well, he wastes time, [Erik ten Hag] wastes time. They all waste time in the final five minutes of a 2-1 victory. Don’t be a fool!
“We’ve all been talking about ‘ball in play’ rather than wasting time, and whether ‘ball in play’ can be improved.” The game is as vicious and fast as it is. Player weariness and injuries are more strained than ever before, so if you speed up the game and extend the time on the field even more, you’ll have more injuries than ever before since it’s never been as quick as it is now.
“Because it is so quick, recovery time is critical, but there is none because there are so many games.” Then there are other injuries, and eventually chronic injuries, which can cut a player’s career much too short.
“However, because the players demand so much money, we have to try and increase our profits and turnover to fund the players who are so expensive to bring into Premier League football.”