Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has taken a swipe at West Ham manager Sam Allardyce after the Englishman claimed that the Red Devils are long ball specialists.
Allardyce described Van Gaal’s side as “long-ball United” after they drew 1-1 with them at Upton Park, but the Dutchman hit back saying that Allardyce’s interpretation is incorrect, and pulled out a pamphlet filled with stats to back him up.
Van Gaal was clearly annoyed with Big Sam’s statement in the press, and made sure he was fully prepared for the question when asked.
“I expected this question, I have made an interpretation of the data for this game and then I have to say that it is not a good interpretation from Big Sam," Van Gaal told Sky Sports.
The Dutchman told members of the press that United only started playing long balls when Belgian Marouane Fellaini entered the game.
"When you have 60 percent ball possession do you think that you can do that with long balls?" Van Gaal added.
"Yeah, long balls, in the width, to switch the play. You have to look at the data and then you will see that we did play long balls, but long balls wide, rather than to the striker.
"A ball to the forward striker is mainly called long-ball play.
"It is not so difficult also to read that.
"I am sorry, but we are playing ball possession play and after 70 minutes we did not succeed, in spite of many chances in the second half, then I changed my playing style.
"Then, of course, with the quality of Fellaini we played more forward balls and we scored from that, so I think it was a very good decision of the manager.
"But, when you see overall the long ball, and what the percentage of that is, West Ham have played 71 percent of the long balls to the forwards and us 49."
Manchester United face Burnley on Wednesday night and will be hoping to keep hold of fourth place on the league table.
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