There was an initial sense of irony behind Sam Allardyce’s claims that Manchester United are a ‘long ball team’ yesterday.
The West Ham boss has a reputation for preferring a more direct style of play, although this season he has got his Hammers side playing some attractive, attacking football.
But it turns out Allardyce is absolutely right about United. The once great football club have gone from one of the most ruthless and successful Premier League sides in the history of the Premier League to a boringm ineffective long ball playing team.
Even with the world class additions of Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao and Ander Herrera in the summer, Louis Van Gaal’s side have still played the second most long balls in the top-flight so far this season, only slightly behind strugglers Burnley.
West Ham on the other hand, despite their unwanted reputation as a long ball team, are ranked tenth.
So who are the long ball merchants now?