The Criticism of Long Ball Football

  • For the past few weeks, Manchester United and in particular Marouane Fellainihave been coming under criticism for a direct style of play. In other words, trying to get the best out of there 25 million pound Belgian beauty that he who shall not be named, in Manchester anyway, had left for the services of Mr. Van Gaal. So my question is, if youve got it, why not flaunt it?The negativity towards direct or long ball football is nothing new as far as the Premier League are concerned. Sam Allardyce would not be best pleased if everything he has ever worked towards was shot down by journalistic views of the direct game being born in the era of Louis Van Gaal. So whats the difference in that? Why is it, for want of a better phrase, suitable for lower sides to carry out these tactics but not the biggest club on Earth? Do we not want so called amba sadors of the English game to be playing such barbaric tactics when taken to the field.I am far from Manchester Uniteds biggest fan, coming from Blackburn in East Lancashire, United are up there as sides you have to love to hate. But I do feel they are under heavy fire from the pre s for simply diversifying to what they have in their ranks. Dare for me to say this, but it could be argued that Fellaini has had more of an impact this season in a Manchester United shirt than a certain Mr. Falcao. I grant you, I may be shooting from the hip and United season ticket holders, feel free to shoot me down here but as a Blackburn Rovers season ticket holder, this isnt new territory for me. The Allardyce years as Ewood Park were very succe sful indeed and now sitting in mid-table of the Championship, we see this tactic carried out by sides week in week out. I hope you noticed I used to the word tactic. Thats what I think it is.Sides are only as good as what they have within their ranks. Its a tactical decision to play the likes of, Fellaini at United, Carroll at West Ham and Crouch at Stoke to name just a few as examples, its just that teams adapt to fit in one player to the system. Thats where I think people have the i sue. The accommodation of players to fit in to the team. But, I dont agree with the argument that this is negative football. What is negative football? There is no sole definition for this term. I do hope that tactics and negativity are used as different terms when it comes to direct football. Theres nothing negative about a side and the wrong end of the table setting up to play long ball football when away from home at a side at the right end of the table. Isnt that just plain common sense? For them its about not losing the game, and having an outlet with the off chance of nicking something. For me, this is tactics but it brandished negative by the big sides when they do indeed nick something. Football is about using what you have in your armoury, and I think thats what Manchester United and LVG are doing. The team performance should be in line for any criticism not the individual, Fellaini is doing a job the manager wants him to do. I find it difficult to criticize the player for this but Im sure the pre s and football purists will some how find a way.

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