Manchester United’s double standards after Newcastle dig as Roy Keane shocked by desperate move

Roy Keane, for once, looked a little lost for words. “I’m seeing people with bad habits,” the Irishman hissed following Manchester United’s dramatic penalty shootout win against Coventry City. “I’m looking at the goalkeeper wasting time. You’re the goalkeeper of Man United. You’re playing a Championship team. You’re 3-0 up and you’re wasting time.”

Andre Onana, in truth, started running the clock down long before Manchester United’s third goal when the Cameroon international took his time with a goal kick in the 52nd minute of this FA Cup semi-final. By the time Onana finally picked up a booking late on, Manchester United were hanging on at 3-2.

Manchester United were not the first side to try and slow a game down and the Red Devils certainly won’t be the last. Erik ten Hag, in defence, will no doubt point you to Opta’s average ball in play statistic and, sure enough, you will find Manchester United in fifth place in the Premier League with a time of 59 minutes and two seconds. Newcastle United, in contrast, lie in 17th. However, as anyone who has watched Eddie Howe’s team will attest, that does not tell the full story.

READ MORE: I’ve no sympathy after Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Newcastle moan when Man United can still save £100m

READ MORE: Sir Jim Ratcliffe can’t hide Newcastle United frustration just minutes after London Marathon finish

Newcastle, if anything, have been a little too entertaining at times and there have been an average of 3.78 goals in games involving the Magpies in the top-flight this season. Only four sides have scored more goals than Newcastle and three of those – Aston Villa, Liverpool and Arsenal – have played at least a match more. West Ham, meanwhile, are the only other team in the top 10 to have conceded more and Howe has previously admitted that Newcastle’s ‘game management has not been as good’ as last year.

Newcastle were certainly watertight last season and Premier League fixtures involving the black-and-whites had the lowest average ball in play time (51m 15s) when the Champions League qualifiers were at their nastiest. However, that statistic is again a little misleading.

As much as Newcastle got under the skin of, say, Arsenal at the Emirates last year, on an evening even unused substitute Jamaal Lascelles was booked, the all-encompassing average ball in play time figure also covers the many visiting sides who came to St James’ Park and tried to slow the game down. That’s what Leeds did on an afternoon the Whites made 19 fouls and had just one shot on target during a goalless draw.

Ten Hag, nonetheless, referenced that stat and labelled Newcastle a team who ‘try to annoy you’ ahead of last season’s Carabao Cup final. The Manchester United boss then went a step further before the two sides met at St James’ Park in the league a few months later by suggesting that the Magpies’ game management tactics were a ‘concern’ before he stated ‘we know they delay’.

Howe, for his part, ‘did not know where this time-wasting nonsense has come from because it’s not us’ and the Newcastle boss used the Dutchman’s words to fire up his side. “If they want a quick game coming here, let’s f—— give it to them,” he told his players before the 2-0 win at St James’ last season.

Wor Flags used Eddie Howe's words for their pre-match display when Newcastle United played Manchester United earlier this season
Wor Flags used Eddie Howe’s words for their pre-match display when Newcastle United played Manchester United earlier this season

Newcastle did not have to resort to slowing the game down that day or when a second string side thumped Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford earlier this season or when the dominant hosts limited the Red Devils to one tame shot on target in a 1-0 victory at St James’ back in December. It is doubtful Newcastle will need to waste time when the Magpies visit the Theatre of Dreams next month, either.

“For people to talk about us in such detail about this phase of play I find interesting because it’s not something we have focused on,” Howe previously said. “There’s a lot of talk about something which we haven’t encouraged, which I find quite bizarre, really…everybody does it.

“At the end of the game, when you’re winning a game, of course, everyone manages the game. You would be foolish not to but I think that comes from the players’ experience.

“We’ve got some really experienced guys who have played at the highest level and they want to win and we want to win so we would encourage everything we do within the rules to try and get over the line but in every other situation, we’re trying to play the game at an absolute fast pace and we want to entertain.”

View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/manchester-uniteds-double-standards-after-29038457

Scroll to Top