Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has hit back at claims made by West Ham boss Sam Allardyce that his side are a long-ball team by producing a dossier of stats in his pre-match press conference today.
West Ham came close to pulling off a surprise win over the Red Devils on Sunday, before Daley Blind pounced on a half-cleared header in the West Ham box to secure a 1-1 draw.
Afterwards Allardyce seemed to aim a dig at Van Gaal's tactics, saying his side struggled to cope with 'long-ball United'.
"When you’ve got Fellaini up there it was difficult for us, it’s not how you normally see Man United play, but it got them a point in the end," he said.
“The likes of Radamel Falcao, Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Angel Di Maria hardly got a look in.”
Article continues below
Van Gaal took exception to Allardyce's comments and today produced a four-page dossier which he claimed showed that Manchester United aren't a long-ball team.
The pack claimed that Manchester United played 83 passes that travelled further than 25 metres, which accounted for just over 24% of their overall passing attempts. 49.9% of their long passes went forward compared to West Ham's 71%, which Van Gaal claimed showed that his side weren't merely hitting and hoping.
He said: "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. We are playing ball possession play."
Unfortunately for Van Gaal it seems as though not everyone agreed with his approach, and Manchester United press officer Karen Shotbolt's reaction seemed to show her feelings on the matter.
Manchester United will now turn their attention to their game against Burnley. Van Gaal has confirmed he will be without both Michael Carrick and Luke Shaw for the game as he looks to maintain the gap to their rivals including Tottenham and Arsenal battling for fourth place.
They currently occupy fourth place from Spurs in 5th, while Southampton are one point ahead in third.