Eddie Howe reveals what he is ‘sick’ of at Newcastle United ahead of Leeds clash

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Eddie Howe has once again responded to accusations that Newcastle United are time-wasters.

Eddie Howe is sick of Newcastle United being labelled time-wasters - believing the statistics “are very misleading and not representative of the actual truth”.

A lot of criticism has been aimed the Magpies’ way this week following Sunday afternoon’s 2-0 defeat to Arsenal at St James’ Park. Howe thought Mikel Arteta’s side purposely slowed the game down, a post-match verdict talkSPORT presenter and Gunners fan Laura Woods called “hypocritical”.

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“The stat is how long each team spends with the ball in play this season (on average). Newcastle are bottom with 52 per cent,” said Woods. “Average delay before restarting play… Newcastle are second from bottom. Brentford are bottom of that one. Average delay time before goal kicks… Newcastle are bottom with 36.8 minutes.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“Lots of people are saying, ‘Hang on a minute, this is a bit hypocritical’, especially regarding the 0-0 draw at the Emirates earlier this season. I went to that game and there was a lot of controversy about time-wasting. So I think Arsenal maybe played them at their own game.”

Howe, speaking ahead of today’s Premier League clash against Leeds United, responded: “Those kind of stats and I have seen them are very misleading and not representative of the actual truth. You have to dig a lot deeper to find which team, in that game, has slowed things down. I know it is a Newcastle stat but we are playing the opponent.

“Every team that comes to SJP will slow the game down, especially early on and depending on the result, late on too. So, our games at home are frustrating for us.

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“Away from home, I think if you look at our results, we have tried to entertain. We haven’t tried to slow the game down at all. If you actually watch us play you will get a true representation of us.”

Asked if he was sick of hearing about time-wasting, Howe replied: “Yes because it’s not what we’d ever as a coaching group focus on. We’ve got an experienced group of players who know we have to manage the game at certain moments. That’s part of football - I don’t think that’ll be any different from the 92 clubs involved in English football.

“It’s not something we’ve ever coached. We actually always encourage a high-intensity performance from our players, whether that’s quick restarts, high intensity in terms of our passing and the way we play. It goes against how our team plays.”

Sam Allardyce interacts with Leeds following 2-1 loss to Manchester CitySam Allardyce interacts with Leeds following 2-1 loss to Manchester City
Sam Allardyce interacts with Leeds following 2-1 loss to Manchester City | Getty Images

In a surprise turn, Sam Allardyce defended Newcastle for their game management. Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag was among first to criticise Howe’s side but Allardyce believes the Dutchman also runs down the clock.

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"For people to talk about us in such detail about this phase of play I find interesting because it’s not something we focus on,” Howe added. “There is a lot of talk about something we haven’t encouraged. I find it bizarre really.

“Sam was asked about it in his press conference and I was sent a couple of things he said, and he spoke really well and said everybody does it. At the end of the game if you are winning, everybody manages the game and you would be foolish not to. That comes from the players, we’ve got some really experienced players who have played at the highest level and they want to win.

“We want to win and we encourage everything, within the rules, to get us over the line. In every other situation, we are trying to play the game at an absolute fast pace and we want to entertain so where all this comes from is beyond me really.”

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