Long-ball football is often derided, with lumping down field considered to be a direct consequence of a lack of ideas.
Is that always the case?
Can going from back to front quickly actually be a sensible approach?
After all, why play 20 neat one-touch passes through midfield if you can get to where you want to be significantly quicker?
Any side boasting an old fashioned target man within their ranks will want to make the most of his attributes, feeding off knock downs and pegging opponents back.
There is, of course, a counter argument which says football should be played on the deck – with fans across the country demanding that their chosen troops are pleasing on the eye.
In the words of the legendary Brian Clough, “If God had wanted us to play football in the clouds, he’d have put grass in the sky.”
Who then have become hoof-ball merchants in the Championship and which sides are sticking to the principles of Old Big ‘Ed?
|Total Long Balls||Total Launches||Fwd Pass||Appearances|
It comes as something of a surprise to find that Ipswich Town lead the way when it comes to long balls, launches and forward passes, but then Mick McCarthy is a no-nonsense kind of manager who likes to keep things simple.
Reading have plenty of ball-players within their ranks, but the summer arrival of Glenn Murray and a slow start to the season may have altered their thinking.
At the opposite end of the scale, it may be time for Blackpool to reconsider their approach, with there a time and a place for getting rid, and sitting bottom of the table would appear to tick both boxes.
On a more positive note, supporters of Leeds United, Watford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Wigan Athletic and Derby County will be pleased to see that greater emphasis is being placed on ball retention, with close to 400 fewer long balls being played than Ipswich – a remarkable statistic.