"Long balls" vs Crosses

Zebs

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Have seen a lot of nonsense in the press of late but have chosen to ignore it as anti-José agendas in the press don't exist. No honestly, they don't. Really.

Anyway, in his article on Fellaini today, Mark Ogden has referred to our winner last night as having come from a "long ball" from Young.

A few weeks ago, we saw Danilo label Pogba's second goal and Smalling's winner as both resulting again from "long balls".

So let's set the record straight. If a ball is curled in to the box from less than 40 yards from the endline, it's a God damn cross.

Am I right/wrong? Probably a needless thread but it's beginning to piss me off. It's as if people are trying to eradicate crossing the ball from the game.
 

Infra-red

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We've played fewer long balls than Liverpool or Spurs this season, if anyone cares about such things.
 

Nick7

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They were all crosses, but that doesn't suit the narrative festering in the media and amongst our fans.
 

Djemba-Djemba

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Describing the winner yesterday as coming from a long ball is just bizarre.

I suppose Beckham used to just launch long balls into the box for all those years.
 

roonster09

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Mark Ogden reporting the correct score itself is a big deal. So him knowing feck all about long ball or cross doesn't surprise me. One of the most clueless journalist out there.
 

Nedved

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Most crosses are “long balls” by definition. There is nothing wrong with “long balls”, as long as they have a chance of succeeding and a proper destination (compare a Pirlo/Beckham/De Bruyne ball to a second division centre back hoof).
 

acnumber9

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A friend of mine referred to the cross that Fellaini hit the post with as the ‘Fellaini tactic’. Since was putting in a couple of crosses a fecking tactic? Every team in the world plays that tactic. If anything we don’t get enough crosses in.
 

Nick7

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Most crosses are “long balls” by definition. There is nothing wrong with “long balls”, as long as they have a chance of succeeding and a proper destination (compare a Pirlo/Beckham/De Bruyne ball to a second division centre back hoof).
is a long pass along the ground, also a 'long ball'?
 

tomaldinho1

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The anti Mou & Anti Man Utd pundits will do all they can to push this nonsense. It's as if 'long ball' is now a dirty term.

CL is guaranteed. 2nd is likely. FA Cup final to come.
 
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What is so wrong with long balls anyway? Why is it seen as something negative, if you play long balls you're not playing the "right way" I really don't get it, it's not against the rules so what's the problem?
 

TheoY

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Long balls is as good as anything if it helps you win games.

Cross or Long Ball, seriously, who cares.
 

el3mel

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Really, it's pretty hilarious how the media is saying "long balls" as it's some sort of insult to a certain team. You want to label this team as boring/bad ? Say "they're playing lots of long balls" or "Most of their goals are long balls". Since when exactly long balls started to become an insult to a football team now ?
 

jackofalltrades

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Big Sam once made a useful distinction, that there's a difference between a long ball such as the ones his team Bolton made and a long pass, which at that time referred to Arsenal.
 

Brightonian

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For me it's not really to do with the length of the ball (30 vs 40 yards) or the angle (cross vs vertical from a CB). It's about whether the ball was sent vaguely into an area or passed to a player. An accurate cross or a raking ball over the top onto a striker's foot are not 'long balls', they're long passes.

What is so wrong with long balls anyway?
Can't wear shorts safely.
 

abdo99

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If it's Man Utd and Mourinho then it's classified as 'long ball'. If it's Man City, Liverpool or anyone else it's called a 'cross'. Media will do anything to spin things to suit their agenda. Liverpool used long balls frequently last week vs Roma to bypass their midfield. De Rossi even called them out. Nothing wrong with what Liverpool did. Just confused as to why that distinction is made when United do it.
 

Akshay

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Long balls is as good as anything if it helps you win games.

Cross or Long Ball, seriously, who cares.
Precisely. I don't care if you score after making fifty passes in midfield or a single lob over the defense that opens up a clear goal scoring opportunity. I loved Pogba's overhead balls to Zlatan last season, they were deliciously accurate and deadly. Paul Scholes long balls across the pitch and right onto his teammates boots were a joy to watch. Properly executed long passing is as technical and entertaining an attacking move as any other.
 

Snow

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You are correct. We try long balls in games, those goals weren't that. Just because a ball is lifted off the ground doesn't make it a long ball. We had a corner, it was temporarily cleared away so Young put the ball again into the box that was full of players on either side.

City score a lot of goals. Most of them are from crosses. Don't know what else to call a pass that comes from a wide position to the front of the goal.
 

kouroux

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Sometimes what is also referred as a long ball isn't truly one. The way I see a long ball is a big kick high in the sky towards a tall center forward but sometimes player can make great passing over defensive lines. One takes a bit of luck element and the other is a great skill
 

noodlehair

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Don't really care what people call it, but for me long ball football is sticking Fellaini up top, and punting the ball up to him in the hope it bounces off of him and randomly drops into a dangerous area. I absolutely hate this and we have had a tendancy to do it a lot under both Jose and LVG.

Crossing the ball onto Fellaini's head when he's already in a dangerous position so he can head it into the goal, is completely different, and this I have no issues with. He also seems to be much better at this than the long ball tactics, yet the former is the one we resort to more often, which is both baffling and infuriating and is the kind of thing that invites the blanket criticism we get.
 

NotATroll

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Don't really care what people call it, but for me long ball football is sticking Fellaini up top, and punting the ball up to him in the hope it bounces off of him and randomly drops into a dangerous area. I absolutely hate this and we have had a tendancy to do it a lot under both Jose and LVG.
I don't really think think Jose has used that tactic a lot, at least not this season. And Van Gaal simply had the ball passed to Fellaini from the goalkeeper, a bit like what Ederson does for City. Lukaku against Liverpool is much closer to what you're describing, IMO.
 

breakout67

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Don't really care what people call it, but for me long ball football is sticking Fellaini up top, and punting the ball up to him in the hope it bounces off of him and randomly drops into a dangerous area. I absolutely hate this and we have had a tendancy to do it a lot under both Jose and LVG.

Crossing the ball onto Fellaini's head when he's already in a dangerous position so he can head it into the goal, is completely different, and this I have no issues with. He also seems to be much better at this than the long ball tactics, yet the former is the one we resort to more often, which is both baffling and infuriating and is the kind of thing that invites the blanket criticism we get.
Fellaini has started 6 games this season so we haven't done it all that often this season. Fellaini has come on as a late sub a lot of time to add a body in midfield or like you said, get on the end of crosses.

The only game from Memory where we tried to do what you described was against Sevilla at OT.
 

RedDevil@84

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I don't understand the need to look down upon long ball tactics. Good teams (or defense) can deal with ball on the ground or ball in the air.
A pragmatic manager will play long ball tactics against a team that can't handle long balls.
 

noodlehair

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I don't really think think Jose has used that tactic a lot, at least not this season. And Van Gaal simply had the ball passed to Fellaini from the goalkeeper, a bit like what Ederson does for City. Lukaku against Liverpool is much closer to what you're describing, IMO.
Surely you are joking?
 

NotATroll

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Surely you are joking?
No. We used to play the ball to Fellaini over the press, who would take it down on his chest. That's what City do when they can't play it to their defenders: play it into midfield. We didn't do it as elegantly as they do but it comes from the same sort of idea. Van Gaal and Guardiola are very similar, so it's no surprise. Pushing Silva up against the fullback to leave Sane free, for example, is a tactic that we tried to implement under Van Gaal (with different players, obviously).
 

peridigm

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If the point is to degrade the quality of a goal from a long ball, I’d take a Rooney pass over the top to RVP over any cross into the box any day of the week.
 

Bastian

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We've played fewer long balls than Liverpool or Spurs this season, if anyone cares about such things.
Interesting stat. By how much?
Incidentally, passes per game (and accuracy): Liverpool 596 (83%), Spurs 571 (84%), United 523 (83%).