Premier League long-ball table - where are Manchester United?
West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce ruffled Manchester United's feathers when he claimed Louis van Gaal's side are a long-ball team after their 1-1 at Upton Park on 8 February.
But who are the Premier League's number one long-ball team? With help from our friends at Opta, BBC Sport can reveal it's not Manchester United but West Bromwich Albion, who have played a total of 1,063 long balls in 25 league matches this season.
|The Premier League's long-ball table|
|Team||Long balls played||Premier League position|
Long pass v long ball - the statistician's definition
According to football statisticians Opta, a 'long pass' is one that is 35 yards or more and is aimed at a particular team-mate. It does not have to be forward.
In contrast, they classify a 'long ball' as a forward pass that is 35 yards or more and is kicked into a space or area on the pitch rather than a precise pass aimed at a particular team-mate.
As such a 'long ball' is perhaps more indicative of a team that likes to regularly lump the ball forward, perhaps towards the opposition's penalty area.
A 'long pass' could be a cross-field switch of play to a team-mate.
Opta's head of UK media and content Duncan Alexander pointed out: "There is a vast difference between someone like Andrea Pirlo playing a precise long pass and an agricultural launch forward.
"We agree and separate those two things out. In the Opta world a long pass is one aimed to a specific player (think Pirlo), while a long ball is one played into a specific zone (think "hit the channels")."
|Short passes table|
|Team||Short passes attempted||% passes short|
It might not be a huge surprise that the teams boasting the higher percentage of short passes have a large number of top class midfielders such as David Silva of Manchester City, Arsenal's Mesut Ozil and Eden Hazard of Chelsea.
|Long passes table|
|Team||Long passes attempted||% passes long|
There has been a lot of talk about Manchester United being a long ball team since Allardyce raised the subject last weekend. While it is true that the Red Devils have attempted more long passes than any other team in the Premier League, this needs placing into context.
United have had more possession and this leaves them 13th in the long passes table table with 14.34%. The top four teams in this table are all battling for Premier League survival.