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Manchester United hero Gary Neville and Liverpool icon Jamie Carragher were involved in a feisty Sky Sports argument on Friday night as they debated the amount of injury time matches would have this season. The pair were at Turf Moor for the first Friday Night Football of the season as Burnley hosted Manchester City in the Premier League.
“I’m probably slightly different to Gary,” Carragher began. “I think there is a problem in terms of time-wasting in the game. But I also agree we can’t have 10 or 15 minutes at the end of every game every week. But the players who complain about it and the managers who complain about it – don’t time-waste.
“We’ve all time-wasted as players and we’re brought up to time-waste and kill the game at the end of the games. That’s what we’re trying to get out of the game. We don’t want games getting to 50-odd minutes [per half]. I think in League Two, the average ball in play is 48 minutes. We’ve got to try to get it up to 60 minutes. So stop time-wasting in the game and there won’t be as much time added on at the end.”
Neville, who is a part-owner of Salford City, then started to make a different point as he explained: “I watched 40-odd League Two games last season and I never watched a game where I thought they were time-wasting. Yeah teams set set-pieces up a lot more in League Two so there might be a lot more…”
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But before Neville could finish his sentence, Carragher interrupted by hissing: “So no one time-wastes?” The ex-Red Devils defender hit back: “No, my point is Carra, the time-wasting years ago when you could pass back to your goalkeeper was pretty obvious. But the game is the quickest it’s ever been. I don’t feel short-changed when I go to a Premier League game.”
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