Steve McClaren has blamed the Premier League for turning down Newcastle’s request to move back the kick-off time at Upton Park.
Traffic delayed the team coach getting to the ground and the Head Coach had requested a delay.
McClaren says he was surprised at the decision by the Premier League because in his experience it is usually allowed.
No doubt the fact the Premier League game was being shown live on TV didn’t have any influence on the decision…
Slaven Bilic naturally wasn’t very sympathetic but did admit that he was expecting a delay to be allowed.
Speaking after the match, the West Ham manager got in a bit of a muddle with his words but basically said that Newcastle’s late arrival didn’t alter his match strategy, which was to attack from the off.
This is pretty much what every home team does, except on the odd occasion when you might be facing much stronger opposition, which wasn’t the case last night…
Did the shortened pre-match time make any difference to Newcastle and help bring about the opening goal inside nine minutes?
Impossible to say either way but when you look at the last three matches against Manchester United, Arsenal and Swansea, all three opposition teams totally dominated the opening exchanges, just as West Ham did last night.
“We felt the preparation wasn’t long enough and we asked the referee, I have been in football long enough and it’s usually permitted.
“It wasn’t and we had to deal with that. I think it was the Premier League that made that call.”
“They were late and we were expecting the game to be put back for 15 minutes.
“I think they had enough time. To be fair I don’t know but we didn’t say, ‘Go at them from the start’.
“….I mean, we did say that but we would have even said that if they’d had a night at Upton Park last night. It would have been the same plan.”