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The Premier League is wasting time worse than ever with Manchester City less guilty and Aston Villa worse

Time is slipping away from the Premier League with data showing a significant drop in time the ball is in play this season.

A 90-minute game contains 54 minutes and 43 seconds of action, an average taken over 110 high-level games this season by Opta’s statisticians.

This is a 99-second drop from last season’s average and a two-minute drop from the 2013-14 season.

Aston Villa games see the ball in play for less than 50 minutes out of the 90 on average this season

Aston Villa games see the ball in play for less than 50 minutes out of the 90 on average this season

By contrast, Man City games generally feature more than an hour of the ball in play.

By contrast, Man City games generally feature more than an hour of the ball in play.

By contrast, Man City games generally feature more than an hour of the ball in play.

So if you are one of those fans who rage over wasted time, whether it be to get the ball back into play on a goal kick or pitch, or the lengthy treatment required for seemingly minor injuries, then your mind is not. is playing a trick.

The latter have eroded from the game at a time when ticket prices are more expensive than ever and there are extreme variations from club to club.

Manchester City fans can expect to see more than an hour of football in their matches. As a rule of Pep Guardiola, his team will have safe possession, playing shorter passes with more control and less risk of the ball going off.

City’s 2-0 win against Burnley at the Etihad Stadium in October was the highest of the season, with the ball in play for more than 65 minutes.

Guardiola’s team has more than 70 percent of the possession and there were only 16 fouls, only five committed by the visitors.

Man City's game with Burnley in October saw the ball in play for more than 65 minutes.

Man City's game with Burnley in October saw the ball in play for more than 65 minutes.

Man City’s game with Burnley in October saw the ball in play for more than 65 minutes.

Chelsea's Thomas Tuchel is one of the coaches who have complained about wasting time.

Chelsea's Thomas Tuchel is one of the coaches who have complained about wasting time.

Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel is one of the coaches who have complained about wasting time.

Is the loss of time getting worse?

BALL-IN-PLAY AVERAGES FOR PREMIER LEAGUE TEAMS BY SEASON

2021/22: 54 minutes 43 seconds (110 games)

2020/21: 56:22

2019/20: 55:49

2018/19: 55:31

2017/18: 56:11

2016/17: 55:51

2015/16: 56:01

2014/15: 56:22

2013/14: 56: 43 *

2012/13: 56:23

* Maximum of 10 years

2021/22 high: Man City 2 Burnley 0 (10/16/21) 65:42

2021/22 minimum: West Ham 1 Brentford 2 (3/10/21) 41:33

Elsewhere in 2021-22

Championship 51:41

League One 50:27

League Two 49:44

AVERAGE PER CLUB THIS SEASON

City of Man 60:27

Brighton 57:14

Liverpool 57:11

Chelsea 56:54

Arsenal 56:16

Man United 56:05

Palace C 55:31

West Ham 55:22

Leicester 55:10

Norwich 54:52

Wolves 54:36

Spurs 54:33

Burnley 54:00

Newcastle 53:59

Watford 53:26

Everton 52:34

Leeds 52:23

Southampton 52:16

Brentford 52:01

Aston Villa 49:23

Aston Villa is at the other end of the scale, the only Premier League team with the ball in play for less than 50 minutes, leaving their fans to watch 10 minutes less football per game than Manchester City.

Managers of the strongest teams regularly complain that opponents are wasting time. “There were too many interruptions and they were delaying the game,” complained Thomas Tuchel after Chelsea’s victory at Newcastle last month.

It is not a new strategy to interrupt the rhythm of the game against the best football teams, but the best teams in the Premier League are arguably better than ever when it comes to keeping the ball, with highly technical players aided by slippery surfaces and dominance. modern. changes to favor attackers.

The October game between West Ham and Brentford saw the ball in play for just 41 minutes

The October game between West Ham and Brentford saw the ball in play for just 41 minutes

The October game between West Ham and Brentford saw the ball in play for just 41 minutes

For opponents left chasing, trying to get it back is vital to find some recovery time when the ball is dead. Perhaps there is a greater temptation to extend these short rest periods for a few more seconds.

It would explain why some teams seem willing to waste time even in the first few minutes of matches, not just when they expect a result.

Similarly, in an era where so many teams have safe possession and defenders are faster and more comfortable on the ball, set pieces have become an increasingly valuable commodity. And each piece from set pieces slows down the game.

Teams play free kicks and corner kicks, and take extra care to ensure that they execute the throw and routine correctly.

Some, including Villa, employ a coach for set pieces. The more details and organization that go into it, the more time it takes.

Premier League fans pay considerable amounts of money for tickets, but get less action

Premier League fans pay considerable amounts of money for tickets, but get less action

Premier League fans pay considerable amounts of money for tickets, but get less action

Both Villa and Brentford like to use long shots, which take time. Villa, for example, waits for Matty Cash to make his way from the right to the left wing if he can shoot the ball into the penalty area.

Brentford and West Ham rely on set pieces as a source of goals, and when they met last month, the ball was in play for just 41 minutes and 33 seconds.

He is the lowest on record in the Premier League this season with the ball out of play considerably more than it was. There were 17 corners in the game and 29 fouls awarded by referee Peter Bankes.

The approach of the officers could be a factor. Also the places. The open spaces of London Stadium and other newly built grounds provide opportunities if either team is looking to run out of time.

Elaborate routines, increasingly implemented by clubs, contribute to wasted time.

Elaborate routines, increasingly implemented by clubs, contribute to wasted time.

Elaborate routines, increasingly implemented by clubs, contribute to wasted time.

But the trend is clear. The last decade has seen a steady drop in ball-in-play time with a slight increase last season, when stadiums were often empty due to blockages and a multi-ball system was in place.

From time to time, IFAB lawmakers consider and then scrap the idea of ​​introducing a basketball-like timer, where football is turned into two 30-minute halves and the clock stops each time the ball goes out of play.

It is not on the agenda at this time. I could come back soon.

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