Pulis hits out at ‘selective’ Murphy

Murphy claimed last week that players are being injured because

certain managers are sending their teams out too fired up, with the

Potters one of three clubs – along with Blackburn and Wolves – that

he named specifically. His comments have created a storm and after

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce yesterday challenged Murphy to

publicly apologise for the remarks, Pulis has now had his say on

the matter. Reading a statement aloud at today’s press conference,

Pulis said: “Two challenges this season have been committed by top

players who represented their countries at this summer’s World Cup.

“One challenge on Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa by Nigel de Jong of

Manchester City recently led to a broken bone. “Another by Joe

Cole, one of our most technically gifted players, resulted in a

sending off for one of our most celebrated clubs in the country,

Liverpool, who are currently managed by Roy Hodgson, someone I have

great respect for. “Even the technically best players are prone to

making mistimed challenges. But have they really been sent out to

hurt a fellow professional? I don’t think so. “How ironic it is

that Danny Murphy chose not to discuss either challenge or manager

in respect of those tackles. How selective can someone be? “Maybe

Murphy’s pursuit of a new career in the media does not allow him to

criticise, or fall out with the Premier League big boys. “Instead,

in my opinion, he has selected easy targets that are based on his

own perception and not facts.” Pulis, like Allardyce, also feels

Stoke are wrongly lambasted as a dirty team and pointed to the

Premier League Discliplinary table to prove his point. He added:

“We currently lie seventh in the league and are 10th in the

Disciplinary league. “If you add that to last season we are

currently joint 10th alongside Arsenal, which is quite a feat

considering we spend a great deal more time without the ball than

they do. This is not fabricated, this is fact. “I firmly believe

the game is cleaner today in terms of bad tackles than it ever has

been before, but I wish I could say the same thing in terms of

other ills such as simulation. “Tackling is an art form and we must

never take it out of our game, no matter how much is suits certain

players and certain clubs. “To do so, in my opinion, would destroy

what makes the Premier League and English football in general so

fantastic. “We must guard against rash tackles, whether committed

by most gifted players or just a mere mortal. However, we must also

be realistic that we will never completely eradicate injuries in a

contact sport.”