An article from The Athletic’s Dan Sheldon suggests that Southampton players are prone to going down to receive treatment between the 60th and 70th minute, allowing teammates to refuel and rest ahead of a game’s final stages.
His research says this has happened in 14 of Saints’ 24 Premier League matches this season and the piece at least alleges that this could be a deliberate ploy and could be the reason behind Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side’s improved energy levels in the 2021-22 campaign.
Apparently, Adam Armstrong is the player who has played the biggest role in this supposed scheme, having been treated four times this season during that timeframe.
It’s speculation, but the article has stirred up some talk. Most fans are saying it’s nonsense or the kind of thing that the so-called big clubs do all the time. Others are calling for a ban even though no rules are being broken. According to the Mirror, the FA “will be keeping tabs” on it for future matches, whatever that means.
For what it’s worth, new Everton boss Frank Lampard shared his thoughts on this alleged tactic ahead of his side’s clash against Saints on Saturday and he doesn’t seem too convinced nor fussed about it.
“I think it is fair game. I saw the report and I don’t think there’s absolute clarity,” the former Chelsea man said in his pre-match press conference.
“But I do think it’s marginal gains. It’s been going on for years.”
It has been going on for years. It is also a bit of a non-story.