Pulis hits back at Murphy
Tony Pulis has accused Danny Murphy of shying away from criticising bigger clubs in his recent remarks.
Last Updated: 15/10/10 3:46pm
Stoke boss Tony Pulis has accused Danny Murphy of shying away from criticising bigger clubs when commenting on dangerous tackling.
Fulham captain Murphy recently claimed players are sustaining injuries 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 highlighted.
His controversial comments have caused uproar, with Rovers manager Sam Allardyce challenging Murphy to publicly apologise for his remarks.
Pulis has now also had his say on the matter, accusing Murphy of picking on "easy targets" to avoid upsetting the bigger Premier League clubs.
Reading a statement aloud at Friday'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."
As Allardyce had done a day earlier, Pulis referred to his club's recent disciplinary record and rejected any notion that tackling is worse now than it has been before.
"I'm very, very disappointed to have to sit here today and defend accusations against a club that I am very, very proud to manage," said Pulis.
"We currently lie seventh in the league and if you add last season's disciplinary league to this season's, 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 has ever been, but I wish I could say the same in terms of other ills - such as simulation."
He added: "We must absolutely guard against rash tackles, whether committed by a most gifted player or just a mere mortal.
"However, we must also be realistic in that we will never completely eradicate injuries in a contact sport."