Kieran Trippier admits he would love to wind Man United up
Kieran Trippier admits he would love to wind Man United up in the Carabao Cup final – and questions why everyone is ‘kicking off’ about Newcastle’s tactics under Eddie Howe as he hits back at Erik ten Hag for calling them ‘annoying’
- Kieran Tripper revealed he ‘loves’ the underhand tactics employed by Newcastle
- The right-back insisted it is ‘about being clever’ and ‘using your experience’
- Ahead of the Carabao Cup final, Trippier said Newcastle will be ‘cute’ to win it
Eddie Howe may have shied away from comparison to Diego Simeone, but Kieran Trippier wears a smile as cunning as Newcastle’s underhand tactics when the likeness of the two managers is put to him.
‘Yes, I love it,’ he says as we discuss his team’s alleged ‘s***housery’. Given Trippier won La Liga with Simeone at Atletico Madrid, you might well expect him to embrace the wiliness of such ways.
This, however, is eye-widening relish. It is also a two-fingered response — or two-footed, even — to Erik ten Hag, the Manchester United boss who ahead of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final, has branded Newcastle as ‘annoying’. In doing so, he has joined Liverpool and Arsenal in attempting to call time on the time-wasting, among other irritations.
‘Everyone is entitled to their opinion,’ says Trippier, and you know where this is going.
‘But I have experienced it a lot in Spain. It’s about knowing when to slow a game down. If the opposition are having more of the ball and are on top, of course you’ve got to kill the game. You’re not going to take a quick throw-in and say, ‘Carry on’. You have to manage the game.
“I love it’: Kieran Tripper said he has enjoyed his team’s alleged ‘s***housery’ so far this season
The 32-year-old is set to lead his side out in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester United
‘Some teams are not happy with us this season, but it’s about being clever in that moment, about using your experience. Opposition fans are not going to like it either, because it’s against their team. But as a neutral, I think it’s good to see. I don’t see why everyone’s kicking off about it, it’s good!’
With Manchester United the in-form team and favourites with the bookmakers, might we see the same practices employed today?
‘Of course we will,’ says Trippier. ‘You’ve got to have that mentality. If you want to win, if you want to be successful, you have to be cute in every single game.
‘You look at teams like Real Madrid and how successful they have been, and they’ve had players like Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, and they were the best at it. If you want to be successful, you have to manage the game well, and at the right time.’
Howe laughed when he was asked earlier this month about a Daily Mail article headlined: ‘How nasty Newcastle became masters of the dark arts – Eddie Howe is no longer Mr Nice Guy after he spent time in Madrid studying Diego Simeone’.
The head coach confirmed he had been to see Simeone and Atletico, but he played down the suggestion he left having taken his pick of those streetwise traits. Trippier, it appears, did help himself.
‘The best for me was Stefan Savic at Atletico. He used to pull people’s hair, even in training. It was crazy. I love it.’
And what was Simeone like? ‘Don’t mess with him or you’re coming off. I have seen that on a regular basis. I was one of them, I was on the wrong end at AC Milan away. It’s not pretty, but it’s about respect. I just learned so much from him — my defending, my positioning, I matured.
‘I just learned so much’: Tripper had a successful spell at Atletico Madrid under Diego Simeone
The Newcastle right-back smiled hearing comparisons between Eddie Howe (R) and Simeone
‘It’s the same with the gaffer here. He came to watch Atletico train when he didn’t have a job. We have always had that contact and relationship.’ Howe had signed Trippier for Burnley in 2012.
‘I am just honoured and proud he gave me another opportunity to work with him and try to create history here,’ Trippier says. ‘I think he’s an incredible manager.’
It is with some justification that many Newcastle supporters label Trippier as the club’s most transformative signing of recent decades. England internationals had long stopped joining their team, especially when stuck in the bottom three. For Trippier, the gratitude of those on Tyneside appears when he least expects it.
‘Taking my kids to school the other day,’ the dad of three says, ‘the headmaster is coming out and saying ‘Thank you!’
‘Even some of the kids’ dads, they say just how proud they are, how excited that they might go down to London. There’s a really good feel around the city. When I go for dinner with my wife, it’s the exact same. They’re so passionate and thankful.’
One thing captain Trippier is not thankful for is a question that this, at 32 years old, might be his last chance to lift a trophy.
TOON’S DIRTY TRICKS
1 – Jamaal Lascelles has twice been booked for interfering with play whilst warming up as a substitute. In November, with Newcastle defending a 1-0 lead, their captain prevented Chelsea from taking a quick throw-in. Two months later, the defender stopped Arsenal from doing likewise as they were chasing a winner in added time.
2 – Callum Wilson appeared to scuff the penalty spot with his studs moments before Aleksandar Mitrovic’s spot-kick for Fulham at St James’ Park last month. The forward promptly slipped and ended up kicking the ball twice, meaning the effort was disallowed, despite beating Nick Pope in goal. Newcastle went on to win 1-0.
3 – Nick Pope was accused of trying to waste time when he twice went down against Liverpool, most contentiously in the 93rd minute with the scores level at Anfield, leading to a 94-second stoppage. Fabio Carvalho grabbed a 98th-minute winner, but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp still complained: ‘The game was interrupted constantly for some reason.’
‘I might have 10 more years, I might retire at 40, you never know!’ he bites back.
‘We’re in a cup final, but we want to be where Man City are, where Man United are, where all the top teams are. We want to play in the Champions League, we want to be challenging. So hopefully this is the first of many.
‘I certainly believe this club has a great future ahead of it. And they have the perfect manager to lead them there.’
Just don’t ask Howe about comparisons to Simeone, you’d be wasting your time. Much like his team, some might argue.
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