Struggling Premiership clubs field weak teams, says Blatter

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The Independent Football

"I had the opportunity a month ago to speak with an official of West Bromwich Albion and they told me an extravagant story that, when they are meeting big clubs like Chelsea, Manchester United or Liverpool or Arsenal, they will not field the best team because they know they will make no points. They know they are going to lose," Blatter told BBC Radio Five Live.

"So there is something wrong because they will only field their best team when they play Birmingham, Aston Villa, Sunderland, Fulham and so on."

During the show, Blatter also said that the England coach, Sven-Goran Eriksson, and the Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, should get tough with Wayne Rooney if he is to become one of the world's great players.

Blatter is in no doubt who should take responsibility for the teenager: "When you play at the level he is playing he should be called to order," he said. "Definitely his managers should be tougher on him. They should tell him, 'You are so talented but keep playing in the right way'. This guy can go for 15 years but self-discipline and respect for others is essential."