Crystal Palace left back Patrick van Aanholt has discussed his time working under manager Sam Allardyce, joking about the manager's defensive style of football.
The duo worked together at both Sunderland and Crystal Palace, with the Dutch defender proving to be one of Allardyce's key players. Allardyce is known for his emphasis on resolute defending, and his sides have often been seen relying on long balls from their defence towards a target man.
He said: "He just comes out a day before the match. Two days, you only see him on Thursday and Friday.
"On Thursday and Friday you see him and on Saturday when we have a game. From Sunday till Wednesday he's in Dubai."
Van der Meijde, who worked with Allardyce at Ewood Park, then recounted a story from his time at the club, laughing about the manager's preference of long balls towards strikers.
He claimed: "At Blackburn, he did a tactical training. Long balls from the back. We had a tall striker named Samba.
"Long balls and headers, that was his idea of a tactical training. I thought 'what the hell is this?'"
Van Aanholt replied: "Yeah bro, he does the same with us. But he does know exactly what to do to win. Sometimes he amazes me. Sometimes he says 'play the ball into the channel' and if we don't do it, we lose. And then he says 'you see! You don't listen to me!' And if we do what he says, we win. Crazy."
After helping Sunderland avoid relegation to the Championship, Allardyce left the club to become the England manager. However, his reign was brief and ended in controversy, and Allardyce left the role to take charge of Crystal Palace.
His most recent managerial spell came at Everton last season. He guided The Toffees to eighth in the Premier League, but left the club during the summer as fans grew frustrated with the team's style of play.