Arsene Wenger has shown a little fire and hit back at today’s press conference after Faye and Sorensen branded the Gunners “soft” and “spineless” before and after the Stoke City match at the weekend. Partially defending his men and partly calling Stoke cowards and cheats the Boss had this to say
For me, you need to have more courage to play football when you know someone’s tackling you from behind without any intention to play the ball, with only one intention to hurt you and I can show you some tackles where I can prove what I say.
The one who is tackling is not the brave one, for me the brave one is the one trying to play football. It happened at the weekend. Do you really feel that Delap tried to play the ball when he tackled Walcott or that Shawcross tried to play the ball when he tackled Adebayor off the pitch? All the players have been injured deliberately.
To say that Walcott is not brave and the brave one is the player who tackles Walcott from behind – it’s just not true. It is something that I want to establish. The brave one is not the one who tackles from behind the player who tries to play football. That’s the coward.
I was probably a bit mealy mouthed in my criticism of these two tackles (and I didn’t mention the late, from behind tackle on Sagna) but that’s because every time I mention that teams get away with over the top fouls like this I get a load of criticism. But the boss here is absolutely correct and I should have been a bit more honest about how I felt at the time.
Stoke clearly tackled at least twice with intent to injure. Watch the MOTD highlights, at 3:15 in that video Shawcrass tackles Adebayor from behind, studs on the the ankle, after the ball has clearly gone out of play.
For me, that is as clear an intentional and (as Arsene would say) cowardly attack on Adebayor as I have seen since Dan Smith broke Diaby’s ankle.
And Rory Delap wasn’t “late” as the announcer so generously puts it, he has nothing in mind except to take Theo down. He can’t catch him, so he stops him and removes him from play with an intentional scything down of the young man.
But here’s the deal… clearly the EPL doesn’t give two shits about how many talented young men have their careers ended by talentless thugs, clearly the EPL rewards cowardice from thugs like Shawcrass, and so, my response is — fine. Arsenal need to start playing the same way and Arsenal fans, like the shit heels at Stoke City, need to start cheering when one of our players intentionally injures one of their players and booing their injured player as he’s taken out of the game (again, watch the highlights).
Fuck fairness. Fairness would be if Stoke were equally punished for their transgressions. Maybe it’s time for Arsenal supporters, Arsenal players, and Arsene to start cheating, to get dirty, and start throwing some mud on their opposition. Evidently, that’s what the Premier League bosses and players want.
Unfortunately, this kind of cheating is subtle and you have to spend years working on making it look like you are clumsy instead of angry. Years that could have been spent honing dribbling skills or passing or developing real talent. But evidently, that’s the kind of player that the EPL and the fans wants, so let’s start giving them some!
Good luck winning a World Cup ever again, but at least you’ll have your “beautiful” game, Stoke and Birmingham!