Arsenal, Chelsea


By Tayo Amosu

October 11, 2014

It is very easy to label players of clubs like Chelsea; violent, rash, aggressive and bullish because of their physical nature and playing style but little attention is paid to teams like Arsenal that seem very fragile and do not play very mechanical and physical football.

The facade that the beautiful and fluid passing game Arsenal plays confers on the Arsene Wenger led side is more than can be imagined.

Recently, Arsenal lost 2-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and the match was marred by rough tackles and infringements that made the managers of the clubs, Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho, trade words and almost get physical.

Gary Cahill and Danny Welbeck should have seen straight reds for their tackles, Alexis Sanchez crushed the side of Thibaut Courtois’ head, Oscar throwing elbows and heading Koscielny in the face and so on, the match ended with some players badly wounded.

After the match, Arsene Wenger said: ‘‘Jose says we should have finished with eight men and I return that compliment. I don’t know how Gary Cahill finished the game. I don’t know how Branislav Ivanovic finished the game. I don’t know how Oscar finished the game.’’

This statement reflects Wenger’s attempt to play the victim from a loss marred by physicality.

The drive of this article isn’t to do a match review but to alert teeming football supporters of a video footage that saw Arsenal’s new player, Alexis Sanchez punching Branislav Ivanovic during the match which everyone including the referee, appears to have missed.

The video clip showed a clear-cut case violent conduct as Ivanovic tackles Sanchez and provoked the Chilean to throw a really bad punch at the back of Ivanovic’s head, and the Alexis Sanchez feel down.

The obvious is that the punch wasn’t hard enough to elicit a response from Ivanovic but it’s no doubt an act of violence.

Nothing has been heard from the English Football Association on the conducts of the two teams on the day but this video footage is capable of handing the Chilean a 3 match ban.

Arsene Wenger must really prepare his team for a lot worse attacks from players in the English Premier League and in Europe generally and psyche them into managing their anger, if he would be exonerated from any act of violence from his team.

Arsenal under Arsene Wenger have seemed to innocently play fluid football without the knowledge of the fact that many opposing team are out to break their play and sometimes their spirits with very lousy tackles.

Over the years, Arsenal had gotten hit by long term injuries as a result of knocks and tackles which led to some fractures to Aaron Ramsey and Eduardo some seasons back and the team has always been a subject of attacks.

Therefore, if Wenger would keep it clean on his side, then no Arsenal player should act violently the way Alexis Sanchez was shown to have done against Branislav Ivanovic last weekend.

To vilify an opponent for wrong doings and unfair treatments, Wenger has to be sure that his team players ascribe to the fair play concept or else he loses respect in the football world as the proverbial kettle calling the pot black.