Arsene Wenger's contradictions on English football

Arsene Wenger has had contradicted himself by suggesting that the Andy Carroll method of football is what makes the Premier League so great.

He’s got a point to a certain extent because that challenge from Carroll on David De Gea earlier in the week was the sort of old school, no rubbish sort of challenge which would have brought a smile to the faces of many fans.

However, it’s a little confusing because in the past Wenger has been the number one advocate against that style of play, not just through Arsenal’s style but through his criticism of officials.

The Frenchman likes his Arsenal team to play football in the right, pure way which has made them one of the best teams to watch in the English game.

However, that makes them a target for the sides that aren’t quite so sophisticated and more likely to produce the sort of tactics, which Carroll would fit straight into.

On the one hand you have pure football sides, on the other hand you have teams like West Ham United and Stoke City, who have found a very effective way to ‘bully’ their way to victories.

Where Wenger trips himself up in relation to this view of English football is through his previous comments about referees.

Wenger has been banging on for a very long time that officials should be doing more to protect players, like his own, and teams that use pass and move styles of play, which make them targets.

It just seems a little odd as to why he can praise one style of football, which is something he has criticised in the past.

Where he makes a good point in relation to English football and what he’s probably getting at more is the passion, commitment and drive shown by players in sides that use long ball tactics.

Players in a Stoke or West Ham side have to raise their determination and passion levels, effectively gibing everything to try and eradicate the gap quality between themselves and the opposition.

This rough style of play can also be used as a very clever tactic based around reputation and intimidation, which is something Arsenal have been forced to deal with before.

There can be little doubt that Carroll’s challenge on De Gea put the Spanish goalkeeper on edge for the rest of the game and prevented him from coming out to catch and punch crosses much more than would otherwise be the case.

So Wenger is right in one respect but his side are victims because they like to play good football over rough football and that is something which he will always have to cope with.

What do you make of his views?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch