Ian Wright defends Tottenham star Mousa Dembele - Calls him a monster

Mousa Dembele

Ian Wright defended Tottenham's Mousa Dembele, who avoided a booking against Arsenal.

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright defended Mousa Dembele from criticism from a caller on BBC Radio 5 Live's 606.

During the show broadcast on Sunday night, Wright also came up with an unusual description for the Tottenham midfielder.

Wright was responding to suggestions Dembele was lucky to escape a booking during the North London derby, and was happy to speak up for the Belgian.

He said: "I was watching Dembele today and when you look into that midfield, he is a monster in there. He's so big and so strong and you have to take into account his physicality.

"He's just going round it normally. People might see it as a foul in their eyes, he's just going about his business. May be he walks the line, because he's big, and strong, not gangly but if you get in his space you feel you could get knocked out of the way."

Wright went onto add that he did not understand where the criticism of Dembele was coming from, but added that he would never tell any one their opinion was invalid, a cheeky dig at John Terry's swipe last week at Robbie Savage, reported by The Mail.

  TeamFoulsWon Tackles
Mousa Dembélé Tottenham 4 4
Dele Alli Tottenham 3 1
Danny Rose Tottenham 3 1
Alexis Sánchez Arsenal 3 0
Mathieu Debuchy Arsenal 2 9
Eric Dier Tottenham 2 1
Erik Lamela Tottenham 2 6

Dembele was whistled for four fouls against Arsenal, but also won four tackles. Referee Martin Atkinson did not believe any of his 'offences' to be serious enough to warrant a booking, but if he had been issued with a yellow card, he would have been forced to tread more cautiously.

The midfielder certainly has a physical dominance compared to the diminutive Santi Cazorla, but he is not in the Marouane Fellaini category, a player who is gangly and difficult for referees to deal with as a result.

Certainly in recent weeks, Dembele has displayed a 'freak-ish' or 'monstrous' ability, and Wright acknowledged ahead of the kick-off he was worried about him. It is out of this respect for his ability and physical attributes, where his comments come from.

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