Arsene Wenger was happy with the Arsenal players performance against Tottenham yesterday, despite their failure to turn dominance of possession into three points on the day. He admitted that it was defensive errors that gifted the Spuds the lead, but he seemed most upset about Tottenham’s time-wasting tactics all the way through the 90 minutes.
Wenger said after the game: “Yes, we lost the ball in our half. But I must give credit to my team because once again we came back and we put a huge effort in with a high workrate all together. It’s one of the few times that we’ve had so much possession against a Tottenham team since I’ve been here, but they defended well. You have to give them credit. Younes Kaboul and Jan Vertonghen did well, as well as Hugo Lloris. They took every second they could again, to make the game last as little as possible. I would like to see the referee deal with that in the proper way for once.
“They tried to make it as simple as possible – they tried to gain time. Slowing the game down is normal and I understand it completely. But the referee is there to make the flow of the game respected and I would like an English referee to do it for once. People pay money in the stands to watch football. It’s as simple as that. It’s only a respect of the people who pay money to watch football.”
When asked if the referee should punish time-wasting more often, Wenger was quite clear: “Book them straight away. When the keeper gets the ball and walks from one side of the goal to the other side to keep the ball out, give him a yellow card and then the next time he’ll take it where the ball is.”
In the second half, Arsenal had nearly 80% of the possession as Spurs sat back and soaked up the pressure, and to put it frankly they should have scored more than once in the time allotted. Spurs may have wasted time, but Arsenal wasted their goal-scoring chances!