Do Arsenal REALLY need to react more to rough tactics?

Arsene Wenger defended the way his Arsenal players handled themselves in a tough game on Tyneside yesterday, praising the mental control and composure that stopped the likes of Monreal and especially Francis Coquelin, who seemed to be targeted by the Newcastle players, from reacting and picking up our own bookings or even a red card.

The manager of the Magpies, Steve McLaren, bemoaned the referee´s insistence on showing yellow cards to his players too rashly, but if you look at the challenges, every one deserved it and there could have been more. As reported by The Mirror today, McLaren actually suggested that Coquelin made too much of his tackles, especially the one by Mitrovic that got him sent off.

He said, “I have seen it over and over The ball has come over his head, he is looking at the ball. There is no intent, there is no malice. It is coming down and he has stamped on his foot.

“I am very surprised after the way their player rolled about that he was able to carry on.

“It was definitely not dangerous. I hope I can appeal. No doubt we will lose it. But we want to appeal.”

No one else seems to feel that way, however, as both pundits on Match of the Day, former Gunner Martin Keown and Ruud Gullitt, feel that the physical and sometimes dangerous approach of Newcastle was deliberate and also that Arsenal players should have reacted more.

They thought that the Gunners were too nice and without a strong reaction to these tackles, another ref might have let the home team keep fouling us and getting away with it. We have seen this approach from opposing teams before (Stoke) and although I understand why Wenger is pleased when his team takes the high ground, is it time for us to start being smarter and make sure that the officials do not let other sides give us the rough treatment and kick us out of our football flow?

Keown was talking about players sticking up for each other and about Arsenal being `too nice´ and he has a point. Do we need to be nastier to stop this happening and perhaps cut down the injury problems at the same time?

Tags Coquelin Keown Wenger


  1. i wouldn’t use the word “rough”,that’ll be us adding dirt to our beautiful game. “tough” is the word, we need to be more tough on the pitch.

    by the way WTF is it am i reading bout us seriously going for Mahrez? hahaha wenger ditched Martinez for Mahrez??

    1. guys how many worldclass players do you think we have?
      my take would be
      if coquelin bellerin and monreal can take their form throughout the season they can also fit the bill.i have no problem with chambers coz he has once been nominated for the golden boy award.wilshere too coz he is englands best player. my worry though is on welbeck ox and walcott. these guys lack instincts and football intelligence ox kicks the ball too hard and lacks contribution in the final third.walcott has no tricks and doesnt track back.welbeck lacks the final product in his game but he would make a great winger though
      if you are gonna slate me about ramsey go ahead because for me he will be a legend and he plays better than most present day midfielders

      1. I like your sense of humor..Ramsey is world class?? I hope you whisper when you say that.Secondly define what WC is because if you are trying to categorize these players with Messi,Ronalda,Yaya,Aguero,Fabregas and Co then i am afraid ONLY Sanchez even comes close to being world class

        1. So you mention fabregas but not Ozil?? Hi man are you on drugs? Ozil have the highest number of assists in Europe since 2008, + whether you believe it or not Koscielny is world class centre back, up there with terry, pique, kompany and so on. Do you even doubt CECH as world class??? I believe Ramsey is not, coz he is not consistent enough. Cazorla ?? You have a case!

        2. Ramsey is more than a match up with Fabregas in my opinion. Cazorlawould waltz into any other Premier team. Stop belittling the players we have!

    2. beautiful game? Arsenal plays the most boring football ive seen for a long time. Real Madrid does it, Barca has realized its the way to go and subsequently won the treble with it, Dortmund had huge success with it and Mourinho is partially using it. What I’m talking about is counterattacking. Less injuries, harder to defend against and highly effective. Sure, playing Wengerball gives us a couple of fantastic goals per season, but I’d trade them in a heartbeat for victories in matches Wengerball is hopeless (top 4 and established defenses with good ~counterattacks~)

  2. As long as the ref does his job like he did yesterday then I’ve got no problem with the way we reacted. But the ref won’t always have that level of control and that is when Arsenal sometimes go missing and need to stop being so “nice”.

    1. @trudeau, that’s correct, because too much of that reaction (over reacting) makes team looks stup*d, and very annoying to watch or play against. Barca comes to mind. Ask Ibrahimovic how does he feel when he was surrounded with bunch of crying babies lolz.

  3. 2 more days n the window will be over.

    Wenger has lost his touch n football magic.

    Just look at what he was doing in the tunnel with the players.

    The man has lost ideas.

    Change change change change manger now.

  4. The rest of our team should have a more physical and aggressive approach towards the game like le coq, with close marking and breaking up our opponents play!

    1. I was so impressed with Coquelin’s temperment yesterday. He was clearly targeted as an easy mark to lose his head and get a card/sent off. After Mitrovic’s red card I was worried that Marriner would look for an opportunity to even things out. But Coquelin’s et al never gave him the opportunity. This was a big game in Coquelin’s learning curve that is becoming less steep by the week.

  5. more of the reason why i wanted Vidal in that team, we need someone that can intimidate the opponent teams…

  6. The game has changed that you can’t be “rough”, that’s why 5 players were sent off in the PL yesterday and there were loads of yellow cards.

    But yes players need to be hard without being dirty ie play on the edge which requires discipline and they showed that but the lack of players reacting and to bad fouls was very strange. You can shout , surround and appeal fouls and look after your team mates and that seemed to be absent – very professional or didn’t care ?

    1. Very good call FT I have seen a change in the last 5 years even. Basically never go to ground to win a ball from behind. Never go to ground inside your own box. Learn to take the extra steps to get slightly ahead of the player before the tackle.

  7. Off topic: two great results yesterday for this gooner with chelsea and liverpool losing i would love to get the “hattrick” with man u losing to swansea later! Coyg!

  8. Heard this morning that we will make a last ditch-bid for cavani . I think its unlikely that psg let him move ,if so why not try for hulk of zenit , fast strong and hes got a real cannon in his left foot

  9. Mourinho is angry with the lack of Chelsea’s transfer activity as they’ve only brought in:
    – Pedro
    – Rahman
    – Begovic
    – Kenedy
    – Nathan

    That level of activity would Christmas to Arsenal fans ??

  10. you are talking about yaya toure and fabregas. listen can they play in wing positions and also can they use their weaker foot the same way ramsey does.and after mancity was dominated by manu and lost 4 2 i have lost my respect for them cazorla is the best midfielder in the league ozil is the worlds best no 10 he is only burdened by tracking back.mancity should have lost 8 0 to barcelona sanchez skills are better than neymar hazard pedro bale and the rest. we shall meet bayern later on and you tell me if iam right or wrong

  11. I dont are about tactics for now get my team together with good players then we talk about tactics. get me “chicarito” his work is to tap the ball into the net,he is not a great passer striker like OG

  12. Yesterday’s game involved a lot of bad tackles on the part of newcastle. That said, I feel only 1 had any intent and that was the Thauvin one, which was only meant to be a “reducer” as Keown said – a tackle that is intended to just let the opposition know you mean business and to make them back off. In general most of Newcastles bad tackles were due to getting beaten and just putting in a poor tackle as a result of it.

    The red card IS 100% a red card, but it was not deliberate. The referee’s handbook deems a tackle worthy of a red card if it is “Reckless and dangerous”. The player TOTALLY missed the ball and made contact with studs on the shin of the player. This is the absolute epitome of the description and could have easily injured Coquelin – thus red card. It wasn’t with malice or intent, but it is a player’s responsibility to not make tackles that can endanger the opposition and Mitrovic failed to do that.

    There were several yellow cards – all rightfully given. Colback SHOULD have been booked but the referee was lenient as all of his fouls were just little break up fouls and considering the extent to Newcastle’s disciplinary woes and the mood in St James’ he avoided this. He booked Cazorla to appease the crowd despite this being not a yellow card by any stretch. These (plus the missed penalty) were the referees only errors in the whole game.

    Arsenal did not need to be more “tough” yesterday. We dealt with the physical challenges by playing our own game and not being intimidated or put off. The referee dealt with the opposition properly and all is fine. The problem comes when referees do NOT do this – which is far too often the case. Then I feel we do need to be a bit more aggressive in our own tackles and face up to players injuring our own – not illegally but just to let them know what we think of them. Throughout yesterday we did win alot of the 50-50s so it was not a case that our tackling was weak. Theo was muscled out quite alot though, which highlighted how he needs to play. In many ways, Newcastle going down to 10 totally negated Theo, which was a shame because his movement was great yesterday even if his finishing sucked balls.

    In short – we don’t really need to change our mental tactics in a game like that. Hats off to the referee for his disciplinary control, shame he missed the pen but he had a good game. On another day we may have had to “get angry” like Keown said, but today was not that day.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors