Should Arsenal learn to use Chelsea’s dirty tactics?


Arsene Wenger is many things and amongst all that he is, he is a good man, a decent man. Ever wonder why Arsenal has so many fans all over the world (more than Chelsea) although we have not won a lot lately? It is partly because of the kind of club that we are. Precisely, it is because of the kind of club that we have become under Arsene Wenger.

Wenger is a man that goes out to win clean. He will never send out his players to win by hook or crook. That is the gift and curse that embodies Arsenal football club today. It is both admirable and frustrating. It is precisely why we lost against Chelsea. Diego Costa, the villain of the moment, is a man who will start a fight in an empty room. Clearly he went into this match with this exact game plan of riling up our players and getting one of them sent off.

Make no mistake about it, what happened in Stamford Bridge yesterday was a well-rehearsed training ground exercise. They rehearsed this thing many many times. Chelsea started the season very badly and has dropped a lot of points. Unlike previous seasons, their opponents no longer fear them. This shows in the fearless way opponents have played and defeated them recently. They know it, they are scared and jobs are on the line. So the tactic they employed yesterday was a desperate move to win a game and keep their jobs. It worked. Of course it was going to work. Arsenal is the perfect team to carry out this tactic against because just like their boss Arsene Wenger, Arsenal tries to play football without the antics and malicious tricks.

They know it. Everybody knows it. Our reputation of having a soft center is one that was built many years ago after Viera left. Our toughness ended with the dismantling of the Invincibles. Our team is littered with academy trained technicians. The street footballer is a dying breed in Arsenal and not the type that Wenger seeks out. With the exception of Sanchez, Gabriel and maybe Coquelin, we have no fighters. We have no players with that street streak in them. On the pitch, we plan for everything except for what to do when the opponent starts employing the dark arts in order to win. If only Koscielny had stayed down like most players after he was fouled by Diego Costa, Chelsea could have been the team playing with ten men. But Koscielny couldn’t. Koscielny wouldn’t because Arsene Wenger has taught them that such antics is beneath us as a club. This quest for the higher ground is our gift and our curse. Going forward, it is hard to see this aspect of our game changing.

Arsene Wenger is a 66 year old gentle man. He is too old to suddenly become cunning and devious. I don’t see him changing especially for a guy who is notoriously stuck in his ways. Our only hope is that the FA Association is able to come to their senses and punish players who try to tarnish the game with such malicious antics. Of course it is hard to see this happening because, for starters, referees don’t like us. What Mike Dean did yesterday was so predictably Mike Dean. His hatred for Arsenal is more than his disgust for Diego Costa’s unsportsmanlike behavior.

And so it is but if there are two good things that came out of this weekend’s game, it is Manchester City dropping points and Diego Costa digging his own grave because now he is a marked man. Other teams are not like Arsenal. They will try to exploit his madness by baiting him and he will fall for it. He always falls for it and that will be his undoing. Chelsea will not win the league. They cannot play all games like this and they are not the same team that blew everyone away last season. We will not win the league either because… well, we have our own problems.

But there is enough uncertainty this season to keep everyone guessing who the eventual winner will be and it may even be a totally unexpected opponent. This weekend was a disaster but the results of other teams has cushioned the blow a bit and given us hope in the process. But can we capitalize on these slip ups? We find ourselves at crossroads at the moment. The identity of our club is up for debate and possibly revision. It is likely that our other opponents will now come at us with Chelsea’s antics in their search for three points. If we are to continue winning games and surging up the table, we may need to review our team ethic and commitment to sporting purity.

Therein lays our biggest dilemma. Do we continue along this path of clean football or is it time to get our hands dirty and fight deviousness with our own cunning antics? Discuss.

Uche Edochie
Lagos – Nigeria

Tags Mike Dean. Chelsea Wenger


  1. TBH Mourinho and Chelski tactics are not the sort of football I want to see. Costa reminded me of a playground bully, continually going up to Gab and muttering in his hear, I think we can guess what he was saying. What could’ve been a good game was completely ruined by Dean and Costa, and left a nasty taste in the mouth.

    You could see just before ‘the kick’ which was really nothing, Costa was closing in to give another muttering, and Gab lifted his leg to keep him away, bearing the physical marks of already having been physically assaulted by Costa.

    Rather than us adopt bully boy tactics, referees should be disciplined for not picking up on them. We all want to see a bully get his just deserts, and Dean was a complete failure, disciplining the victim as oppose to the offender.

    1. we should use dirty tactics for dirty teams
      look how psg were with chelsea last year….


      that way we havent gotta cry after relying on crap referees with no bottle

    2. We are just too too nice and fragile…… No agression…… No power…… No pressure…….. That’s why we being taken for granted!……. NICE GUYS TAKES LAST!

  2. If one of Arsenal’s players acts like how Fabregas did after Santi’s tackle, I want him benched.
    I think we missed jack in that game. He would have been right up Costa’s face along with Gabriel.

    1. The matter of the fact is, we lacked a leader on the pitch and a leader off the pitch. How foolish is that for a professional player to act like that cheap as Gabriel did. That’s what I call the real cause for the red card and loss, everything else was beyond our control. We failed to do our job because we were scared of Chelsea.

      Arsen Wenger scared of big teams. We lost games to united when they were too poor and we were not turned up to beat Chelsea when they were beatable … for me that’s down to psychological problem.
      United punished us 8-1 and Chelsea 6-0 when we were not good enough. Unfortunately we can’t do that because Wenger is scared of big teams.
      As always we can’t fight for title with that looser mentality. So don’t blame Costa coz he was the same in every game this season the only difference is we were stupid

  3. I will wear my Arsenal merch proudly today but if we ever resort to what I saw yesterday from Chelsea than it will surely be thrown out along with some of those shirts that I thought I could still fit into if I lost some weight.

  4. No. We shouldn’t use those tactics. But we have to prepare for them.

    Look we live in the world of a majority of crooks. Yet decent people achieve things as well. How?

    By preparing themselves to fight.

    Wenger coached in Japan. Wo Der if he ever saw karate discipline. ….those guys don’t act dirty….but they do fight dirty scum fair and square. …and I Ve seen them win (like for real in real life).

    Maybe he can call some Nagoya guys to deal with the mental aspect here

    1. Good valid point mate!

      It’s not as if we weren’t warned,
      MoaningHO actually said before the game that Chelsea will win at all Costs, Whatever it takes!

      The hint was there. . Costs= costa ?

      It would really P??? me off! …
      if the FA don’t take any action towards Costa,
      They are waiting for Deans report,
      Which obviously won’t have much in our defence!
      Hopefully he will face a ban too.

      Arsenal should officially complain to the police as well,
      Since they are law abiding citizens ?
      At the end of the day, Costa committed violent conduct as well as GBH on Gabriel’s neck.
      A girly attack just like Suarez’s, so rightly he should face a similarly banned.

  5. Gabriel ruined the game for us, not Costa, whose antics are clearly known. Not Dean, Gabriel.
    Had it been Ramsey, Giroud, or Mert that had been so stupid, none of you would have been talking about Dean.
    We now know Gabriel’s weakness. Hopefully he will work on it as the other strikers in the league do too.

    1. Hahaha Yes! Your right…
      Giroud didn’t get a yellow card for decent and then sent off against Dinamo ???? grab ?

      1. That is my point, everyone pig piled on him and didn’t blame the ref. there is no excuse for what Gabriel did.

    2. Uhm no, it was Dean who ruined the game. Gabriel’s a hot head and when feelings get the better of him, it’s team mates responsibility to control that player. But they did nothing.

      So original fault lies at Costa for being a pig, then befalls to Sackless-Dean who’s supposed to be the one unbiased person on the pitch, and after those 2 mugs we can blame Gabriel. Stop being a tampon boy and be glad that at least someone in our team has balls to stand up for bullies like Costa.

      1. That is exactly the issue: what you wrote. The responsibility is Gabriel’s. Taking responsibility for stupid actions is not part of Arsenal’s team culture at the moment. Another example: everyone bomb forward and blow off protecting against the counter. It has happened time and again – bewildering. There is no accountability

  6. It’s sad what happened in that game…but I’m surprised if we didn’t expect it. Come on, we’re talking about Chelsea here and Maureen. Arsenal needs to be differently smart with different opponents.

  7. The world is a jungle and only him who thinks like an animal can survive in a jungle. When you win, you have won; how you won is secondary.

  8. Mike Dean never fails to disappoint. I’m bitterly disappointed in him. Like someone said in the previous article. He should be demoted to refereeing championship clubs for a month or two. That should be he’s sanction. Now, for me to let bygones be bygones because there’s no way in Hell yesterdays result can be reversed. I actually only wanted to mention that Oliver kid would’ve been better suited for the Chelsea Arsenal game. Same one blowing the Spurs Palace game. Think he was fourth official though. Just destroy Chelsea when we meet again. Irrespective of where, League, C/league or any cup. Hate it when Mourinho has something bad about Wenger to say after the match. COYG!

  9. *Look at last 3 seasons and see how many times we’ve come back from losing positions.
    *We only score 1 times in the last 8 against Chelsea, that is really poor.
    *Our team is mentally not in the right state of mind after we go behind, you saw even against Dianmo.
    *We play right into Chelsea hands when we play them, we hardly create anything.
    *Yesterdays match you can blame the referee from what happened after 45 minutes. But in the first half we didn’t do much just like the other matches.
    *Remember we fielded our best team possible yesterday and we still weren’t good enough in first half.
    *Wenger needs to give Sanchez a one week holiday, that guy is so fatigue you can see it sometimes when he is even shooting.

    1. I really think our mental state would’ve helped if Wenger had spent. He himself made that point when he bought Ozil, that just his presence lifted the team, irrespective of what he actually did.

      Everyone knew we needed a backup DM, and the fact that Coq was going to miss some games was more likely than Christmas coming once a year, so Wenger not only doing nothing, but failing to hire an essential player, must have had a negative effect on the team.

      1. I know you are aright there, obviously we needed players. First line of failure is related to Wenger not buying anyone. But the players in the team are playing for Arsenal one of the big European side (alebit top 16 only) they should do better. It’s the same reason why we go behind in the first leg of knockout stage, and try to stage a comeback in the 2nd leg for the past 4/5 seasons. I think it is only one Barcelona tie where we lead after first leg 2-1.

  10. Yesterday Cazorla was the poorest player for us. Firstly he is not quick enough to come over and help translate words to Paulista in Spanish, I know he only knows a little of Spanish but better than nothing. Oscar comes over to talk to Paulista in Portuguese.

    Then Cazorla just walks off, doesn’t separate Paulista from Costa. Coquelin intercepts but is too late, Paulista has already walked back on Costa.

    Yesterday is probably going to be the same reason we lose against Stoke away again later this season. They will bully us and we will lose the game. Pulista and Coquelin are the only players that showed aggresion.

    1. Caz as the captain, should’ve complained to the referee of Costa’s consistent bullying, but his sending off was an absolute joke.

      People can go on and on about us being more aggressive, but we have execute legal aggression. There were four officials on that pitch, who picked up every single little transgression of ours, and punished them to the full extent of the footballing law, yet failed to notice the massive transgressions of Costa. It absolutely stinks, and it shows how careful we have to be with any sort of aggression.

      1. The tv coverage has all the evidence that we need to put a case against the negligence and the wrong doers!
        I really hope that the club do something about it.

  11. First off ..great article and a very good question.

    I would not want to see any AFC player lower himself to Costa behavior, that’s for sure. On the other-hand we are very naive with these so called tricks and antics for lack of better description. It was always said that English football and PL clubs are far behind their fellow Europeans with this type of stuff. Like players going to ground for no reason and winding opponents up with insults and what not. Chelsea it would seem have picked up a few ideas, maybe Mourinhos time in Italy and Spain is where it came from. Or he could encourage his foreign players to use what they’ve learned.

    English commentators pundits basically everyone in England used to throw a hissy fit whenever our French players went down too easily, not the case anymore it would seem. It is becoming common practice these days and even though Wenger used to admit how respectful he is of English football for not adopting these traits ..he must move with the times or get left behind.

  12. “We will not win the league either because… well, we have our own problems.”

    Ha ha 😀

    Honestly, I wouldn’t mind an underdog like West Ham winning the title (if we don’t). I know they won’t do it, but hey, what do I know 🙂

  13. I don’t want any of our players to be like that **NO SWEARING PLEASE** of a human being Costa.
    I would like us to be more aggressive without the ball. We really do need to improve as a team when we don’t have the ball.
    Recently when we have the ball we have been so slow moving it around. Our passing has been very poor recently.
    Let’s get our **NO SWEARING PLEASE** together

  14. Great article Uche, I wrote yesterday that we needed a change from top to bottom, and includes not being as gentle and as naive as we have been in the last decade under Wenger.

    I wouldnt like to have a player as ugly and nasty as Costa, but if the difference was winning league or 4th place, I think we would all reconsider.

    We dont have leaders in the team, we have not had one in a long, long time. No Adams, No Viera, no big characters that the team can get behind under unfavorable conditions. Players that know how to be the first one to get in someones face as well as knowing when to pull team mates from the brink. True leaders. Every successful team has them.

  15. Also I’d like to see Joel Campbel get a full game. Sanchez should be rested, just like he should’ve been (like not even on the bench) against Dinamo. Pair Ramsey with Flamini.

    Ozil been getting into physical challenges lately I noticed more so when we are losing. It was his challenge that ended up in Sanchez getting that rare second half chance vs Chelsea.

    You saw yesterday in the first half Walcott is not a striker. He is better on the wings and taking corners. Ever time ball was set through he is going away from goal. Only once he opened up trying to curl a shot but went into keepers hands. vs Tottenham

    —————–Giroud———Ozil (SS)————–

    Don’t rest Monreal or Bellerin, otherwise it is a guaranteed loss. So maybe one. Ozil in support striker role like Bergkamp. We need other payers to score. This will be a great opportunity to those players we need goals from. I’m not in favour of Ox, he doesn’t seem interested in a game for 90 minutes, maximum is 40 minutes. Same as Walcott, but he is more productive from right doing cutbacks a better corner taker than everyone else.

    What do you think?

  16. You say we have a soft centre but we frustrated Chelsea to the point of not getting any clear chances in the first half. Costa commits 8 acts of violent conduct because he is so frustrated. If the referee does his job then Chelsea go down to 10 men with Arsenal in the ascendency. That match was decided by 2 cheats – Costa and Dean.

    To suggest Arsenal become cheats to beat this is disgusting and abhorrent. Arsenal frustrated and stifled Chelsea and then the referee failed to do his job. Don’t paint it like Arsenal were bullied into this loss, we weren’t. We were cheated.

    I’ll say the same thing I’ve said before – cheating should NEVER be approved of. If Arsenal can’t win legally, they don’t deserve to win. Doesn’t mean we have to win pretty, but cheating is disgusting and should never be advocated.

  17. Headline question?
    Answer: NO!
    This scenario has happened before, especially when Leeds ruled the roost and they too cheated their way to glory.
    We are THE Arsenal and way above that!

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