Despite the lazy press constantly portraying Arsene Wenger as a man who would like to outlaw tackling from football, choosing instead to have players wear ballet skirts and using pink-tipped wands to regain possession from an opponent, the Arsenal manager says he’s very fond of his tackle. Tacklers, sorry.
However, he insists that tackling is a technique and if we accept that there are some players that can barely pass wind, let alone a football, there are going to be those for whom tackling is a challenge too.
“Tackling is a technique and if it is done well with the desire not to hurt but to win the ball it is a fantastic technique”, he said, before suggesting that some players make up for their lack of technique with excessive force.
“Personally I like players who are brave, but with the right spirit. I think the bravest players I have met are those who were physical but did not hurt people. Usually the players who play to hurt are cowards”.
Arseblog News is unsure to whom Arsene Wenger might be referring just before a game against Stoke City but I’m sure we’ll figure it out soon enough. The boss went on to laud some of his players whose tackles, whilst at Arsenal, were beyond reproach.
“We had plenty here. Sol Campbell, Steve Bould, Nigel Winterburn, Lee Dixon, they were all great tacklers.
“All the old generation were great tacklers but the game has changed, the pitches have changed. You look at games played in the Fifties and Sixties and you don’t see any grass. That changes everything. We have more injuries today because the ground is hard. You have less tackles”.
Having seen three of his players suffer career threatening injuries at the feet of bad tacklers, we feel confident that the boss knows a good tackle when he sees one.
And to finish, a stat from journalist Philippe Auclair who says: Number of injuries sustained by Abou Diaby since Dan Smith’s tackle on 1 May 2006: 28. Back in two weeks, according to Wenger. Hmm.
That speaks volumes.