Do these comments sound familiar to you? Do they perhaps sound like the frustrated sulky French manager that the media loves to hate?
“The amount of pushing and grabbing in the box is out of this world.
“We are okay to deal with Stoke’s set plays, we know the amount of goals they have scored everywhere with them, but I think there’s a limit to the pushing and grabbing, and it makes things impossible. They pushed the boundaries of pushing and grabbing, for sure.
“It’s difficult because you have to have an eye on the ball, you have to be aware of certain situations, but maybe in this case maybe the referees need some extra help. Maybe other assistants, maybe the fourth referee, maybe they need more focus on this situation.”
No, actually, not the words of Arsène ‘Whinger’, but new Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas, only 90 minutes in to his first season in English football and he’s complaining about Stoke’s tactics, and that’s without seeing one of his brightest young talents leave the pitch in an ambulance.
Does he get crucified like Wenger? Is his team branded a bunch of soft, moaning foreigners? Apparently not, as I’ve only heard about these quotes from Stoke boss Tony Pulis himself. Surely he’ll be laying into his opposite number and defending his ‘not that kind of lad’ players?
“I listened to some of the comments that he made in the press room afterwards and they have been blown out of all proportion and I mean that.
“He’s actually said I think there was pushing and shoving in both boxes, but obviously it’s only been reported there was pushing and shoving in our box and that’s the press being the press, they have to do what they have to do.
“Chelsea are as strong and physical as we are and they don’t try and hide away from that fact. We are both competitive teams. They have got where they have got because they have got great players but they have also got competitive players.”
Incredible stuff really. Readers on here will know I’m not Wenger’s biggest fan these days, but the way he is targeted and unsettled by the press is completely unfair and I feel for him on that. He might make his own mistakes, but he has to deal with more crap from the media than any other manager in this league.
In more Arsenal-related news, Robin van Persie has, unsurprisingly, been made the new Arsenal captain. While a striker, never mind an incredibly injury-prone striker, is hardly the ideal position from which to lead a side, I think he is a good option for now as our longest-serving player, and one of the oldest players in the squad. He might not be a shouter, but he’ll lead by example, and for now that’s fine.
Vermaelen will make a good vice-captain for the inevitable six-month absence RvP will face at some point this season, and Jack Wilshere will be in a better position to take the armband in three or four years time when the Dutchman is perhaps past his best.
Article courtesy of Mark Brus at the excellent Arsenal Mania