Date: 20th August 2007 at 10:05pm
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Why did Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger feel the need to attack Blackburn Rovers after the 1-1 draw at Ewood Park on Sunday afternoon? Was it justified, or just him moaning like he does? Help me out guys!!!

I write this without the benefit of having seen the match on Sunday afternoon, work commitments have ensured that the only view or opinion I have on the events of Sunday afternoon at Ewood Park are those which I see in print, and the VERY limited highlights that I have seen.

After the game Wenger felt the need to attack Rovers, when he branded them violent. He told the BBC: “I felt there was a desire for violence more than commitment in their challenges.

“We dealt well with the problem we had against a team that was over-physical

Again, as I say I find it very difficult to comment on the subject as I have not seen ANYWHERE NEAR enough to know what exactly happened, but from what I can make out it was nothing more than a competitive match in which Rovers gave as good as they got, with it actually being Robin Van Persie who produced the games worse challenge (which only saw him see yellow, when it maybe should have been red?!?!)

Mark Hughes felt that Rovers had the better of the game, which he felt was competitive, nothing more nothing less and Wenger’s comments disappointed him, he responded (again to the BBC) with: “That attitude by Wenger surprises me.

“The worst challenge was by Van Persie on Stephen Warnock.

“It was very competitive and I thought we dominated the game. We were the better side. We showed great character and equipped ourselves well against a top side

Rovers have had a reputation in the past (and I will hold my hands up and say a couple of years back RIGHTLY so) but just when you think they are betting past this along comes something like this, WHY the need for it Wenger??? EVERYONE knows that as soon as the worlds violence are mentioned in the same sentence as Rovers the VAST MAJORITY will take this as being the truth without any evidence needed.

I CAN’T stress enough that without the benefit of seeing ANY of this myself I don’t know what to think, but I tend (naturally) to be swayed towards siding with the Rovers view on this (as you would expect) but from what I hear and see it would appear that this would not be a blinkered approach to do so. Wenger often sees what he wants to see and nothing more, was the fact that Rovers would not allow Arsenal to play (how dare they!!!) the thing that annoyed him? I honestly don`t know, I hope more of you can shed some light on this for me??


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39 Replies to “WHY The Need For It?!?!”

  • Don’t read too much into what Wenger says to the media, he is only saying things for the benefit of his team, what affect it will have on them is his concern. In the Skysports media celebrity obsessed state of Englsih football, people tend to forget that some managers might actually be thinking of their team rather than the back pages or what another manager thinks.

    Wenger doesn’t care if he is liked or disliked, or if he looks or sounds like an idiot, he only cares about his team and their condition, he will gladly sacrifice being a liked guy if it means maintaining the belief in his young side. Post match interviews are another oportunity to galvanise team spirit with the right comments, do you think Wenger is going to waste this opportunity?

  • Professor Calculus, you are full of ****e. Rovers had a plan coming into this match — play like 11 Robbie Savages (i.e. cheat, act like thugs, dive, and otherwise make nuisances of yourself). Wenger said it was violence because it WAS violence, anyone could see that. For example, Pedersen kneed Fabregas to the head in exactly the same way that Steven Hunt had cracked Petr Cech’s skull last year. The only difference was that Fabregas didn’t get hurt — and also the fact that MGP MEANT to do it, it was quite clear he dropped his knee whereas Hunt didn’t. That incident is not getting publicity merely because Cesc didn’t get hurt, but if he had, rest assured MGP would be suspended for at least 10 games. Face it, your team are a bunch of criminals who can’t compete with skill, so they have to resort to thuggery.

  • im a Arsenal home and away season ticket holder and was at the game and totally agree with wenger, you had one sent off and should have had more ie savage was most probably the dirtiest player and should have been sent off in the first half also savage takes people out like he is a hardman and goes down like a puff, its just plain pathetic. Van Persie did make a very bad tackle on warnock but had just been taken out himself so it was more retaliation and wouldnt have happened had the ref given him the freekick he deserved. overall it was a pathetic dirty performance from rovers and also you have crapy fans that just dont sing till they score and who cannot fill their stadium

  • Reason Wenger said it was a response to a cynical and ugly approach from Blackburn. i recognize that managers say things to motivate their players or niggle other managers at times but here he called what he saw. Throughout the team blackburn were late and violent in the challenges, their plan was apparent and without subtlety, to throw a better side off their game and reduce the football to a level where blackburn can be Arsenal’s equals.

  • wengers comments were spot on and so were warnock’s about RVP. van persie made a bad tackle but the problem is blackburn got on the pitch with an agenda for violence (this point no one argues with) and thus we had to act accordingly. everyone knows arsenal just love to play football we do not have a malicious squad but the way your team appoached the game we had no choice but to make a stand and thats the gist of it. RVP has a hot head ill admit but he was provoked time and again. thats why you dont have too many blackburn fans responding to this article and if they do it will probably be more like toughen up or some **** like its a mans game. there were consistent, late, off the ball challenges on our players right from the start and the message was clear for anyone watching the game. As a footballing contest it was fairly even but sadly that was your second objective of the day. the way you played was a disgrace to the premiership and the game at large end of.

  • Devvil, it wasn’t his knee, MGP used his studs. It’ll go down as an accident, but it definantly looked intentional as he easily could have stepped over Cesc, but nothing will be done about it. It really did warrent a red card. But at the same time, Flamini was lucky to stay on the pitch. He was booked after Savage dived, which was wrong, but he commited enough fouls to get a second yellow in the second half. BUT in all honesty, Blakcburn should have had 3 players sent off. I was expecting a physical game, but I cannot accept the violence (and that IS what it was) that was on display.

  • when an entire team comes out with an agenda like that it stinks of pre-meditation. mark hughes or one of the leaders of the team must have given them the nod to participate in this barbaric manner. if one or two players (primarily savage) behave like that its down to there personality or compensation for lack of talent but when the entire team behaves that way then we know they thought of it before the game and actively pursued this strategy and as blackburn fans you are fokaz to defend your team. just coz you are a fan doesnt mean you turn a blind eye when your team behaves like that. at arsenal we gave eboue and RVP stick for diving coz its not how we want our club represented you should do the same starting with you “hughes da man”

  • Crikey HDM, I think you’ve stirred up a Gooners nest. I think not many BR fans are responding because we’re simply not as worked up about it as you lot. BR played a tough physical game, there’s no doubt about it, we put pressure on your players, and they didn’t respond as well as you’d like. Coming out and saying we were violent because we played % tackled hard is just a bit rich, don’t you think?

  • The Premiership is a tough league and Arsenal has learned to accept that there are teams out there who will come with a plan to disrupt the flow of football by kivking us off the ball. There will be no complaining about that. But there is a thin line between what is acceptable hard tackling and violence, and Blackburn definitely got very close to that line. Its a shame, desert kiwi, that you cannot see that. You are obviously not worked up because your team was not the victim of such ‘tactics’.

  • Hey Prits, fair comment. Yeah there is a fine line between hard tackling & violence, but I don’t think we crossed it. And you are right – of course BR planned to disrupt Arsenal’s game (and that will be the goal of just about every team that you play this year, because of the quality of your passing game). So yeah, I can see your point. I merely disagree about us being violent. I agree with Prof Calc in the first comment, that Wenger’s saying we were violent is a way to galvanise his team – and, let’s face it, BR is an easy target for these comments from a few years ago. Sadly, it takes a moment to acquire a reputation and a life-time to lose it.

  • Lol, there where two teams in the game, Arsenal where as much to blame as Blackburn. Both teams had fall outs on the first game of the season. Arsenal believe because they are the bigger team that they can get away with it and when it does not go there way they have a good moan. Every time these two teams meets it happens.

  • I’m tired of this now. I’ve tried to remain as objective as possible but when Gamst is being vilified for attempting to win the ball and there is a coincidental lack of a mention to Bendtnar’s sickening throat high volley on Dunn speaks volumes of Arsenal’s editing. I have had some decent debate with Arsenal fans over the past 24hours namely prits and Andy-Byor amongst others but this malice from Arsenal fans is disturbing. Call us violent if you wish but please do not insult yoursleves by claiming Arsenal were victims out there. Some of the disgusting challenges dished out by your boys in retaliation were worthy of red cards! So can we please put this issue to bed!

  • when youve finished moaning guys… Blackburn were competitive yes but dirty no… how many players got injured??? One and it was Gallas accidently. You can handle tough games can you???? Stop moaning about it… 1-1 was fair and Blackburn deserved at least that after all the play acting and diving from Arsenal.

  • I think some of the comments from the gooners on here are a bit of an over reaction. The game was physical yes, and sometimes even pretty dirty. I believe Blackburn set out to muscle us out the game (not kick by the way, muscle… there is a difference) and was really pleased by how we responded to that… in marked contrast from last year. This was definitly 2 points lost for us but an invaluable confidence boost… bring on the orks! having read quite a few post by BR fans I’m pretty impressed by what seems to be fairly reasonable and objective arguements but for gds sake guys if your going to have a team with Savage and Bentley in it you’ve to got expect bit of hate every now and then! 🙂

  • fair play kenny lunt…. good post and reasonable. We get plenty hate dont worry… small town, small ground, cant fill it, players dirty, we get it a lot mate…. lol

  • Desert kiwi, thats where you and I will have to disagree :). I do think Blackburn crossed the line on a couple of occassions, and were largely close to that line throughout. But what is surprising is Blackburn’s continued use of these tactics. In last season’s FA Cup game at the Grove, Blackburn were certainly defensive and put in some hard tackles, but you hardly saw this level of vicious tackles. And in the few occassions I have seen Blackburn play, you certainly do not play it as tough as you did on Sunday.

  • Prits I think after the spanking we gave them last season they were a bit wary of getting embarassed. Not sure but I think Mark Hughes came out after the 6-2 loss and said words to the affect of ‘we tried to play football with them… oops’

  • He did say that Kenny Lunt… but if you remember it was 3-2 to Gunners until bout 5 mins left. And we almost equalised as well!!! lol…

  • mish – If you bothered to read the article you will so I AM NOT turning a lbind eye to anything, as I said I did not see the game, I can only go by what I read but from the sounds of things Wenger is doing what he does best moaning because Rovers did not roll over and allowe Arsenal to play the kind of football that they are so good at doing, and the kind of football that would have riped Rovers apart!!!
    Physical and strong, perhaps, over the top and violent perhaps, if you are playing a bunch of fairies. I think Arsenal are a great team, but Wenger is *****ing me off more and more with his constant moaning and lack of respect to opposing teams just because they stop Arsenal doing what they do best.

  • Hughes da man, I will quote desert kiwi – ‘Sadly, it takes a moment to acquire a reputation and a life-time to lose it.’ I could say the exact same thing about Wenger and his ‘moaning’. I dont think there is a lack of respect, and I think Wenger was reponding to a question on the physicality of the game.

  • i have no problem with what the arsenal fans are saying for the most part bar two points 1. violence is hardly the word to use thats abuse of the english language and is a gross exaggeration we were phiysical yes we accept that. 2. to say it went all one way is silly there was RVPs tackle on nelsen and had he been sent off then nelsen couldnt have fouled him to be sent off and it was him reacting after a fair challenge from samba! and then there was the high foot on dunn(who over reacted but like what arsenal fans are complainin anout had the potential to be pretty serious)!

  • perry553 — How can you say that Blackburn have crappy fans? When nearly a quarter of the population come out to see a game, it sure does seem as if the fans are quite supportive and passionate about the team. To give Rovers grief about not being able to fill the stadium is pretty unreasonable! Anyhow, the debate is about the game, not about how nice the town and townsfolk are. I have to say that before this game I had neither a good or bad opinion about Arsenal fans. But, after reading all of the juvenile posts from some of the Gunner supporters, it seems as if there are a lot of whiners in the fold.

  • Fair point mikey! Lol, had forgot the details till you reminded me! As I remember now at 3-2 you decided we can nick a point here, opened up and ‘bang bang bang’ so my point still stands… sort of. For the record you are a team I really like, ever since your miracle season I’ve thought you were a pretty good choice as a neutrals team. Last season i think you played some really good football, infact if I remember rightly Wenger said something to that effect. Sparky seems to have a good, stable long term strategy and makes some excellent buys (I’d have Benni or Santa Cruz at The Grove any day of the week). Still Bentley and Savage… need I say more!

  • lol fair point… Bentley is a very good player as is Savage it is just his in your face attitude that winds people up. good luck for the rest of the season.

  • I saw a few mentions on how poor the crowd was at Ewood, and how poor it is all the time but as I say to SO MANY, Blackburn is a SMALL town in Lancashire, unlike Arsenal we ARE not based in a MASSIVE City like London, which means the gooners can draw of the whole of London (and its surrounding areas) for support. If Rovers had that luxury Ewood Park would sell out EVERY week. As it is in the surrounding areas of Blackburn often see fans decide to go after the “bigger fish” of Manure or Liverpool, or another “bigger side”. Geogoraphy plays a MAJOR part in why Rovers crowds are so small. They may be small but these fans are not fickle unlike so many others (not saying the gooners are though.)

  • HDM, I appreciate that if teams came out and tried to play Arsenal off the park, they would get destroyed, even Barcelona knew that and deployed dirty tactics agaisnt us in the CL final. It is upto Arsenal to deal with the physical side of the game, however, it should not be up to Arsenal to deal with the kind of football that was on display on Sunday. I can honestly say that I cannot recall a game where Arsenal were so clearly attacked. It went beyond strong tackles and disrupting our play. Arsenal were not totally innocent, but the players were responding to unacceptable challenges that the Ref didn’t deal with. How BR finished the game with as many as 10 men is beyond me. I’m not just saying all this because it was Arsenal on the recieving end, but I would be ashamed if my team put out a performance like that, no matter how inferior their technical ability was.

  • I think that all Arsenal fans on this site need to pipe down. You can come on here and call Rovers whatever you want, but lets face facts, you are no saints. Just having a scan through youtube and was not suprised to find the following videos. Please enjoy!!

    I will keep it at that as I don’t want to over do it but my word you guys have a nerve. The videos capture thuggery, violence, diving and cheating showing you to be exactly what you are, a bunch of argumentative people who see things through your red tinted glasses.

  • We’re not ashamed at all mate… it was 50% Rovers 50% Arsenal. Rovers played with power and good passing, people overlook that because they cant see past the tough side… its a shame but something we are used to. We’re not ashamed, far from it… very proud of what our “poor little” club has achieved…

  • I never said Arsenal were innocent, but for the record, there WAS contact with Ljungberg, get yourself to specsavers. Every team does that sometimes, but with Blackburn it seems to be that you choose thuggery over football when you come up against a decent team. Mikey, it was not 50% Arsenal, that’s a ludicrous thing to say. You should be proud of what Blackburn has achieved, but I think you should be ashamed of some of the anti-football your team play. If we wanted to watch men attacking one another we could go to a boxing match, but I go to football to watch 22 men playing a game of football.

  • Still not ashamed mate… you’ve got your opinion and Ive got mine. Yours opinion isnt any better than mine, if you think that then you’ve got some problems. It was 50% Arsenal, the theatrics that Arsenal used was pathetic.

  • One of those videos I popped on shows, on numerous occasions, elbows, kicks and stamps which in my opinion can come under the subheading Thuggery. Or violence, or anti football as Simmy calls it. If that isnt proof then you are really ignorant. And for the record Ljungberg did dive, you go to Specsavers!

  • Mikey, I’m not saying your not entitled to your opinion, I just totally disagree with you. Arsenal did make some strong tackles, but in my opinion it was nearly all Blackburn. When did Arsenal players use theatrics? I recall seeing Savage do it on several occasions, but no Arsenal players.

  • No arsenal players??? very one sided thing to say, Van Persie on several occasions, Eduardo making the most his back injury, Sagna taking his time with his wrist injury. All the Arsenal players (with the exception of Flamini) went down very easily… Fabregas being a prime example. Several times players went down clucthing their face when no apparent head injury had been caused. That is what was winding all the Rovers fans up in attendance….

  • Holding your face doesn’t mean you have an injury to your face. Have you never held your face when you’ve been hurt? It’s a natural reaction. Fabregas didn’t go down easily, he never got a chance to go down easily because every time he had the ball someone like Savage flew in on him. Countless times BR players left their foot in, went in late or just plain fouled. I only recall Van Persie going donw once in the whole game – and that was late on when Nelsen hauled him down when he was through on goal. How about Savage? Went down like Mohammed Ali had just put one on him every time someone got near him. Tried to trip himself up over Toure’s leg to get a penalty, then whined for about 5 minutes that he didn’t get a penalty, not to mention the constant bulldozer tackles! Fabregas did go down once – when Pederson stood on his head! Were you not bothered when your own team does it? Or when your own team has no intentions what so ever of playing the game of football. Their boots should have been replaced by boxing gloves!

  • more runnish being spouted I see, no-one is denying that Savage dived but your constant bias and ignorance is blinding you. Arsenmal have their faults too… you can’t see them. Holding your face either means you have a head injury or your faking one, its not a natural reaction, if you hurt your leg you hold your leg. If your team cant hack what is suppose to be a mans game then that isnt our problem, Wenger – just because we didnt let you play your normal game is no reason to sulk like a child.

  • Oh and yes Fabregas did go down a lot. Not just the once, and Pedersen didnt stand on his head on purpose if your suggesting that then you are wrong or overexaggerating like your manager….

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