Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has criticised the physical approach taken by Everton in the recent 0-0 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates stadium. Arsenal and Everton came into the encounter with the possibility of finishing in the top four. As a result, there was a lot at stake in the match. Wenger said after the match that he was not happy with some of the tackles made by Everton, while he also criticised referee Neil Swarbrick for not punishing Everton. Wenger especially singled out midfielder Darren Gibson for his tackle on winger Theo Walcott.
Wenger said that he was happy to see his team deal with the physical threat in the second half, but he is disappointed at not having taken all three points from the match. Everton manager David Moyes, though, defended the approach of his team saying that it is the norm of northern clubs to be tough in the tackles. Arsenal did not create a lot of opportunities in the first half, but Wenger felt that his team should have won all three points for their play in the second half. As a result of the dropped points, Wenger’s team have fallen behind Chelsea.
Chelsea managed to win the match against Fulham 3-0 on Wednesday night. “I felt that in the first half the referee didn’t deal at all well with the intimidating physical challenges, but that we responded well to the physicality. It was detrimental to the fluency of our game, but we kept going, had good concentration. But that is part of the game. We had to deal with that. You have to respect the effort Everton put in. I don’t blame Everton for that. ‘Protecting’ is a big word, but they (referees) have to make the right decisions,” said Wenger after the match against Everton.