Today we continue with our new regular feature ‘Your Vote Counts’ which gives you the opportunity to see if your opinion is in line with the majority.
Following the defeat against Barcelona, consider this …..
On Tuesday, in addition to playing some magnificent football, Barca gave a master class in cynical fouling (otherwise known as professional fouling) and simulation with the intention of getting an opposition player carded/sent off.
We seek to emulate the Catalans in their brilliant style of play, but should we also follow their lead in the mastery of the less virtuous dark arts?
Arsenal generally try to play fair; to play the game in the correct spirit …. and that may have cost us the game on Tuesday.
Once Mertesacker went to ground and missed the tackle, our remaining 3 defenders had to deal with the forward movement of the most potent front 3 in the history of club football.
Bellerin, Monreal and Koscielny all had the opportunity to bring down the player with the ball before play entered our box. But they didn’t. The good guys stayed true to type, Barca scored and with it our chances of progressing in the Champions League evaporated.
Earlier in the game, I can think of at least 2 occasions when The Ox was dumped on his backside when a quick break was on. We got a free kick, the player who fouled wasn’t carded and our advantage was lost – Barca had successfully dealt with our threat.
There are 2 polls today, the first relates specifically to the passage of play leading up to the first goal …..
The second poll is more general. Many of us will have seen incidents in recent games when our players have had contact in the box and stayed on their feet, whereas a ‘Suarez’ would have gone to ground and won a penalty. Are we just too nice as a team? Would we win more games if we played the continental style of gaining any advantage we can even if it contravenes the spirit of the game?