Wednesday, 14 July 2010
It was interesting to hear the thoughts of the so called ‘experts’ following Spain’s World Cup final win over Holland on Sunday.
The Spanish were roundly praised for their dominant brand of possession football and were seen as deserved winners of the tournament. Holland meanwhile were heavily criticised for their aggressive style as they sought to unsettle the Spanish midfielders.
But one thing struck me as rather odd.
While Hansen and co on the BBC couldn’t find enough superlatives to throw at Spain and conversely had plenty of bad words to say about the Dutch, I wonder what they will be saying about Arsenal in a month’s time?
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has a similar footballing philosophy than the Spanish. He has assembled a group of technically gifted players who seek to play an attractive brand of attacking, possession football.
However, their main weakness in the Premier League has been their apparent ‘soft centre’. It is commonly assumed that the Arsenal players ‘don’t like it up ‘em’ and so are subject to rough treatment from opponents (just ask Aaron Ramsey).
This weakness is often cited as the reason why they have failed to win a trophy over the past five years and many believe Wenger should adopt a different style of play.
But why is it ok for teams to rough Arsenal up but it is ‘thuggery’ to try and do the same to Spain?
The ‘experts’ were calling for more protection for the Spanish players yet they are not so forthcoming about Arsenal. I know Spain have proven more successful than Arsenal in recent years but it hasn’t been through adapting their style of play, they will keep passing regardless of the opposition - just like Arsene Wenger's men.
There seems to be a common thought among TV pundits that everything the Spanish do is perfect – proven by how little was said regarding the frequent instances of play acting, diving and card waving that went on during Sunday’s fractious encounter.
I feel it is important to point out that I am not an Arsenal fan so do not have agenda. However, I do feel we should have as much consistency from our hypercritical pundits as we expect from our players and referees.