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Wenger's poor disciplinary record wasn't the worst

Wenger's poor disciplinary record wasn't the worst

It`s always the deflection tactic of first choice if there is any suggestion from an Arsenal related source that maybe bad tackling isn`t good for the game. As though it has any relevance pundits and others of different partisanship will gleefully point to Wengers disciplinary record, particularly in his early years, as justification for disqualifying the argument. Irrespective of whether it were true or not it doesn`t alter the need for the game to take a more intelligent approach to the way challenges are made in the modern game. We accept conditions change in the game all the time. If it didn`t we`d still be playing on mud patches in hobnail boots and the players would be sharing a ciggie at half time.

Discounting the extraneous nature of the point just how bad was Wengers disciplinary record? In terms of the card tally it was pretty poor in the first 5 years of Wengers tenure. The majority of those cards weren`t for offences that would mark Arsenal as a dirty team though officials considered them undisciplined. Wengers record improved significantly after that period and we have been in the top half and often top of the fair play league since. But leaving that aside for the moment what do the numbers tell us about that supposedly dark period? Taking the PL`s official statistics for those first 5 seasons and averaging the disciplinary points on the basis of games played then Arsenal ranked 11th out of the 25 teams that participated in the PL during the seasons from '96/`97 to '00/`01. So we were barely in the top half but nowhere near the worst offenders. Part of the reason for that is that we picked up relatively few yellow cards compared to a number of other teams and others weren`t so far behind on the tally of reds.

However we did collect the highest number of PL red cards in those 5 years though not out on our own. Many will remember that many of those were for retaliatory offences, offences under the totting up process and for dissent but even on the raw numbers we weren`t unique. Two other sides collected as many red cards, 22 in fact, as we did. In our worst season '98/`99 we picked up 7 cards but the newly promoted Blackburn picked up 8 reds in a seasons total of 73 red cards which has only narrowly been topped once in Wengers time. One other team exceeded our 7 reds tally in a season during that period, West Ham with 8 reds in '97/`98

But in this supposedly dark period of red cards for Wenger, Everton were the worst offenders in terms of disciplinary points with the same number of red cards in those 5 seasons but quite a few more yellows. In second place, sandwiched between worst offenders Everton and third placed Arsenal was West Ham United who also picked up 22 red cards with fewer yellows than Everton but more than us.

So there you have it, Wengers dark disciplinary period as Arsenal manager in the Premier League was topped by the manager of West Ham throughout that time - one Henry James Redknapp.

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Date:Saturday October 9 2010
Time: 11:45AM


Anything for the cause there Amos, even winning arguments against noone will do at this stage i take it.
09/10/2010 15:22:00
What I, and so many others, find so breathtaking about Wenger and Arsenal is their attitude in general. If they lose, it's the opposition's fault 'for not playing the game the right way'. But can you imagine Viera and Petite being physically intimidated by opponents? This article is simply another attempt by Amos to deflect criticism that is raining down in the bucketloads, and point the finger at Harry who has nothing to do with any of it whatsoever. The bottom line, Amos, is that Wenger took a radical change in direction after Arsenal's grinding cup win five seasons ago: he turned Arsenal into a smaller, more technical team, modelling them on the Barca side that was emerging in Spain. This was understandable since, as a natural pioneer, Wenger is always looking to the next innovation. But he made a fateful oversight: English football is, and always has been, tougher and more physical- for better or for worse (and it is both by the way). Mired in the quagmire of his own hubris, he accused others- just as you have here- of changing the dynamic, of playing dirty when it all went breasts north. But the blunt fact is that Wenger has won nothing since he changed his approach and he won't until he does.
Tony Rocky Horror
09/10/2010 15:23:00
reconcile his purest's heart with a pragamatist's head.
Tony Rocky Horror
09/10/2010 15:31:00
Good one Amos.
09/10/2010 17:26:00
The problem with your whole post TRH is, rather as the article sets out to show of a different point, simply one of perspective. So Wenger made a fateful oversightdid he? That has to be seen from the perspective that the only teams to consistently better him in that period are Chelsea and ManU. The relative strengths of those teams has its roots in ground other than just the simplistic idea that English football is physically demanding as Arsenal have shown time and again. You aren't one of nature's greatest thinkers are you TRH.
09/10/2010 17:47:00
I don't see this as an argument won HY. No-one should imagine that any time one of 'arrys players gets sent off we're going to hear about his earlier poor disciplinary record in the PL. That wouldn't suit the agenda of those far more willing to make an issue of Wengers. So not an argument won but perhaps a point made. Though only for those with minds open and receptive enough to accept it.
09/10/2010 18:12:00
"You aren't one of nature's greatest thinkers are you TRH" No, and you struggle with basic punctuation and grammer, don't you? It's a strange feeling to be having an argument with someone, and then to suddenly feel sorry for them half-way through it. Personally, I never had a problem with the Arse when they were a physical team, people were intimidated by them, and that's a lot better than what you have now.
Tony Rocky Horror
09/10/2010 20:37:00
You have had a problem with Arsenal right from the day you realised you had picked the wrong team to support. A song from Deff Leppard - When Love and Hate Collide is an appropriate one for your condition.
09/10/2010 21:12:00
purest's? pragamatist's? and you're picking me up? If you're going to pick anyone up on their *grammar* you should at least spell it correctly. You're a phoney TRH. You don't have an original thought or idea in your head. On any level, whether you're trying to make a point or attempting a wind up, the best you can come up with is never more than banal and prosaic. Yet time and again your obsession brings you back to make a fool of yourself each time. No need to feel sorry for you though. It's enough just to laugh.
09/10/2010 21:46:00
Good one there, Amos. Must say I admire your patience with this TRH chap. Fancy him taking anyone up on punctuation/grammer. That's a laugh, TRH! It is not just your reasoning that is banal and pedestrian, my man. Get off this site and let's see your posts on VS for a change.
09/10/2010 21:54:00
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