By Chris Harris
Players and managers both have a responsibility to rid football of reckless tackling, according to Arsène Wenger.
The Arsenal manager has banged the drum against over-the-top challenges for years and his views have won plenty of backing in recent weeks after a string of serious injuries in the Premier League.
Danny Murphy hit the headlines earlier this month after suggesting that “brainless and ridiculous” tackles were inevitable because players were “so pumped up” by their managers before matches.
The Fulham captain urged managers to take responsibility for their players and Wenger understands Murphy’s point. But the Arsenal boss insists that players should not be allowed to pass the buck if they commit violent challenges.
“I believe he [Murphy] said we as managers have a responsibility in the behaviour of our team, and I agree, I do not deny it,” said Wenger.
“I am not in the other dressing room, so I do not know [what goes on] and I never ask any player if he has been wound up by his manager.
“But as I always say, the referees have the rules for them and [have] to get the game respected and the players have to respect each other, no matter what they are instructed to do.
“I am a strong believer that you are responsible for what you say and what you do. When I make a mistake, I do not look at anybody else to say 'it is his fault' - it is my fault and if I behave wrongly, it is my fault it is not somebody else’s.
“If a player does bad tackling, it is too easy to hide behind the manager's instruction because you are responsible for how you behave.”Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source