By Chris Harris
Kevin Davies is "committed" rather than "dirty", according to Arsène Wenger.
The Bolton striker visits Emirates Stadium on Saturday to provide the Arsenal back four with one of their most physical tests of the season - and a Premier League baptism of fire for debutant Sebastien Squillaci.
Davies conceded more free-kicks than any other player in the top flight last season. Indeed, since he arrived at the Reebok Stadium in the summer of 2003 the 33-year-old has held that mantle in five of his seven campaigns - and finished runner-up the other two years.
It's quite a record but Wenger believes there is a simple explanation.
"I wouldn't call him a dirty player because I feel most of the fouls he commits are in the air," said the Arsenal manager.
"Most of the time it's not on the ground, it's not down to bad tackling. It's more down to that he's battling in the air.
"I like and respect guys when they are committed as long as it is fair commitment.
"If he has done more fouls than anybody else there must be a reason but I haven't really studied the case."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