By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger will welcome a physical test against Hull City this weekend - provided Arsenal's opponents play by fair means, not foul.
Phil Brown, the Hull manager, admitted this week that he saw nothing wrong with Kevin Davies' challenge on Gael Clichy at Bolton last Saturday and has made it clear that his team will play to its strengths at Emirates Stadium in an effort to combat Arsenal's technical ability.
That means Wenger's players can expect plenty of tough-tackling from the newly-promoted Tigers but the Frenchman is not concerned as long as the rules are respected.
"It depends what you call a tough tackle," said Wenger when Brown's words were put to him at his pre-match press conference.
"A defender has to be tough and committed, for me if tough is committed I don’t have a problem with it. If tough is the desire to hurt your opponent it’s not acceptable because that’s not the game.
"The beauty of sport is to win in respect of the rules. If us as managers start to say we don’t have to respect the rules then it can’t be accepted. That’s in boxing, in football, in every sport. You have to respect the rules.
"It’s like you play tennis and the ball goes out but you say because it’s me it’s still good."Copyright 2014 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 26 Sep 2008