The importance of players who can’t tackle

by  Waleed Ahmad

The so-called “art of tackling” is great and all, but what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

As someone who loves winning, I think players who can’t tackle are better for a side than players who can win the ball perfectly well.

I honestly believe that at Arsenal there is too much emphasis on doing things the right way. Who cares if you tackle the right way or not? A good tackle only wins you the ball, but we need to aim higher than just winning a ball, we are Arsenal FC and our aim should be to win trophies. The lack of ambition at the club is startling.

Besides wasting our young players’ time trying to improve the timing of their tackles, they also needlessly practice how to “pass” the ball. Passing is something that should never be taught to anyone. Why should we teach our kids to defer their problem to someone else?  And Wenger has our players doing some strange things, like having our players run with the ball tangled in their feet. It is frankly embarrassing to watch.

To win trophies, you first need really big and ugly players that remind the opposition players of trolls or goblins. It is important to instantly put the opposing players in a negative state of mind by giving them negative images.

Next, the trolls need to be violent. They should be experienced in the art of getting stuck in. They need not know where the ball is, they should just have a keen eye for the attackers’ ankles. That is all they need to be able to do. If we field 11 of these types of players, our opponents have no chance. It is so blindingly obvious that I can’t believe that Wenger doesn’t see it.

It helps if these players can hack down attacking players without conceding a foul or getting booked. Usually the refs play by the book but sometimes they make the mistake of blowing the whistle. You can’t always trust the ref to make the right call so your players have to be good at putting up a facade of innocence. A sad puppy face doesn’t look pretty on a troll but it works well enough to fool the ref. Complimenting the referee’s outfit is also a good idea.

But most importantly you need the media on your side. If the media is on your side, you can get away with anything. Everyone laughs off Paul Scholes’ every lunge because he’s a nice bloke who never learned to tackle. Then there’s Shawcross who gets away with breaking a 19-year-old’s leg because he’s not that sort of player.

Having English players in the team also helps keep the journalists and pundits happy. Everyone knows that you need an English spine to succeed. I think everyone in our staff and squad, starting with Wenger, should replace their existing spine with a superior English spine in order to be more successful.

So let’s give up our crazy ideas about technique and tactics and training. Honestly this whole act of doing things the right way smacks of elitism. Are we really too good to do things the way everyone else does?


This article was send to us by Waleed Ahmad who has his own Arsenal blog since recently.

Waleed Ahmad is a 21-year-old gooner from the United States. He has been following Arsenal since 2005-2006, so despite some close calls, he hasn’t had the priviledge of seeing Arsenal lift a trophy. Regardless, his faith in our Lord Wenger and the Arsenal remains strong. Follow his thoughts at

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19 Replies to “The importance of players who can’t tackle”

  1. Thanks Waleed for bringing another smile on my face. I really love this satire you can put in your articles. 🙂

  2. I wld luv 2 put my article but i’m still busy wit my exams. Luv this blog though cos i support Lord wenger in all he does.

  3. spot on waleed. i’ve been saying for ages that we should be stamping on feet and ankles when the thugs are trying to intimidate our goalkeeper at set pieces.
    it would not be long before teams got the message and kept away.
    could you ever see jens taking their c**p.
    excellent article keep up the good work.

  4. Lovely post, written with tongue firmly in cheek. Our proper football is often slated for not being “English” enough, not tough enough. I would never abandon Arsene’s footballing principles, yet it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if we were less concerned with the Fair Play standings. Our most successful teams under AW had plenty of players who weren’t afraid of being a bit rough, even getting sent off. Even the Lord himself (I mean Dennis of course) was known to toss a well-aimed elbow to get his point across. I love our beautiful game, but the dark side can’t be ignored altogether.

  5. just give me a second.


    other than that, funny article!

  6. This article is rubbish , we all know the problem is Wenger is keeping the transfer money for his retirement fund………. Oh wait,you were kidding ………Yes Sam wtf A MONTH

  7. waleed i was really surprised at the shallowness of your first article- need this, you really need to stop embarrassing yourself.

  8. actually Waleed a couple of those trolls wouldnt go amiss from time to time…..

  9. after reading this article i really hope we sign Shawncross,somebody who can break legs and make arsenal more hated than ever before.We could use him against drogba in the first 5 min, and when the job is done substitute him with a footballer 😉

  10. You know I think we only need 10 of those trulls. We need one small and quick who take the ball and scores while opposite is down (as they are afraid to get up from the grass). Because we need to score to win (drawing all matches 0-0 will not give us trophy). Unless our trolls scare other team players scoring lot of own goals a’la Reina.

    BTW I like your articles Waleed. They help me to start the day and smile couple first customers.
    Just have to mention I’m proud of myself I was able to be professional yesterday and be polite to a customer with one of the ugliest shirts I have ever seen. You know horrible peice that those whatever they are forced on our captain in summer (then again seeing someone wearing shirt like that might have been reason I didn’t sleep well and had not so good dreams).

  11. The irony seems to the fact that most english clubs do behave in this way and they are allowed to get away because all this is quite normal in the EPL. Such things might not be tolerated in the spanish league or the french league. And knowing that Arsenal is the only team which plays a flowing football in the english league, all this things affect us quite badly.

  12. Don’t forget to have mummy pick up their ” unfortunate-to-be sent-off”
    tykes,and inform all and sundry what a “luvly” boy he really is and how well behaved he is at home.It makes for great tv as well as helps at the Fa hearing and in the selection for next week’s England squad.
    Rather than teach them skills ,give then acting lessons to appear sad and contrite at the start then going on a tirade about ” those bloody
    foreigners” who cannot play the English way.
    I am awaiting the day Arsenal roll out those Martin Keown clones who will kick all opposition out of the ground.In the meantime I’ll just have to put up with this lot.

  13. Ya nice article Waleed.
    I do wonder how many americans swap their american football and base ball for the EPL…
    With Tony,Walter and yourself its starting to get a bit sitcomish with the different personalities shining through.
    Very refreshing lads.

  14. I think I’ve cracked it, get Fab on the ball then the other nine make a linked circle around him and then they all walk down the pitch barging everyone out of the way towards the goal, genius.

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