Arsenal: Arsene Wenger Wants His Players to Handle the Ball

Brian RhodesSenior Analyst IJanuary 11, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 27:  Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on December 27, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

In Saturday's two all draw with Everton, Denilson, Arsenal's mercurial Brazilian, went down with an injury to his side. However, Everton's James Vaughan, who was unaware of the injury to the Arsenal player, made a beeline for the Gunners' goal. It was only the Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia that stopped the Toffees from gaining a 3-1 lead in the tie, and putting the game to bed.

Because the injury occurred off the ball and no foul had been committed, the referee, Mr. Peter Walton, could not blow his whistle to halt play.

The incident has moved Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, to instruct his players to handle the ball if they are injured so they will stop the play in its tracks. Wenger did not blame the Everton player, as he was unaware of the injury because the referee had not blown for the incident.

The Arsenal supremo said on the club's official website,"No, I wasn't upset that Everton played on.

"I said to Denilson afterwards: 'If that happens (again) you have to commit a handball.'

"I'm very serious. If you go down, and there hasn't been a foul, you cannot ask Everton to stop their counter-attack and not to score. So, if you go down like that, at least put your hand on the ball and it's a free-kick."