No problem with Andy Carroll challenge, says Wenger

The Arsenal manager comes out to defend the physical nature of the English game after the West Ham striker's collision with David de Gea on Wednesday drew criticism
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has come out in support of Andy Carroll for his physical approach to West Ham's 2-2 draw with Manchester United.

The Liverpool striker, on loan at Upton Park, was criticised by Sir Alex Ferguson following a robust challenge on David de Gea.

Sir Alex Ferguson: Carroll challenge on De Gea an obvious red card
But the Gunners manager, who has previously spoken out against physical styles of play used against his side by the likes of Bolton and Stoke City, has confessed that the physical nature of the game in England is one of the league's strengths.

"I don't have a problem with players who go in completely 100 per cent, because that is what you want to keep in the English game," he told the Daily Mirror. "It is a strength.

"Sometimes I watch foreign games and after 20 minutes you are bored because every time somebody goes down it is a foul, and you say: 'Come on!' That is not football, as well. We do not want to lose the strengths and what makes English football attractive but the intention of the players has to be fair.

"The physicality of the English game is one of the attractions of it," he continued. "I don't think it holds players back. In fact, the opposite, the foreign players who come to England improve and you get that aspect of the game as well.

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"I've seen so many French players complain about the physicality when they arrived in England. I tell them it will take some time but the intensity of the game will make them better players.

"It was worse 15 years ago than it is now. Fifteen years ago, no-one would have spoken about the Carroll challenge. Now everything is analysed on TV.

"Some players complained and then, after they moved away, they missed the English game.

"When you look at some players, you cannot say the physicality of the game stops them from displaying their talent.

"When I brought [Robert] Pires here he was not especially physical player but no-one could stop him from playing his game. [Marc] Overmars, [Dennis] Bergkamp - nobody could stop them.

"You cannot say it's physical or it's kicking, it's just that the commitment is high - and that's what you want."