I am surprised at how some football pundits have tried to spin the Mikel Arteta tackle on Michael Owen a bad one that prompted the former “Prince of English Football” to retaliate against the Arsenal player. Come on, did they even see the replay of the tackle There are three points why it was a good tackle by the Arsenal skipper for the day.
First and foremost, Arteta got the ball and not any part of Owen’s leg. I don’t even think there was follow through which caught the player. This is evidenced in how Owen could so easily get up and aim the punch (or lack of) towards the back of Arteta. If the Spaniard really did get him, I am sure Owen will be rolling around on the field expecting sympathy from the referee. Second, Arteta’s studs were not showing and his feet did not leave the ground. Lastly, our skipper did not even go directly in from behind the player. So seriously, there is no defense for Michael Owen and Tony Pulis to say that the Stoke player retaliated because it was a bad tackle. Probably, Owen and Pulis’s egos could not take the reality that an Arsenal player could perform such a hard but perfectly legal tackle.
The fact is Tony Pulis’s players do not know how to tackle properly. That is why Stoke is often branded as the dirtiest team in the Premiership. Look at how Shawcross went in on Koscielny. The Stoke player’s studs were full on into Koscielny’s groin while our Frenchman tried to avoid the opposition player’s more sensitive areas. There is a difference between playing hard and playing dirty, and it was very clear at the Emirates which side was the dirty one.