Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has implored his players to become more physical, urging them to adopt the more aggressive approach of his teams of old.
The Gunners are sitting in sixth ahead of their encounter with Chelsea and could climb above Everton to fifth with three points against Rafael Benitez’s outfit, leaving them three points behind Tottenham in fourth.
However, Wenger’s side have endured a fairly torrid start to 2013, having been held to a draw by Southampton, before being forced to an FA Cup replay by Swansea and then losing to Manchester City.
The veteran boss believes that, while not compromising their technical style, a return to the physicality of his previous teams would be conducive to his side’s ambitions.
“Maybe we need to be a bit more physical. When the referees see our team sheet they say: ‘Oh, Arsenal – fantastic’,” he told reporters.
“We have physical players, but maybe have to restructure the balance of the team. We have the characters to do it. We have technical players but we also have physical players.”
Wenger also voiced his opinion on the contentious – and, consequently, revoked – decision that led to Vincent Kompany’s dismissal against Arsenal.
“The tackle was technically bad – and it can be seen as a red card. The guy who comes in with two legs doesn’t know where he will finish,” he continued.
“I was surprised when Kompany’s red card was overturned. I don’t think Kompany meant to hurt [Jack] Wilshere but it was a clumsy and technically a bad tackle.”