EPL

Mikel Arteta suggests stopwatch may be needed for consistency on time-wasting

By Sports Desk August 21, 2023

Mikel Arteta may have “loved” Arsenal’s narrow win at Crystal Palace but believes a stopwatch may be needed to iron out inconsistencies in time-wasting after Takehiro Tomiyasu fell foul of the rules.

The Gunners won 1-0 in south London as Martin Odegaard’s second-half penalty proved the difference.

Japan defender Tomiyasu was sent off at Selhurst Park, picking up a soft yellow card for a foul on Jordan Ayew just seven minutes after being cautioned for perceived time-wasting at a throw-in.

The new remit for officiating this season has called, among other changes, for a clamp down on time-wasting but Arteta believes the timing did not add up on Tomiyasu’s booking.

Asked about the rule changes, the Spaniard replied: “For me it is not an issue. The referee makes that call.

“And we are consistent with that. They explained it. The only thing we are asking for is consistency. If not we need to play with a stopwatch to understand what is it and what is not.”

Arteta did not agree when told Tomiyasu had waited 23 seconds to take the throw-in before being cautioned – replying: “It wasn’t. I think it was eight seconds. We might have to play with a stopwatch.

“This is the standards.”

Despite the red card, Arsenal made it two wins from two following on from the opening-day victory over Nottingham Forest.

Odegaard stepped up to tuck away a penalty after Eddie Nketiah – who had hit a post in the first half – was tripped by Palace goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

“I loved it, absolutely loved it,” Arteta said of the win.

“It’s a really difficult place to come, we played the way we wanted to play 11 against 11. We dominated the game, we created enough chances, we missed two very, very huge chances.

“We scored the penalty and then we have to play half an hour with 10 men. It’s a conflict we didn’t prepare for but we had to adapt and the players were fantastic.

“I don’t think we gave anything away. The subs were great, the way they came out, the concentration, the focus, how much they helped the team, the coaching. They changed momentum in many occasions of the game. So really happy.”

Eagles boss Roy Hodgson was in a reflective mood and felt his side put in a good showing despite coming out of the contest with no points.

“I would be tempted to say we deserved something from the game,” he said.

“When they went down to 10 men we gave it our best shot but they are a top-quality team and they were able to defend the efforts we had.

“They got a lot of bodies around the goalkeeper so we couldn’t get through the cordon but that is often the case.

“There were very few disappointments in the game for me in terms of the Crystal Palace performance. On another day I think we would be feeling even happier and proud of ourselves.”

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