• Premier League

Arsenal are still soft, says Nzonzi

ESPN staff
March 3, 2014
Arsenal have only won once in their last eight visits to the Britannia Stadium © Getty Images

Steven Nzonzi believes Arsenal are still soft and insisted Stoke City will continue to "kick" Arsene Wenger's side in future matches because they cannot handle rough treatment.

Arsenal lost 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday as Jonathan Walters' penalty delivered a major blow to their Premier League title ambitions. They now trail leaders Chelsea by four points in third place, with Manchester City also having two games in hand.

Arsene Wenger's team have only won once in their last seven trips to the Britannia, when Aaron Ramsey suffered a horrific leg break during a 3-1 win in 2010 and Nzonzi believes his the key to Arsenal's suffering in Staffordshire is intimidation.

"We know that Arsenal play good football but when you start kicking them a little bit, it gets harder for them," Nzonzi said. "They don't like it, we know that. We don't care. We'll keep on doing it, being strong and trying to be as good as we can be on the ball.

"It's not a surprise they have been moaning because they have plenty of technical players.'' Asked if it was up to Arsenal to be more robust, Nzonzi said: "Yes - this is how Premier League football is. It's really good, it's really strong."

Stoke appeared to target Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, who looked to have been trodden on by both Glenn Whelan and Charlie Adam on Saturday, but neither was punished by referee Mike Jones.

There remains the possibility of retrospective action by the Football Association and Wenger, who has in the past has accused Stoke of employing ``rugby'' tactics, spoke after the game about the hosts making it "very physical''.

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