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Arsene Wenger wants football to be more like Sumo wrestling

The Gunners boss says football could learn a thing or two from Japan's traditional sport

Arsene Wenger is an old sage when it comes to football.

He has been around the block and back again in his 20 years at Arsenal.

From introducing vegetables to footballers’ diets to championing a less physical approach to the game, this man has been at the cutting edge of the game for two decades.

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A footballing academic

A footballing academic

Now he has some advice that could change the way we see the game forever.

Maybe it’s not that big, but he has got a fair point.

The Gunners boss says football teams could learn a lot from the way Sumo wrestlers conduct themselves.

Wenger doing his best angel impression

AFP or licensors
Wenger doing his best angel impression

After Man City’s ‘disrespectful’ celebrations after winning the Manchester derby on Sunday and the brawl that followed in the changing rooms because Jose Mourinho is a sore loser, Wenger has some more wise advice for football teams.

“When I was in Japan, I liked Sumo wrestling because you could never tell who had won.

“He doesn’t show his happiness because of respect for his opponent.”

The traditional Japanese sport is a good example of how to show humility and respect in the game, but it lacks the same intensity and hype that the Premier League machine inspires.

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Both hands up and jacket off = respect

PA:Empics Sport
Both hands up and jacket off = respect

The lasting rivalries such as Man United v Arsenal in the 2000s or the Merseyside derby require such a level of passion and animosity to your opposition that it is hard to imagine the players quietly celebrating their hard-fought victories.

Wenger admitted that his teams haven’t always been ‘angels’ after winning big games.

“The press build these things up like it is life or death,” the Arsenal manager said.

Back when Wenger instilled humility in his team

News Group Newspapers Ltd
Back when Wenger instilled humility in his team

“Sometimes it can go overboard. It’s happened to us, it’s happened to them it’s unfortunate.

“Ideally you would commit 100% on the pitch and then be an angel afterwards.”

Martin Keown anyone?