Even though it was just the second week of the season, the Arsenal bench celebrated Monday’s 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace as if it were the Premier League championship match. Their team managed to hold on to the victory despite sending Takehiro Tomiyasu to the sin bin in the second half.
The Japan defender was penalized twice this season for time-wasting infractions: once for dithering at a throw-in on the hour mark, and once for yanking Jordan Ayew’s jersey in the 67th.
“It shows how much we want it,” Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta said of the celebrations.
“When you see the players on the bench … they have to come and help the team. They were magnificent and they changed the dynamic of the game. I say thank you so much to them because they really contributed to winning the game,” he added.
The crackdown on time-wasting, which has resulted in more yellow cards and extra time being tacked on at the conclusion of each half, according to Arteta, may take some time for teams to get used to.
“It’s going to be very difficult for us. I guarantee you, we will have to play with 10 or maybe with nine or with eight depending where we put the standards and the level. We can play eight against eight, it can be very entertaining,” the 41-year-old said wryly.
In an almost 50-year managing career, Roy Hodgson of Palace has seen numerous changes in how the regulations are applied, but the 76-year-old was upbeat about the modifications.
“These rules and these ideas are thrust upon us, we don’t have too much say in the matter, but we have to learn to live with them,” he told Sky Sports.