Football

Former Referee Hated Working With Arsenal's 'Unpleasant' New Signing

Former Referee Hated Working With Arsenal's 'Unpleasant' New Signing

One of Unai Emery's first signings at Arsenal, the Swiss full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner promises to offer some much-needed mettle, skulduggery and rigour to Arsenal's soft-underbelly.

The 34-year-old arrives in North London after spending the last seven years with Juventus in Italy. During an incredibly successful spell with the club, each of Lichtsteiner's seven seasons resulted in Juventus claiming the Serie A crown.

Known to viewers for his marauding runs down the right-wing of the Juventus attack, Lichtsteiner has earned a solid degree of infamy for his consistent irritability at any refereeing decision that goes against him, or his team.

Speaking of the player who kept a close eye on Neymar during Switzerland's opening round draw with Brazil in this year's World Cup, Jonas Eriksson, a former Swedish referee who has officiated at the top-level, described Lichtsteiner as 'the most unpleasant player' he has ever interacted with it.

Commenting on Swedish television channel SVT, Eriksson singled out the new Arsenal man for his behaviour toward officials on the pitch:

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I have met several international players and to judge a person you have to meet them several times - and not just once when they have a bad day, because everyone can have it. But I have met Lichtsteiner several times and he is one of the most unpleasant players I met.

A fourth-official during Juventus' 2015 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona, Eriksson went on to describe the experience of dealing with Lichtsteiner; "You cannot talk to him, he gets more and more angry. When I'm trying to explain [a decision], I'm trying to be humble, but he's hard to get in touch with. It created a bad mood."

Although some Arsenal fans may well welcome some mischievousness, the Premier League's referees might not be as excited.

See Also: Bradford City Shed New Light On Surprise Colin Doyle Departure

Arthur James O'Dea

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