I don't laugh when Arsenal let in free-kicks, insists Rosicky


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The Independent Football

The Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky has claimed that even though he does not bother to look back over his shoulder at the flight of the ball when defending free-kicks, that does not mean he doesn't care when his team concede goals.

Against Manchester United for one of the goals in Arsenal's 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford, and when Seb Larsson scored for Sunderland at the Emirates on Sunday, Rosicky has been caught on replays walking away from the defensive wall without even a backwards glance to see whether the ball went in.

He was first spotted doing it last month against United when Rooney scored his first of two free-kicks in the game. When Larsson scored Sunderland's goal in their 2-1 defeat, Rosicky again did not turn, and even appeared to be laughing.

His unusual behaviour compared to his team-mates in the wall – all of whom turned to see where the free-kick went – has become a talking point among the club's fans. Asked whether he was laughing in the aftermath of the Larsson free-kick at the Emirates on Sunday, Rosicky said: "I was laughing? That's not laughter because when he took the ball immediately I was thinking about when Rooney scored at Old Trafford. That wasn't a laugh – it was a desperate laugh that such a screamer would be scored again."

Asked whether he knew the ball was going in from the moment it was struck, Rosicky said, "Yeah, exactly. I don't have to turn around. When I see his face and he is celebrating, why should I? Anyone who thinks I would laugh at that... it is very disappointing. For people to take it that way is unbelievable."