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."