Lincoln’s Bradley Wood has decided that if he can’t stop Alexis using actual football he will just ‘smash’ him instead.

The news should come as no surprise to Arsenal fans who are well used to cloggers turning to assault to deal with skill. It is, after all, seen as just PASHUN in England and rather than teaching players how to become more skillful and adept, many seem happy to turn to the darkest of dark arts.

With Anthony Taylor in charge of the game, that does not bode well for Arsenal player’s legs.

Wood comes into the game with a reputation for ‘tough tackling’ – English media speak for thuggery – and he’s done his reputation no harm with his comments about the whole thing.

“I got a text from him [his brother, Robert, an Arsenal fan] wishing me good luck but also saying please don’t injure too many of their players,” he said.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 18: Bradley Wood of Lincoln City celebrates on the ptich after The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round match between Burnley and Lincoln City at Turf Moor on February 18, 2017 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

“I told him I’ll do what I normally do and he messaged back saying “oh, can’t wait…”.

“I’m a human being and he [Alexis] is a human being. That’s all it is. We’re two guys who could be going against each other over 90 or 120 minutes.

“There are many ways to skin a cat and by hook or crook that’s what I’ll try to do to him. If he tries to run me in the channels then I’m smashing him.

“That’s not to say that I’m going to boot him 24/7 but if I manage to keep him quiet then I’ll have done a good job. It’ll be the same on the left side with Sam [Habergham and in the centre with Luke [Waterfall] and Sean [Raggett].

“We’re coming up against world class players who are better than us, we know that, but we’ve got a big, big heart and we’re not going to be tourists on a stadium tour,” he added.

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“Arsenal are going through a sticky patch, they’ve got the fans on their backs. After 20 or 30 minutes, if it’s still 0-0 or we’re 1-0 up, I’m sure those 9,000 Lincoln fans will turn into 20,000 and the longer the game goes on it’ll get worse for them. We’ve got our game plan and we know if we implement that we’ll be ok.”