Once again Arsenal is making the headlines this weekend for all the wrong reasons, and at the forefront of those headlines is manager Arsene Wenger. In a week that has seen Eduardo in Wenger’s words ‘witch-hunted’; he found himself at the centre of controversy this weekend.
The Frenchman was sensationally sent-off in the 95th minute of Arsenal’s clash with Manchester United, after kicking a bottle down the touchline in reaction to Robin Van Persie’s disallowed goal. Speaking after the game Wenger said:
‘I kicked a bottle through disappointment when Van Persie’s goal was cancelled. The fourth official saw that and called the referee over. There were only 30 seconds to go and I didn’t know what to say or where to go in the stand when I was sent off.’
Wenger was left stranded, and with only a matter of seconds remaining in the game it took away from the action on the pitch. In somewhat comical circumstances Wenger retreated to the stands, but with no-where to sit he went and stood among the Manchester United supporters who jeered him. It was a cross between Jesus Christ, John Cleese and Mr. Bean all rolled into one.
Maybe Wenger will remember next time that the law stipulates the manager must leave the technical area and the vicinity of the field of play. Yet again the LMA, and referee Mike Dean have come under-fire for making a balls up of the whole situation. Should Wenger have been sent off? No. Should he have kicked the water bottle? Yes, why not, he was clearly frustrated, while at the same time, it may have been a different story if it hit someone, but in this case it didn’t.
Wenger looks sent to recieve an apology from referees boss Keith Hackett regarding his sending off, which really he should take with a pinch of salt. One thing is for sure, the Gunners boss will have to explain his comments following the game, after he calling the refereeing ‘Old Traffordish’.
In my eyes Arsene Wenger is a flawed man, he made comments over two years ago calling for players who dive to be banned, yet with in the space of two games, two of his players (Eduardo and Emmanuel Eboue) quite clearly make Cristiano Ronaldo an amateur with their diving antics. While a manager is there to defend his players, the evidence of their diving is clear from TV replays so Wenger can’t disagree with that.
He has opened a fresh can of worms, and renewed old rivalries with the Old Trafford faithful, now he must defend himself from the criticism and prove he’s no comical genius.