Did the Lord Wenger really really say that???

There are stories circulating today that the Lord Wenger said after the coin and bottle throwing in Spain yesterday, that UEFA will investigate and make the right decision.

It seems a curious thing to say, and if he did, then for once I shall ask permission (very politely) to disagree with the sainted Lord.

There was tons of material (well all right, not quite tons, but quite a bit) thrown at Cesc.  It was difficult to see if there was any action taken to find out who did it, and once Cesc had played at being rubbish collector, the game went on.

The question is what do the authorities do?   In Spain racist abuse is dealt with through a fine to the club of around £7000, and it seems more than likely that this offence will be dealt with in a similar manner.

Problem is, the behaviour of the authorities in England is not much to talk about either.  When J Carragher picked up a coin at Highbury and threw it at people in the crowd he got banned for 3 matches.  Not banned from Highbury for life, as would have happened to anyone else caught, but from playing football for three games.

The fact is that throwing a coin at a player is extremely dangerous and should be stopped by giving clubs severe punishments.   It is hard to imagine it happening at the Ems because of the distance between the pitch and the front row of the crowd (one of the reasons why the ground is designed that way).  But in little grounds like that last night (and indeed at the new Tiny Tott ground) where the pitch bumps into the front row of the stand, it is easy.

But no matter how wrong throwing a coin at a player is, the reverse is much worse.   The coin thrower in the crowd mostly doesn’t hit the target, but the coin thrower like Carragher, on the pitch, who aims at the crowd is bound to hit someone.   That is why it is so much worse.

Carragher should have been banned from entering any football ground for life – or at least banned from Highbury for life.  But he wasn’t – just as I suspect that bugger all will be done about the people involved last night.

As for the game, wasn’t it good to see a team that came out and attacked us, playing the ball to feet, looking for style and dynamism at the same time?  They had more shots than we did – which is a rarity – and it made for such a great game of football.

I rarely make it to away games in Europe because of work commitments (since the bankers destroyed capitalism I am having to work double hard and my offer of two dead sheep and a guitar case in exchange for an airline ticket didn’t work)  so had to watch it on Disastrous ITV – and there was one strange moment at the start of part 2 when the Lord Wenger was seen chewing or eating.  Most unusual.

Anyway, Ade has clearly got his form back after the injury, we got two more injuries which is about par for the course, Fabianski is as we were starting to think, a very good keeper, and New Theo is a most extraordinary player to behold.

I rather enjoyed my night in.  Except I seem to have dropped my watch down the back of the sofa.

(c) Tony Attwood 2009

6 Replies to “Did the Lord Wenger really really say that???”

  1. It is becoming very apparent that Man u is not as exceptional as a lot of analyst were thinking.Man have struggled in their last 4 games and have conceded at least 2 goals in a match and i think their sudden metamorphosis came when they were comprehensively whitewashed by liverpool at old traford that result showed every team in the world that Man u can be beaten and that is why fulham,aston villa and F.C porto have refused to be intimidated by the old traford pretenders.It is really amusing and amazing that a team who kept a clean sheet in 10 consecutive games has found it difficult to concede less than 2 goals in their last 4 games.The truth is right from the beginning of the season Man u were not really exceptional,they were winning games because their opponents felt they could not win but that myth was shattered beyond monumental proportions when liverpool came to Old traford.Man u had the easiest fixture in the championsleague and yet they could not take advantage of it,chelsea and liverpool would have died to have a championsleague fixture against FC Porto it would be extremely difficult for man u in the return leg,fc porto has 2 away goals and they have a great record against Man u maybe fcporto could help Morinho avenge intermilan’s exit from the championsleague

  2. Plenty of people say that there are no easy games at this stage and guess what? They were right! Villareal and Porto proving they deserve to be here. I still think that United will score at Porto and go through and hopefully we can join them for what will be an epic semi final. On a side note, I do admire Villareal as a club. They play an attractive, technical, passing game. They can’t compete with the Barcas and the Reals in the transfer market instead buying cleverly. Combining ageing stars who still have a lot to offer with South American unknowns and young prospects who have failed to impress enough elsewhere. There manager managed to achieve 2nd in La Liga last year. One of the only clubs in Spain where the manager makes almost all the decisions and has also been the longest serving coach in La Liga. One things for sure, this team would rip apart teams like Aston Villa, Everton, etc. Finally since its never mentioned unless its an issue, id like to say i thought the referee generally had a good game yesterday, oh and the Villareal fans throwing crap at Cesc, its not on and i dont care which country you’re playing in, i hope an inquiry finds those responsible but i somehow doubt it.

  3. What a difference a goal makes!. The difference between losing 1 nil there and drawing 1-1 is too vast to describe.
    I will probably get some stick for this but once again I think that ADE showed that he doesn’t fit that well into the team.
    Yes he scored. Yes it was spectacular. However he needs the ball either put in front of him in space, diectly on his head or to take the ball on the fly between knee and shoulder height. Otherwise he will not score. He cannot I repeat he CANNOT beat a player 1 on 1. If he receives the ball at his feet with his back to goal he loses the ball almost every time. Unfortunately 9/10 balls he receives are when his back is to the goal and are to his feet. Every other player on the team has better close control at speed even Bentner. He is a great player but 1 of strikers has to go in the summer.If it is ADE for 18mil plus it will represent excellent business.
    Here come the sticks! Have at it!

  4. Seems like you’re the only Arsenal blogger talking about this coin business at last night’s game, Tony. Interesting stuff, would like to know where you heard about that AW quote.

    Fantastic result last night but the first half we were totally outplayed. Our 2 holding mids were nowhere and, like many teams in the PL, Villareal had done their homework and knew we can’t cross for sh!t. I don’t understand why there’s no coaching done on this persistent weakness of ours. Opponents know we are really poor crossers so they push us out wide. Our only threat came from Theo.

    Our players seemed to have made the same mistake we’ve seen so many times this season: underestimated their opponents. Didn’t they know about Senna? Don’t they watch videos?

    Second half, tho, we were a very different team. Song & Denilson were superb. We really imposed our game, worked hard, and there was very little happening on our half of the pitch. We deserved our away goal. Ade’s wonder strike is the goal of the tournament, no question. And here I thought everyone would be talking about Senna’s fantastic strike, Ade goes and creates something out of nothing.

    Villareal a very good team — too many gooners went into this tie thinking they’re a just a cakewalk. We have to stop underestimating opponents and recognize that we are not the only ones who practice the beautiful game.

  5. NYMacrus: I saw the quote at Sky website, too. Let’s say they didn’t cook it up.

    On the first half we couldn’t hold on to the ball as much as couldn’t get close to it. Diaby for Song would have helped a little. Not that I thought Song wasn’t good enough, he’s more a defending type than holding. But that first half show by the Yellow is impossible to defend for anyone. The only way to play against it is to maintain possession, which we did early and late in first half. It showed again in the second half, Vilareal was muted for the majority of the half because we held on to the ball and did our things effectively with it. Arsene has done his homework since this same game three years ago. Then we really couldn’t string 3 passes together and of course once the ball is gone we’d defend for the next 10 minutes. We have progressed a lot more than Vilareal did.

    Senna scored not because we didn’t know he’s a threat but because Song made a position mistake. At that level you got punished right away. Senna got 4 shots on that position the whole game, of which 2 were on target, 1 deflected. But that didn’t say we didn’t cover that area effectively – the rest of his team didn’t have a shot of the same caliber. Senna is so good when he decides to shoot at all it’s because he’s known it’ll go through the wall.

    Song made up for it by containing him most of the rest of the game. His contribution was clearer in the second half when Vilareal tired. His running after the ball alone hurried their passing and reduced accuracy significantly.

    Lucky boy we didn’t pay for the goal. I really think it’s good omen that when Djourou at Chelsea and now Song at Vilareal made personal mistakes the team didn’t get punished heavily for it. Otherwise it would have had a terrible psychological burden on them. They played great football in those games.

  6. I have a feeling that quote from Wenger about the coin turned up on the Arsenal site, but I can’t quite remember. I certainly did see it printed somewhere as I meandered around the football sites. Sorry can’t quite remember where.


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