Oct 192010

Before I get on to what I want to talk about – Wilshere’s tackle and the subsequent reactions both from within the club and from the press, I should just mention Saturday’s game, as I haven’t yet had the opportunity.

Put simply, it was a vital three points. Birmingham have taken painful points from us in recent years, at critical junctures in our title-challenging seasons, and at one stage on Saturday were threatening to do so again, at a time when United when 2-0 up and coasting against WBA. It was shaping up to be another bad weekend, but the tide turned, our rivals dropped points, and with injuries clearing up the outlook is suddenly a lot brighter. Funny how things can change.

The goal that got us back on terms was contentious – Chamakh appeared to go to ground very easily, although there may have been contact with Johnson. The Moroccan is getting a bit of a name for himself as a penalty winner, although in fairness they have generally been correct decisions. Johnson labelled Chamakh a ‘disgrace’ after the game, but he should take a moment to reflect on a) why he swung a leg at him in the first place and b) why he drove his elbow into his head shortly afterwards. Selective memory?

From there, we were much improved, and impressed until the dying moments, when Wilshere lost control and lunged into a reckless challenge that saw him rightly sent off. Almost immediately you sensed what was going to happen – the momentum against such tackles had grown over the international break, with the story becoming bigger than just Arsenal, but here was an opportunity to make it all about Wenger again, and go back to laughing at the issue. It mattered not that Wenger immediately said that it was a red card and he would talk to Wilshere about his tackling, or that the player himself showed maturity beyond his years in releasing a statement apologising for the challenge. And while I’m not excusing it (it deserved the red), it was nowhere near as bad as others we’ve seen defended in recent times.

McLeish came out after the game calling for it to be an opportunity to draw a line under to Eduardo injury. Er, no – that injury was the inevitable consequence of a quite deliberate tactic teams were employing against us at the time, and have since. Wilshere’s was a bad tackle, but there was no intent stirred up in the dressing room. I know you might think my bias is leading me to separate the issues, but we’ve been the victims of so many ‘reducer’ challenges over recent years that we all know it to be a predetermined tactic. That is very different from the recklessness of youth.

Of course, the baying press don’t see it that way. Take this ridiculous column from the Daily Mail, entitled “Arsene Wenger’s aura finally shattered by Arsenal’s excuses for Jack Wilshere’s reckless tackle“. Yes, you read that right – despite Wenger making absolutely no excuses for the challenge in any way, this is the angle the Mail have gone for. Wenger actually said:

“He mistimed his tackle and got a red card, which he deserved. Jack has acknowledged he deserved it.

The Mail, on the other hand, went with this:

Then he witnessed one of his team execute the sort of dangerous tackle he has campaigned so vociferously to have stamped out of the game…and sought to excuse him.”

You can tell they are simply inventing the story, because they have precisely no quotes to back that line up. Which isn’t surprising, given the contradiction it would cause. It is truly depressing stuff, and you can even imagine the conversation:

Editor: “Ha, one of Arsene’s boys got sent off! He’s a hypocrite! He’s a hypocrite! He hates those tackles but excuses his own team! Write that story, Jeff, write it now.”

Jeff: “Er, boss, Wenger’s come out and condemned the tackle.”

Editor: “And?”

Jeff: “Well, he isn’t being a hypocrite, is he? Other managers excuse their players, come out with ‘not that kind of player’ lines, and allow them to make those challenges over and over. In fact, they encourage it. Wenger’s making sure Wilshere doesn’t do it again, and has already led him to apologise.”

Editor: “You think that’ll sell papers? YOU THINK THAT’LL SELL PAPERS? Just write the story, you idiot, and pretend he never said that. Ignore the quotes, or invent one from a ‘club insider’. Now get out!”

It is truly depressing stuff, but I’ve already lost count of the number of people I know who are more aware of this kind of story than the real comments, and therefore truly believe Wenger is trying to defend the challenge. The press really do create the story these days, rather than report it, and sadly a very large proportion buy every word.

The truth is entirely palatable, and shows us in a much better light. While the likes of McLeish and Pulis seek to use this incident for their own gain, it is interesting to compare and contrast – Wilshere, still a teenager, has released a statement apologising for a tackle that caused no injury, insisting he will learn from it, while his manager has made no attempt to defend him. Ryan Shawcross has caused three serious injuries in his fledging career, cannot understand why Wenger has something against him for shattering Ramsey’s leg, and still comes out insisting he will not change his style. What exactly would make him reconsider? And his manager continues to rail against Wenger, coming out with this nugget:

“I’ve got nothing against foreign managers, they are very nice people. Apart from Arsene Wenger.”

One of the most classless comments I’ve seen in a long time. If you have a personal problem with another manager, as Pulis clearly does, then you should go down the route of wit, rather than blunt and frankly piss poor insults. But I guess that is more than his caveman brain can understand. What amuses me is that Pulis is still responding to Wenger calling them a rugby team back in August. Yes, two whole months ago. And Pulis calls Wenger a whinger.

Now who’s the hypocrite?

  39 Responses to “Hypocrisy is in the air, but not from Arsenal”

  1. Well put!

  2. Arsene is. Jack Wilshere possesses a nasty streak no question of a doubt. Yet I believe it was an accident because he deserves the benefit of the doubt. However, so does Taylor and Shawcross. Wenger has made himself look like a fool after his recent campaign to get managers and players to take responsibility for their actions but his accepting of the red card was full of excuses yet if it was an opposing player he would have been calling for the player to be retired.

    • sounds like typical anti wenger bs as usual

    • Thank you for proving yourself to be an example of the people I mentioned in the piece, who believe what the papers say without reading the quotes. Wenger made no excuses.

      Shawcross deserves the benefit of the doubt? Maybe after he caused his first serious injury. But his second? And third? He still insists he will play the same way – at his current rate he will cause many more injuries yet still remarkably be ‘not that sort of player’.

      If Wilshere has a similar record in five years, you have a point. But people said Cesc would after a couple of eye-watering challenges he put in during his early career. Wenger stamped that problem out, and will do so again.

    • Sorry you are talking bollocks. If you think back to the Taylor tackle it was the inevitable consequence of the “kick arsenal” to beat them rubbish coming from certain managers parts of the media.

      Wenger has never said that bad tackles are always intentional or will never happen. He was rightly pointing out that sending out your team to kick the opponents to win will cause serious injuries and is bad for football.

    • Taylors tackle was pure GBH As for Shawcross his Manager claims it was alright because he comes from a nice family. Wenger is no fool his recent campaign was for the benefit of all the interview I saw condemned Jack Wilshere. Some English Managers think its ok to kick the other team oh sorry and one jock

    • Steve = stupid idiot.

    • You TIT!

  3. Also you call Pulis classless but what about Wenger’s continued attack of Pulis, Stoke City and his individual players, yes one whole season after the incident?

    • Actually, Wenger mentioned that some incidents, of which Stoke pushing Gomes into the net before scoring was one, were more like rugby than football. It wanted aimed entirely at Stoke, or indeed at Shawcross (it was Huth who committed the foul), but Pulis saw what he wanted to see.

      Given the injury Ramsey suffered, against a team who come out before the game indicating their intention to kick Arsenal off the pitch (Fuller said these words, in case you’re wondering), I think Wenger’s been remarkably reticent.

      On the other hand, Pulis asked the FA to act against Wenger for some truly innucuous comments, and is still railing against him two months later.

    • John = Steve = two idiots

      • It,s like Danny Murphy of Fulham said;certain managers deliber
        ately send their players onto the pitch with instructions to inflict pain (crude tackles ) etc. Denying it as Big Sam did only underlines the painful truth ,the clubs and managers have been mentioned ,we wait fpr more crude fouls and blatant hypocrisy while inept referees are labeled as only human,shame ?

  4. Lol Steve is now John

    Good post btw, not sure steve/john understands it maybe it’s Tony Pulis himself commenting, although im not sure he knows how to use a computer

  5. Steve? You’re a pillock.

    Why does he possess a nasty streak? Back up your comments.

    He made no excuses for the player at all. Have you read the quotes? Or heard them?

    I don’t know why I’m responding. Mouthbreather’s tend not to listen to reason :-)

  6. I think it may have been Scott Dann who flicked a leg at Chamakh for the penalty, although it was indeed Johnson who elbowed him shortly afterwards.

  7. Oh sorry Dave. Don’t want to upset mr big man on the internet. Maybe you don’t see Wilshere’s nasty streak because you possess one yourself. School is out so I suspect idiotic responses like yours.

    So Pete, you think this is not offering out excuses?

    “His first touch let him down.”

    “He didn’t want to harm the player but he caught him and it’s difficult to complain after as he touched the ankle of the player,”

    “Jack has acknowledged he deserved it, but he did not spend his whole game trying to kick people, he was one of the best players on the pitch.”

    Note he says he TOUCHED the player and that he wasn’t going around kicking people throughout the game. Tame acknowledgement of the facts.At best it was reckless and dangerous and at worst (which is often the route Wenger takes with opposing players) it was a disgrace.

    This by the way was Wenger after taylor’s tackle

    ‘I think this guy should never play football again. What’s he doing on the pitch?’

    He also labelled Shawcross’ challenge as “horrendous and unacceptable”.

    If it surprises you that people call him a hypocrite then that is not my problem. I take my view from facts not some biased view of the club I support.

    Read more: http://www.arsenal.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=504508#ixzz12ojHOSeA

    • “Note he says he TOUCHED the player”

      No. The only time ‘touch’ was mentioned was Wenger saying ‘His first touch let him down’. Which it did, clearly.

      Semantics aside, I don’t call that an excuse. The very fact he said it was a red card and that ‘Jack acknowledged his deserved it’ says exactly that. I’m struggling to see where the excuse is.

      The major point I believe you are missing – there is a difference between an explanation and an excuse. You can explain why something happened while still saying it shouldn’t have. That it what is happening here.

      As for Taylor, he retracted those comments when he was less emotional about a shocking injury. It takes a cold man to continually quote what he said in the heat of the moment, yet so many do.

    • He retracted the Taylor comments which were made in the heat of the moment, I think you should include that, he was bave enough to do that.

      Also I dont see any excuses made by Wenger for Wilshire’s tackle, quite the opposite infact. He says he will talk to him about his tackling – Which in an interview on ATVO Parlour has stated that Wenger had a few words with him about his tackling.

      Wenger is protecting football not arsenal so dont get so upset about it, do u love the game?

      Also Shawcross’ tackle was “horrendous and unacceptable” thats a Benitez fact right there.

      and you may also wish to note that even if it did happen last year Ramsay is still out! Oh and the Taylor tackle has left Eddie not the same player

  8. I watched the match on telly and boy the slack Arsenal gets from commentators. Pity i am in South Africa and not close enough to bitch slap Mr Palmer and Trevor Francis. I have never heard teams like Chelsea, Man U or even relegated teams suffer much slander before, guess those silly pricks wished their teams played like the Arsenal does..

    • Spot on!. I watched the game in Nigeria and I was shocked at Mr Palmer and Trevor Francis. They were throwing jabs at Wenger and Arsenal all day. Totally biased commentary!

      • Didn’t watch the game, but I did see the replays. Not gonna comment on the tackles but I just wonder why some people just enjoy visiting Arsenal blogs to leave nasty comments about the Arsenal. Just like Scar put it, they obviously wanna be like us, but they don’t have it in them. Still gonna support Arsenal no matter what, and idiots like Steve/John should just let us be. Go get ’em Gunners!

  9. Steve & John = Absolute numpty.

  10. You really get a sense of the immaturity of Arsenal fans on here. I offer up opinions and facts and you reply with insults. Real class act.

    • Jack Wilshere made a bad tackle, and both he and his manager admitted it and accepted responsibility. Martin Taylor and Ryan Shawcross purposely broke Arsenal legs, never apologized, and their managers celebrated them. If you don’t want to be insults, don’t be an apologist for criminals like Taylor, Shawcross, Pulis, Allardyce and all the rest. And don’t you DARE lecture us about class. You haven’t got a clue about it.

      • Did Zigic walk off the pitch on his own accord ,after Wilshere,s ill timed tackle or was Zigic stretchered off with an ankle twisted thev wrong way(Edoardo) or a broken tibia/shin like Ramsey ,the answer an emphatic no ,but the hypocrites still look for bs ?

    • Just so you know – I welcome all opinions here. I actually like debate.

    • So you reply to insults with insults? How does that work? I find it better to ignore the insults and continue the debate. There have been plenty opinions and facts other than your own stated here.

    • Opinions and facts? You said:

      “Jack Wilshere possesses a nasty streak no question of a doubt”

      Opinion. My opinions is that he can put in a rash challenge. Is this a nasty streak? Far too early to tell. There are far worse candidates with numerous bad challenges causing injury out there. In my opinion.

      “Wenger has made himself look like a fool after his recent campaign to get managers and players to take responsibility for their actions but his accepting of the red card was full of excuses yet if it was an opposing player he would have been calling for the player to be retired.”

      Opinion. My opinion is not that it was full of excuses – he said Wilshire’s touch left him down – and it did. Arsene has withdrawn his previous comments about retirement, so it is my opinion that he wouldn’t be calling for any retirement.

      So, I’ve found where you gave your opinion, but I failed to see any facts.

      Which is odd, given your comment:

      “I offer up opinions and facts”

  11. It’s the Daily Mail. What did you expect? No more is it just “a steady job, but… ” They ARE paperback writers! The Daily Fail, indeed!

  12. @steve

    Imagine if Jack did snap that guy’s leg into 2. What would McLeish have said? Horrendous and unacceptable? ANY tackle that breaks a players leg would be. Compare what wenger said about Jack to what the managers that defended shawcross and taylor.
    I do think we have some sort of right to talk about tough tackles considering we have something like 5 breaks in 6-7 years? Do you want to label that stat as unlucky or it’s our fault we’re too fast? Iam not against hard tackles but it’s just those reckless ones where you almost have no control on the result of it. Jack’s tackle is restless. I wouldnt mind if they banned him for 5-6 games but it should go for everyone making reckless tackles. I do think Shawcross’s leg break on ramsey is worse than taylor on eduardo. For Taylor, it’d looked like he was too slow but shawcross just put in a full force swipe. If ramsey wasnt there and he had made contact with the ball it would have gone to the stands.

  13. After the Chamakh dive or whatever, the commentator sounded so biased against us.

  14. @Steve

    How did Wenger make himself look like a fool? Do you not think that he included his own players in this statement? Wenger’s whole management mantra is to force people to take respnsibilty for their actions and show responsibility. That was thinking behind making Gallas captain. Whether he is right in thinking this is open to question, but as an ideal it’s hard to argue with, in practise it may be a different matter as I believe we have suffered as a result of it at times.
    It was inevitable that an Arsenal player would get sent off for a bad tackle eventually but given that it’s the first red card we’ve had for violet conduct in 100 plus games its hard to make the argument that we are a dirty side, in fact I cannot recall one incident in Wengers reign where one of our players has snapped anothers leg, the worst tackle I have seen by an Arsenal player was Ian Wrights disgusting two footed stamp on Schmechiel many years ago.
    There is a good deal of Xenophobia at work here, the underlying gripe being that Wenger is French, and the French are scene as whinging surrender monkeys by the Great British public.

  15. Arsene is all about keeping the beautiful game exactly that, beautiful. Yet time and time again he is wrongly accosted by idiotic reporters, crap rival managers and biased t.v presenters & commentators, because… because… Do you know what, i havent got a fuckin clue. Just what IS the crack? Jealousy? Paper Sales? Hatred of foreign people? England being crap at footy? All of the above and the many many more reasons? Wot the hell is the problem with people like these when he CLEARLY, CONCISELY and fully IDIOT PROOF tells it like it is without shirking from his responsibility and it STILL ends up being twisted to suit the fools we unfortunately have the misfortune to listen to. Its beyond a joke and I hope when Arsene waves goodbye to the EPL they all look at themselves trying to figure out why English football is truly dead and buried. Well done the Pulis’s, Allardyce’s, McCarthys, Shawcrosses, Karl Henry’s, Alan Hansen’s and Shite reporters of this world… You havent a fuckin clue!!

    • There’s an argument that Wenger is too open with the Press and too willing to express his opinions in great detail with erudition and actually answers the questions he asked. The dogs of the Press hang on to his every word, but all he gets in return from some sections of the media is utter ridicule, twisting of facts and his openness thrown back in his face. He probably won’t – he probably can’t – but I think he should stop talking in interviews beyond the typical monosyllabic comments of most managers. The media and others might then realise they have killed the goose that laid all their golden eggs as they sink back into the quagmire of English football reporting..

  16. […] Beautiful Groan has the scoop on Tony Pulis going public with his burning hatred for Arsene Wenger. This is an amazing unprofessional remark from Pulis, but here you go: I’ve got nothing against […]

  17. @Shooy

    I agree with you there, because he actually has an opinion and is not afraid to voice it when asked his views he’s effectively putting his head in the noose. I’ve already seen him giving his views on the Rooney saga today…

  18. Thank good for Rooney deciding to quit or els this would have been going for atlest one wek if not two. Now on the other hand. Im sure every arsenal player on the pitch today could get a red card and no one would have lifted an eyebrow as the nations great hope is creating shockwaves up north…

  19. To see things from an “outsider’s” perspective. It’s the degenerating of a once great nation becoming a small nation. Putting it correctly would be to say English in general are becoming xenophobic. Once a proud, bordering on arrogant nation is suffering from the lack of international recognition. Please do not take me wrong. However, the media circus, and national craze of picking on everything Wenger=bad, is really a lack of class. Neither a gentlemanly nor flattering trait to possess.

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