Saturday, June 10, 2023

Wenger fans the flames of a non-story

Total support but it went too far

The whiter than white English press appear to have been outraged by what Cesc Fabregas either said or didn’t say in the tunnel at half-time in the game between Arsenal and Everton at the Emirates the other night.


In the first half Everton had taken the lead through a highly controversial Louis Saha goal. I say it was controversial but in reality it wasn’t. Saha was a clear two or three yards offside and for reasons that only the match officials would be able to explain, they allowed the goal to stand. It was an appallingly bad decision.

At half-time, as the players left the field there was something of a ruckus. The Arsenal players were still fuming about the goal and it is alleged by some that Arsenal skipper Fabregas said something that he shouldn’t have said. Rumour has it that he suggested that Everton had bribed the referee.


Certainly after the game, which Arsenal came back to win 2-1, Everton manager David Moyes was less than happy that Arsenal had still got ten men on the pitch in the second half. He didn’t specify what he said he had heard Fabregas say to the referee but he was clearly upset by it.

“They were disappointing comments from someone who is such a talented footballer. I won’t go into what they were, but they were deserving of a sending off, 100%. If you had said it on the pitch, you should have been off like that, so what is the difference when you are coming down the tunnel?”


That is the sum total of this story really and surely anyone in football could understand where both parties were coming from.

Fabregas and the Arsenal team were upset by a truly terrible decision that could have been a fatal blow to their title hopes and he may have said something that he regrets. Moyes had seen his side let their fortunate lead slip and two goals in five minutes had condemned his side to another defeat that leaves them in some trouble at the wrong end of the table. He too may have said something that he regrets.


Everyone is grown up and surely this type of thing goes on all the time doesn’t it? Fabregas and Moyes were both probably very slightly out of order. The referee did not deem the incident worthy of reporting and the FA are taking no action. That is very sensible. Unfortunately the media want to make a big thing of it and now Arsene Wenger has had his say and I really don’t think he has helped.

When asked about the incident, Wenger said,

“I believe that it is wrong for Moyes to come out on what he pretends to have heard. I think there is a rule in our job to never come out with what is said in the heat of the moment. He has not been charged by the FA, there is no action against him, so I don’t see why we should spend any more time to defend somebody who is not guilty. If you play football tomorrow with your friends, you go sometimes in at half-time and say something to your friend that you would not be very proud of twenty-four hours later, but it is in the heat of the moment. For me the incident is closed. If I come out with what I have heard in the tunnel in the last 10 years, you would be amazed.”


Whilst I agree with the principle of what Wenger is saying, he has gone about it in the wrong way. He criticises Moyes for speaking about comments made in the heat of the moment. Isn’t that exactly what Moyes himself did? He also says that Moyes pretended that he had heard the comments. That is out of order as I can’t believe Moyes would have made anything up. After all, Fabregas made a statement himself saying, “many things are said in the heat of the moment”.

I admire the fact that Wenger always sticks up for his players but sometimes he does it to the detriment of the game. If he had said what he said but left out the criticism of Moyes and the comment that amounts to an accusation of lying, I would be 100% behind him.

Hopefully this can be put to bed now and everyone can get on with the football!


Graham Fisher



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Graham Denton
Graham Denton
12 years ago

who wrote this rubbish? if fabregas had said something to lee mason then he would have made note of it in his match report. as he has not, the fa cannot even think about punishing fabregas for ‘allegedly’ making improper comments. moyes is in the wrong for criticizing an incident that was so important that it didn’t even make the pages of the referee’s match report. so to get this straight, moyes is complaining about comments that fabregas supposedly made to lee mason. the same person who made no note of the incident when he is advised to do so… Read more »

Graham Fisher
Graham Fisher
12 years ago

Like Arsene Wenger always does. Oh right.

It was me who wrote ‘this rubbish’.

12 years ago

mr moyes please keep quite and bring your team out of danger zone

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