By Ollie Irish
Arsene Wenger has accepted a charge of improper conduct and an £8,000 fine by the FA following his tap on Martin Atkinson’s back at the end of the Premier League match with Sunderland on Saturday…
Wenger will serve a one-match touchline ban during the League Cup third-round clash at rivals Tottenham (he could have deferred the ban, I believe), which although it’s a derby tells you all you need to know about his continued dismissive attitude to the competition.
The Arsenal gaffer was furious after his side conceded a late equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time at the Stadium of Light, which denied them the Gunners the chance to go top of the table.
Wenger then ‘pushed’ fourth official Martin Atkinson on the back as Darren Bent’s goal came around 15 seconds after the allotted four minutes which had been displayed.
A statement on the FA website read: “Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted a charge of using insulting and/or abusive language and behaviour amounting to improper conduct.
“Wenger has accepted the standard sanction of an £8,000 fine and a one-match touchline ban which will be served with immediate effect at Arsenal’s League Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur this evening (Tuesday).
“The charge related to Wenger’s conduct towards match officials at the conclusion of Arsenal’s match against Sunderland on 18 September.”
Pies says: More xenophobic-flavoured vicitmisation of Monsieur Wenger, or an appropriate ruling? I think it’s very heavy-handed. Everyone knows you can’t lay even a finger on a match official, but a) Atkinson turned his back and walked away when it was clear that Wenger and assistant Pat Rice wanted to talk, and b) Let’s be honest, it wasn’t even a push. However, if Wenger also insulted Atkinson, then he doesn’t have a leg to stand on.