Wenger hits back at Moyes
Gunners boss hits back in Cesc ref row
By Rob Parrish - Follow me Twitter @skysportsrobp. Last Updated: February 3, 2011 3:47pm
Arsene Wenger has accused Everton counterpart David Moyes of fabricating his allegations against Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas.
"I believe it is wrong for Moyes to come out with what he pretends to have heard in the tunnel."
Arsene Wenger. Quotes of the week
The Toffees boss claimed the Spain international deserved a red card for his 'disgusting' comments in the tunnel at half-time of the clash between the two teams at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The Gunners, who went on to win 2-1, were infuriated that Everton's opening goal was allowed to stand by referee Lee Mason and assistant Stephen Child even though Louis Saha appeared to be clearly in an offside position.
Wenger has again insisted that his captain did not speak directly to Mason and believes that the Football Association's decision not to bring any charges vindicates the midfield star.
But the French tactician feels that Moyes has broken an unwritten rule of the game by making reference to incidents which took place away from the glare of the cameras, which he claims are commonplace in football.
Wenger said: "Cesc Fabregas has not said anything to the referee. Cesc Fabregas has not been charged, so the story for me is over.
"I believe it is wrong for Moyes to come out with what he pretends to have heard in the tunnel.
"If I come out with what I have heard in the tunnel in the last 10 years you would be amazed. I think there is a rule in our job to never come out with what is said in the heat of the moment. That usually is respected by everybody.
"If Cesc is guilty, he would have been charged. 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 defending someone who is not guilty.
"For me, the incident is closed.
"If you play football with your friends you sometimes go in at half-time and say something that you are not very proud of 24 hours later, but it is in the heat of the moment."
Asked if he thought there was a witch hunt against Fabregas, the Arsenal manager replied: "Yes. We are long enough in the job to know that somebody picks on you for a while, and you are in the heat of the moment.
"But for me what is the most important is the player behaves well. When Cesc is on the pitch, he tries to play football - I cannot say everybody who plays against him tries to do that.
"For example, some people reproach him for not exchanging shirts with a player after the game - but I hope he will not exchange shirts with players who try to kick him for 90 minutes and them come to say 'please can I get your shirt'.
"I think that is a normal and natural reaction. Overall this guy is an example on the football pitch and shows you how to play football.
"People are more demanding, and Cesc has to live with that. It is not easy, but he is a very intelligent man and he will learn very quickly to cope with that.
"Cesc is 24 this year, he has played 250 games in the Premier League - at that age, it is absolutely remarkable.
"He has gone through a lot, difficult moments, but has always come out stronger - this guy is a fantastic leader."