And to think that us Arsenal fans always accuse Arsene Wenger of being too unemotional and ‘classy’, so it was a bit of a shock to get hold of the referee’s report from Arsenal’s match at Burnley, where Wenger was banished to the dressing room and subsequently given a 4-match touchline ban.
Here is an excerpt from the referees report after the event, as published on Burnley’s official website. Jon Moss put in his explanation to the FA: “In the 92nd minute of the game, following the award of a penalty against Arsenal, I was informed by Mr Taylor that he had been confronted by Mr Wenger in the technical area.
“He informed me that despite being warned to consider his conduct, Mr Wenger stated to Mr Taylor ‘You are dishonest to your federation!’ Mr Taylor told me that he told Mr Wenger that this was not acceptable to which Mr Wenger replied ‘**** off’.”
The Fourth Official, Anthony Taylor went even further and alleged that Wenger had told him to ‘f*** off’ twice! He wrote in his own report: “Following the award of a penalty kick against his team in approx. 92nd min, Mr Wenger left his technical area to confront me in disagreement at the decision. Before he said anything I said ‘think carefully before you say anything’. He responded by saying ‘you are dishonest to your federation’.
“I considered this to be questioning both mine and the referee, Jon Moss’s integrity and impartiality. I stated to Mr. Wenger that such a comment was not acceptable and he told me to ‘**** off’ on two separate occasions.
“Once Burnley had taken the penalty and before the game restarted I informed the referee, Jon Moss, what Mr Wenger had said and he subsequently dismissed Mr Wenger from the technical area. Initially Mr Wenger wanted to return to his technical area and I had to ask him again to leave the vicinity as required. He then chose to stand at the opening of the tunnel. I again approached him and asked him to go to the dressing room area. At this point Mr Wenger pushed me twice and I had to ask the security staff present to escort Mr Wenger to the dressing room area.”
I can understand that Wenger was extremely worried that we were going to drop two points at that stage of the game, but normally we would only see Le Prof abusing a water bottle (or his jacket). Does his actions mean that he is getting more passionate in his old age? Or perhaps we just are not used to seeing him display it in public?