To be fair to Arsene Wenger he could have said a lot more to wind up Jose Mourinho. The Arsenal and Chelsea managers have a long history of falling out, making comments about each other and their respective clubs and even pushing each other around on the touchline, even though they claimed that they had put all their differences aside before the last clash at Stamford Bridge.
A Daily Express report reveals that Wenger has had his own say on the recent diving debate, which has been in all the papers after Mourinho went off on a rant about a perceived campaign against his Chelsea players after Cesc Fabregas was booked for diving.
That decision was incorrect but many people have pointed out that Chelsea have also got away with a few dives and some of the cards given to his players for simulation this season were correct. And maybe that is what Wenger is thinking about when he calls for a panel to be set up and for players to be punished retrospectively, something I doubt that the Chelsea boss would be too keen on.
Wenger said, “I’m against diving. We should punish after the game.
“Should there be a panel? Yes – and punish only obvious cases, but not mixed ones. And the most suited to this are people who have an experience in the game.
“What you want is for a player to play with honesty, and to go for it. Once the players start to dive or not to dive, it makes it difficult for the referee.
“But the only way that the players will stop doing it, is if they feel they can get punished. Is it Arsenal, or Man United, or Liverpool or Chelsea, it is for everybody the same.”
And although you might think there is not much for Mourinho to take offence at there, the same could be said of the last time he lost the plot and called Wenger a specialist in failure. Mourinho seems to be able to take anything as a personal insult and I would not be surprised if the `paranoid one` thinks that Wenger is having a pop. But the Arsenal boss also admitted that our players have not always been snow white on this subject either.
He said, “Oh we had them, with Robert Pires, with Eduardo. It is down to the players. Even if you talk to the players, the guys who have that in them, they will do it in the game. It is just coincidence. It is a bit more down to the character of the players.”
However, I think it is clear that Chelsea would suffer a lot more than Arsenal if Wenger’s panel and punishment suggestions were to go ahead. So are we set for another overreaction from the mouthy one?