Arsenal fans will be familiar with the fact that Arsene Wenger was ‘sent off’ during Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Burnley, after having an altercation on the sidelines with FA fourth official Anthony Taylor.
The incident occurred during the Gunner’s weekend fixture at home to Burnley; in which a very late penalty from Alexis Sanchez secured all three points for the Gunners. Wenger isn’t notorious for being a man of passion on the sidelines, but it seems that the possibility that the Gunners were going to drop two points at home to Burnley, meant that the bosses head came close to boiling point.
Wenger was alleged to have used “abusive and/or insulting words towards a fourth official” when referee Jon Moss awarded Burnley a late penalty to tie up the game 1-1. Wenger proceeded to the tunnel before appearing to push Anthony Taylor after being told he couldn’t watch the game from the technical area nor from the tunnel. The FA are set to charge Wenger with improper conduct, but the punishment is yet to be decided with Wenger requesting an FA hearing about the matter.
Wenger however has not disputed the fact his behaviour stepped over the line in accordance with the rules and is probably ready to accept the charge if it comes his way, but his argument is that he was not aware that he wasn’t allowed to remain in the tunnel. Wenger said: “I have said what I think I have to say publicly, the rest will be a bit more discreet. I don’t know if I will be punished and how I will be punished. If I am punished, the only thing I can say is that when I was sent off I was surprised and I was in the tunnel because I thought I had the right to be in the tunnel. Last time I was sent off wrongly, in 2009, I had to go in the stand at Old Trafford and I didn’t know where to go. No one tells you what you have to do when you are sent off.”
Although I can’t imagine Wenger accepting a touch line ban of too many games, I reckon an imposed ban of at least 2-3 matches would be likely. This is considering the bans that the likes of Mourinho has faced in the past from the FA.
Wenger doesn’t often show so much frustration in the technical area and from a fan’s perspective I suppose it’s good to see such passion coming from the boss. It shows that he feels exactly what us fans feel during a game. However of course his behaviour on this occasion stepped over the mark in accordance with the regulations and Wenger is likely to be punished for such conduct.
Whilst we await an outcome, let’s just hope the suspected touch line ban is not for too long, because it’s never easy seeing a manager passing down his instructions from the stands.