Wenger’s anti-football comments are hurting Man Utd


Darren Fletcher in particular. He was the hatchet man in Utd’s win over Arsenal on August 29th and did quite a number on Cesc Fabregas.
Well, after the match Arsene Wenger talked at length about the anti-football display. He did not mention Fletcher’s name but everyone can read between the lines.
It seems Fletcher is convinced that the referees have picked up on the anti-football remarks and are now targeting him. They are more likely to give free kicks against him like the one that Chelsea was awarded after his challenge bought down Ashley Cole. The free kick led to the Terry goal.
“I think we’re starting to see Mr. Wenger’s comments starting to influence referees, which is a shame really.”
Strangely enough, Wenger’s comments seem to have actually influenced Fletcher himself. He was pretty innocuous in the Chelsea match. It seemed more a case of a make up call by Martin Atkinson following the non-call on Jonny Evans studs up charge on Drogba.
I am not sure why the referees waited that long to test Wenger’s thesis. It’s been almost six
weeks since those remarks were made. But those cunning little so and so’s selected the big Chelsea showdown to catch Fletcher in their dragnet?
Wayne Rooney’s mouthing 12 men also seems to be doing more harm than good. A fair bit of paranoia in the Man Utd dressing room nowadays. But if you have a manager who harangues referees for every adverse result, it is a self inflicted wound.

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4 comments on “Wenger’s anti-football comments are hurting Man Utd
  1. Fletcher was more referring to the fact that in recent weeks, he’s had a number of calls go against him in a similar unfair manner as the free kick against Chelsea did.
    I don’t think Wenger can be blamed for this though, only poor refereeing. It seems like ever since the Champions League semi-final where Fletcher was sent off after winning the ball and famously missing the Final, he’s been hard done by referees, with the only possible exception being the Arsenal game at Old Trafford, where Wenger accused him of “anti-football.” I’ve lost count of how many tackles he made similar to the one yesterday only to see a referee award a free kick against him.
    Furthermore, it seems like ever since this “Respect” campaign was brought into English football, the quality of the refereeing has taken a nose dive. I can’t remember the last time there went an entire weekend without some kind of refereeing controversy. I’m not just talking about Manchester United here, either.
    As a United fan, I can not blame referees for the fact that we’ve dropped too many points this season, even if Ferguson has done so in post match interviews. However, I can blame the referees for doing an abhorrent job in 90% of the matches I’ve watched, whether it be beneficial or disastrous for United. Throughout this entire season, I can only think of one match in which I actually thought, “This referee is doing a good job.” That referee was Mark Clattenburg, and I suppose that saddest part about that point is that he’s known as one of the poorest referees in the league.
    I recently read an article about a proposition of foreign referees working in the Premier League. Despite how taboo it is, it would be wonderful to have some Italian referees showing the likes of Atkinson, Bennett and Riley what they’ve been doing wrong week in, and week out.

  2. Andrew
    That foreign referee thing will not happen. It will be fought tooth and nail by the Referee’s Association. This year especially the quality of refereeing has been quite poor. They have missed key calls. David Ngog proving it yet again with his dive against Birmingham. I also believe that Ferguson really riled them with that cheap shot against Wiley. That was deeply personal. So I am not totally skeptical of Man Utd’s claims of 50-50 going the other way. But it is a bit of a self inflicted wound.

  3. I don’t think Wenger can be blamed for this though, only poor refereeing. It seems like ever since the Champions League semi-final where Fletcher was sent off after winning the ball and famously missing the Final, he’s been hard done by referees, with the only possible exception being the Arsenal game at Old Trafford, where Wenger accused him of “anti-football.” I’ve lost count of how many tackles he made similar to the one yesterday only to see a referee award a free kick against him.

  4. Argentina performing well in this Tournament, I think the improvement is due to the new coach Diego Maradona.
    So I am sure that Argentina is going to win the FIFA 2010 Tournament.

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