Arsenal are the most fouled, most punished and least guilty: Wenger hits back

Last updated at 16:08 29 February 2008

Arsene Wenger has reacted to Friday's Sportsmail online Hatchet Man column by claiming that his Arsenal side are being victimised and that referees need to make sure the game is played in a fair way.

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Hatchet Man today offered 72 reasons why the Gunners are more sinners than sinned against and Wenger, furious over the horrific injury Eduardo

suffered against Birmingham last weekend, claims he always tells his side

to play the game in a fair way but does not feel that

the opposition are always doing the same.

Wenger said: "In the last three years we have been

the team who has been fouled the most in the

league, we have been the team who have made the

least fouls and we have been the team punished

more than any team in the league.

"I do not want to go into what is right or wrong.

We try to play in a fair way.

"If it is a pure accident you cannot change anything.

All the numbers are available. The teams who

made the most fouls, there is a consistency there.

"I do not want to single one incident out but I

believe there some teams that commit more fouls

than others. There is a consistency there.

"I do not want to single one incident out but I

believe there are some teams that commit more

fouls than others. On our side, we just try to be fair

and after that we just want the right protection from the referees.

"If a team commits

three times more fouls as the

other team, there is three times

the chance that an accident like

that [Eduardo] will happen.

"I do not ask for any special

treatment at all, but the referees

need to find an answer. We want

to achieve something and now

there is one more reason to do

that for Eduardo."

Wenger also refused to

exonerate Martin Taylor for the

tackle that broke Eduardo's leg

and dislocated his ankle.

In the aftermath of last

Saturday's match, Arsenal boss

Wenger called for Taylor, who was

sent off for the incident, to be

banned for life, although he later

retracted the comments.

But, today,

Wenger said:

"Only Martin

Taylor knows

what he has

done and why

he has tackled

like that.


the end of the

day it is his

problem and

he will have

to live with

that. It's the

kind of thing you do not want to

see on a football pitch."

Taylor had claimed that the Arsenal manager's initial

reaction had made the situation

worse for him.

He said: "It

(Wenger's words) hasn't changed

my view because I know it was an

accident. But it has affected the

way people react to it."

Meanwhile, the London Evening Standard claimes it was David Dein

who persuaded Alisher

Usmanov to publicly confirm that

he has no current intention of an

Arsenal takeover.

The former vice-chairman told

the Russian billionaire and his

business partner Farhad Moshiri

that continued speculation over

their motives could damage results

at a crucial point in the season.

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