By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger has been dismayed by the media reaction to William Gallas’ challenge on Mark Davies in the build-up to Arsenal’s equaliser against Bolton on Wednesday.
In the immediate aftermath Owen Coyle called the tackle “an assault” and the issue dominated the TV sports news on Thursday. However on Friday morning the Bolton manager admitted he had overreacted and, speaking a little later, Wenger suggested the media had done precisely the same thing.
“I do not want to develop any paranoia,” he said. “But there was too much made about this incident.
“It was a mistimed challenge but without any intention to harm the player.
“What is more funny is that, when we get kicked, some people say before the game 'we know how to play Arsenal, we have to kick them' and nobody in the whole country is upset by that.
“I am always absolutely amazed that people get away with it. When we get kicked and lose the game, the question I get from the press is 'oh, you did not fancy that’. But nobody is upset or shocked by it. When we are kicked they find that it is absolutely all right.
“I said after the Bolton game if Gallas has injured the player, we are sorry. We will have a look at the tackle and if it is malicious we will come out and make a statement. We looked at it carefully and we saw that it was just a mistimed tackle. That is why we didn’t see why such a story should flare up and make a national issue if the intention of the player was completely right.
“If you ask anywhere in the world, do Arsenal play fair football? You will get the same answer in every single country. That is what we try to achieve.
“Look at the Fair Play League - Arsenal are top. That is the best answer you can give.”Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 22 Jan 2010