By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger believes that Kevin Davies should have been sent off for his challenge on Gael Clichy at Bolton on Saturday.

The striker caught the Arsenal left back on the shin just before the interval at the Reebok Stadium. It not only ended the Frenchman’s participation, he was sent to hospital for tests. Fortunately they revealed only bruising. Clichy will miss training this week but could be back for the Premier League game with Hull City on Saturday,

When he spoke to on Monday, Wenger was keen to play down the incident and had no qualms with Bolton’s tactics on the day but he feels Davies deserved more than a yellow card.

“I don't want to make a big story about an incident that I thought was a bad tackle,” said Wenger. “I agree with Gary Megson that the overall game was fair and committed. We have no problem with that. Just on that particular incident I have given my honest feeling that it was a red card.”

The incident was scrutinised on British television over the weekend with several ex-professionals arguing if tackles like Davies’ were a sending off offence then football would be moving towards becoming a non-contact game.

“I agree football is a physical sport and a player who is not committed has nothing to do with this kind of level,” replied Wenger when this idea was put to him. “One of the strengths of the English game is that kind of commitment and the way the referee keeps the flow going. What makes you more nervous is to cut the game off every two seconds because of a slight contact. That is why I am a bit cautious about saying too much [on this issue].”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
23 Sep 2008