By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger expects Didier Drogba to be punished for throwing a coin at supporters on Wednesday night, but the Frenchman insists that more must be done to root out troublemakers in football crowds.
Drogba was targeted by a Burnley fan as the Chelsea striker celebrated a goal during the Carling Cup tie at Stamford Bridge. A coin was thrown at the Ivory Coast star but, instead of leaving it on the turf, Drogba threw it back into the stands. The Football Association has charged Drogba with violent conduct as a result.
Wenger did not condone the striker's actions when he was asked about the incident at his pre-match match press conference, but he did defend Drogba's character. And the Arsenal manager urged the authorities to crack down on the those who provoke players from the safety of the stands.
"I believe overall that Drogba is a fair player," said Wenger. "He had a moment of non-controlled reactions and he accepted that and apologised, you have to accept that. He will certainly be punished but overall he is a fair player and fair fighter in our game.
"From then on I believe that people who insult from the stands or throw things from the stands feel too much that they are not punished. You have to isolate people who do such things because they can injure people on the pitch. They have to be punished as well as the players and the managers.
"We have a responsibility as managers and players to keep in control of what we do and to stay calm. We are expected to always keep our nerves and I think 99 times out of 100 we do that but on that one time we are punished and we accept that.
"Drogba has been targeted many times in his career and maybe at the moment he is in a period in his career where he is a little bit more sensitive. Coming back from injury he is a little bit more on his nerves and perhaps that explains his response."Copyright 2014 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 14 Nov 2008