By Richard Clarke

Arsenal will co-operate fully with any investigation into accusations of spitting by Cesc Fabregas after the FA Cup Quarter-Final with Hull on Tuesday.

The finger of suspicion was pointed at the Spaniard by visiting manager Phil Brown. In his post-match press conference, he suggested Fabregas had spat at assistant boss Brian Horton in the tunnel as the teams went off.

This had been flatly refuted by Fabregas and, ahead of the trip to Newcastle, Wenger backed the 21-year-old.

“He denies categorically what has been asserted by Hull,” said Wenger. “We are open to any investigation from the FA. If they want to take the matter further we’ll co-operate fully like we always do and for me that is the end of it.

“I have learned to be tolerant with the statements of managers after games, especially after defeats. So I do not make too much of it.

“I would not like to come out on this anymore. What is important is our strength and how well we focus. We have a fantastic spirit in the side. We can live with the comments made about us and now we should show our behaviour on the pitch is spot on.”

The incident was fuelled by Arsenal’s controversial late winner on the night. At full time, Fabregas, dressed in casual clothing, came on to the pitch to celebrate with his team-mates. It has been suggested since that his actions - and even his attire - were unbecoming of an Arsenal captain.

“That is unfair criticism,” responded Wenger. “We have all the players behind the bench and I think it’s completely normal that they share the victory with the players on the pitch. Regarding the way he was dressed on the night, he was free to dress how he wanted so I don’t share your taste.”

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
20 Mar 2009