Francis Coquelin was lucky to stay on the pitch after committing a succession of reckless challenges against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
After picking up a yellow card in the first half, Coquelin seemed to forget and carried on throwing his weight around in the second half. With half-an-hour of the match still to play Wenger substituted the Frenchman off to save him from getting a second yellow and subsequent sending off.
“I had a chat with Lee in the tunnel and we agreed that he shouldn’t have been sent off – you don’t want that,” the former Newcastle boss said. “But I said that’s his last chance, he can’t afford to make another challenge, and he did. But (Mason) didn’t make the call.
“He should have been sent off. Our bench thought he should have gone. Their bench did too, so taking him off was a natural reaction.”
He continued, “The foul just before half-time (on Zaha) was debatable, a cynical challenge, but give people the benefit of the doubt. But you can’t make another one. It’s a decision Lee Mason has to be braver on.”
Unsurprisingly, the Eagle’s manager, Alan Pardew, was spitting feathers after the match, deeply angered by the fact we probably should have been down to 10 men by the final whistle.
As frustrating as it must be for Pardew, it’ll be interesting to see if he receives any repercussions as a result of his harsh words towards referee Lee Mason. If that was Wenger, he would have got fined before he’d even left the press conference.