Despite Newcastle receiving six yellow cards and one red, Arsene Wenger isn’t altogether sure whether Arsenal got enough protection from referee Andre Marriner.
The issue of other teams opting to play a more stampy style of football against us isn’t new. However, it can get a little hard to watch when reckless challenges are flying in from left, right and centre.
Although Andre Marriner continuously punished the Magpies for their aggressive challenges, Wenger still isn’t sure whether we received enough protection.
“I don’t know [whether we got enough protection],” said Wenger. “I think the referee did alright but Newcastle wanted to stop us from playing, from moving the ball quickly and to stop our game. They tried that from the start. Mitrovic went a bit overboard maybe, and maybe a bit unlucky.”
It’s doubtful that Wenger is implying that Mitrovic was unlucky, because he also mentioned how he agreed that the sending off was a red card offense.
Interestingly, the boss then added, “Did he do it on purpose or not? I don’t know.”
Asking whether the player committed the red card offense on purpose is a loaded question. Intent doesn’t necessarily mean he set out to hurt the player, but it can infer that he used excessive force to deliberately halt play – a profession foul.
Whether Mitrovic was actively trying to hurt Coquelin, we’ll probably never know.