Arsene Wenger insisted that, although he has to see the tackle again, he doesn’t think Gabriel’s tackle on Troy Deeney was a red.
The boss is just adding insult to injury by suggesting that Gabriel’s horrific challenge on the Watford striker was fair. He even tried to say that both of Deeney’s feet were off the ground as well…
“It didn’t look [like a red card to me], I have to see it again,” Wenger claimed.
“He won the ball. It looked to me like Deeney was [off the ground] as well. Gabriel was first to the ball. That’s how it looked. If his feet were off the ground then I will have to look at it again.”
Although there were a few who initially thought that Gabriel’s tackle was fair, they soon changed their mind quickly upon seeing the replay. Wenger claims he needs to see this but I fail to believe he doesn’t know full well how bad that tackle was. He will have been informed. If Gabriel knew enough to apologise to Deeney after the match, Wenger knows.
I get that Wenger wants to stand by his players but in circumstances like this he just needs to admit that it was terrible and move on. Perhaps the boss is worried that if he acknowledges it publically it will reinforce the FA’s case for a retrospective ban and he doesn’t want to be a player down for three matches in the Premier League.
Then again, perhaps Arsenal has just made me bitter and cynical and he’s misjudged it.