Unai Emery has said it is a ‘good decision’ to ban a Tottenham fan from football for four years after he threw a banana skin at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when the sides met a few weeks ago.
Averof Panteli was also fined £500, laughably raised to £600 for the racial element which he denied although he did admit throwing the ‘missile’.
The court was told, “It was a targeted gesture to throw a banana skin after a goal was scored by a black player,” and the Magistrate, Mervyn Mandell agreed, adding, “”We have in the circumstances found the racial element was there.”
At his pre-Spurs press conference, Unai Emery was asked about the ban which many have said is far too lenient, although he has been banned by Tottenham for life.
“This is not respect,” Emery said. “I think it’s a good decision [to ban the fan].”
He was then asked how players and supporters walk the fine line between passion and crossing it, a stupid question if you ask me. Passion has got nothing to do with being a racist or throwing objects at another human being and if you can’t control yourself as an adult then you should perhaps seek help.
“I said to you that I think showing emotion is very important,” Unai responded.
“I think football is emotion. In a derby, maybe this emotion is greater. When you win it’s amazing, when you lose it’s horrible. Respect is very important. We can show this emotion with respect when we are playing but also when they scored against us, they can show their emotion with their supporters. But with respect.
“We need to show this emotion when we are playing, when we are winning, because I think football needs this passion.”
As much as I really enjoy having Emery in charge of Arsenal, I do miss Arsene Wenger for his insightful and thoughtful comments, especially around issues like these.
Emery is the master of saying a lot of words without really saying much at all whereas Arsene could speak a profound truth with just a handful of syllables.