“I have seen a player who plays only on the pitch to make repeated fouls.”
According to The Guardian, Robin van Persie gave away as many free-kicks as Darren Fletcher, the player the press have assumed Arsene Wenger is talking about.
The issue is Fletcher didn’t get booked and after watching the game afterwards I definitely agree it was a penalty on Arshavin and it should have been a yellow card (not that this made a difference to the scoreline because Arsenal scored from the resulting attack). But for Wenger to argue Fletcher’s part in the game was ‘only’ to foul people is childish and untrue. If that is the case, then we should claim van Persie’s role was exactly the same. Given that van Persie was a lone striker and Fletcher was playing in the heart of midfield, you could argue it is even worse than van Persie conceded so many free-kicks. I’m not petty or bitter enough to suggest that RvP had be told to play to foul people though.
It would have been nice if Wenger was so passionate about justice being done when Fletcher was wrongly sent off against them in the European Cup semi-final last season.
Still, I think we can pass all this off as a very bitter man trying to explain away the reasons why his team lost to such a poor performing United side.