26 Jan Wenger wants FA hearing
Arsene Wenger will request a personal hearing following a Football Association misconduct charge – but is calling for clarity on the rules for when a manager is sent to the stands.
The 67-year-old was served with an FA charge after being dismissed from the dugout in Sunday’s Premier League win over Burnley.
Wenger was sent off by referee Jon Moss after allegedly using abusive or insulting language towards fourth official Anthony Taylor after an injury-time penalty was awarded to the Clarets.
The Frenchman then tried to watch the remainder of the contest from the entrance to the tunnel and was shown pushing Taylor, who was asking him to retreat.
Arsenal went on to win the game 2-1 after being awarded an even later penalty of their own, but Wenger was charged on Monday and revealed ahead of the Gunners’ FA Cup fourth-round tie at Southampton that he will not contest the decision.
When asked if he would accept the charge, he replied: “Yes, I’ve answered that in the press conference, there’s not more to add. I’ve been in England for 20 years, I have seen a lot on the bench, as you certainly know.
“I think if I am after 34 years still in the job it is because I am big enough to stand up for what I do. And as well, I’m big enough to know when I do well and when I do not do well. So that’s it.
“I am a passionate guy and I believe that I am completely committed in my job and want to win football games.
“I am completely passionate about it, like all the managers who work in the Premier League. I was quite calm in this game, I must say, for 90 minutes.”
Wenger is expected to be hit with a fine and a suspension after Alan Pardew was banned for two matches and fined £20,000 after accepting an improper conduct charge following an incident in August 2012 when he shoved assistant referee Peter Kirkup.
“I expect nothing,” Wenger said when asked about potential punishments.
“I came out after the game and I said what I think I had to say. When I don’t behave like I think I should behave, I’m big enough say ‘yes, that’s not right’, and that’s it.”
Wenger confirmed he will request a personal hearing to answer the charge but refused to divulge what he would say to the FA panel.
“I don’t think I need to especially come out with that now,” he said.
“I think I have said what I think I have to say publicly, the rest will be a bit more discreet.”
He also defended his decision to stand at the top of the tunnel, insisting there are no instructions where a manager is to go once dismissed from the touchline.
Wenger referenced an incident at Manchester United in 2009 when he was sent off in injury-time for kicking a bottle and ended up behind the dugout with the home fans.
“When I was sent off I was surprised and I was in the tunnel because I thought I had the right to be in the tunnel,” he said.
“Last time I was sent off wrongly, in 2009, I had to go in the stand at Old Trafford and I didn’t know where to go. No one tells you what you have to do when you are sent off.”
Asked if the guidelines need to be made clearer, he added: “I think so, because you don’t know where to go.”
Wenger has until 6pm on Thursday to respond to the FA charge, having admitted after the game he should have “shut up” and “gone home” rather than get involved in a spat with Taylor.
“Arsene Wenger has been charged for misconduct following Arsenal’s game against Burnley on Sunday (22 January 2017),” an FA statement issued on Monday ready.
“It is alleged that in or around the 92nd minute, he used abusive and/or insulting words towards the fourth official.
“It is further alleged that following his dismissal from the technical area, his behaviour in remaining in the tunnel area and making physical contact with the fourth official amounted to improper conduct.”