Wenger hits out at diver


  • Other Sport
  • Tuesday, 28 Oct 2003

LONDON: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hit out at Matt Holland after the Charlton player won a controversial penalty in the 1-1 Premiership draw at The Valley here on Sunday. 

Only a few weeks ago, Wenger was defending winger Robert Pires against similar allegations of diving following his theatrical tumble to win a penalty against Portsmouth at Highbury.  

But this time, the Frenchman was raging over the way Holland collapsed to the ground under the challenge of Lauren. 

“If I was the manager of Charlton, I would be very happy. There was no water underneath him but it was very nice,” said Wenger. 

“There was no contact between the players and I do not believe that there is any comparison between this and Robert Pires. Robert was touched against Portsmouth when he was on the run and this was different.  

“I don't rage about it, I can't change anything now, I am just saying what I honestly think.”  

While the most surprising part of the incident was actually that Wenger had witnessed it at all, his Charlton counterpart Allen Curbishley admitted his side may have been fortunate.  

“I've been told that it was a bit fortuitous but smaller clubs don't get too many penalties,” he said.  

“That was our first in the Premiership this season and we only got four penalties last season.”  

Paolo Di Canio converted the penalty before Thierry Henry rescued a point for Arsenal which put them back on top of the table, one point ahead of Chelsea. – AFP 

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