x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Wenger's rant is not over

Never one to let sleeping dogs lie, the Arsenal manager stokes the fires by labelling the Manchester United's style of play as "anti-football".

Michael Carrick, right, tackles Arsenal's Eduardo during Manchester United's 2-1 Premier League victory on Saturday at Old Trafford.
Michael Carrick, right, tackles Arsenal's Eduardo during Manchester United's 2-1 Premier League victory on Saturday at Old Trafford.

Never one to let sleeping dogs lie or to go quietly, the Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has further stoked the fires by lambasting Manchester United's tactics during their 2-1 win at Old Trafford on Saturday, labelling the Premier League champions' style as "anti-football".

Wenger is stewing at the perceived injustice dished out to himself and his team over the past week, but claimed the actions of some of his players compare favourably to those of United's team, who would rather disrupt play than keep it flowing. He was sent to the stands for kicking a water bottle in frustration after Robin van Persie's goal had been ruled out, getting more familiar with the United fans than the intensely private Frenchman would have liked, while the Gunners' Brazilian-born Croatian striker Eduardo was the subject of a charge from Uefa earlier this week over his alleged dive to win a penalty against Celtic in their Champions League qualifying eliminator.

However, Wenger has hit out at those keen to criticise Eduardo, insisting his theatrics should take a back seat to the rough house tactics adopted by United. "I have seen a player who plays on the pitch only to make fouls," he said. "For me, this is a point that is more urgent than diving. "The players who are never punished, who get out of the game without a yellow card. I think it is more anti-football than a player who did what Eduardo did.

"Look at how many deliberate fouls some players get away with. That's a bigger problem because it cuts the flow of the game. And people pay to see football, not free-kicks." The League Managers' Association chief executive Richard Bevan described Wenger's sending off in the match as "completely out of context". The Frenchman was yesterday still awaiting an apology from the Premier Game Match Officials Board. Ironically, Celtic, victims of Eduardo's tumble in midweek, were at the centre of a diving storm themselves in Scotland.

Referee Dougie McDonald is standing by his decision to send off Aiden McGeady in Celtic's 1-0 win against Hibernian at Easter Road on Sunday, say the Scottish Football Association (SFA). The Republic of Ireland winger, booked in the first half for a challenge, was shown a second yellow after going to ground following a tackle. Sweeny overruled his assistant, who flagged for a free-kick in Celtic's favour, and issued a second yellow card to McGeady, much to the annoyance of Parkhead boss Tony Mowbray.

The official reportedly held a post-match debrief with the SFA's Head of Referee Development, Hugh Dallas, who is backing McDonald's decision. "Hugh has spoken with Dougie and they are absolutely satisfied the correct decision was taken at that moment in the match," an SFA spokesman said. "Any action of any player that is designed to deceive the referee is a cautionable offence, no matter where on the pitch it happens."

Chelsea stalwart John Terry has committed his future to the club by signing a new five-year contract that will keep him at Stamford Bridge until 2014. The 28-year-old England defender, who was the subject of several failed bids in the summer from Manchester City, has inked a deal that is reported to be worth up to £150,000 per week for the Blues' most successful captain. A club statement read: "Chelsea are delighted to confirm that John Terry has signed a new five-year contract that keeps him at the club until the end of the 2013-14 season.

"This reaffirms both John's and Chelsea's long-stated desire for him to be at Stamford Bridge for the rest of his playing career." Everton are hoping to bolster their ranks with the signing of the Dutch defender Johnny Heitinga, 25, from Atletico Madrid. Manager David Moyes said yesterday that a £5million (Dh29.8m) fee had been agreed with the Spanish club, although the club are still to agree personal terms with the player.

Luka Modric has rid Birmingham midfielder Lee Bowyer of any blame in the tackle that led to the Tottenham midfielder sustaining a broken leg. The Croatian playmaker suffered the injury during Spurs' 2-1 win at White Hart Lane on Saturday but cleared Bowyer, who is no stranger to controversy, of any wrongdoing. He said: "It was not a ferocious tackle but it hurt awfully and I knew something was wrong the moment it happened.

Sunderland were closing in on the £12m capture of Michael Turner from Hull City yesterday, after matching the club's valuation of the player. * With agencies