Search

Wenger: Walcott gesture at Spurs fans was ‘not offensive’

21:44 04 January 2014

The injured Theo Walcott makes a 2-0 gesture to the Tottenham fans as he is stretchered off the pitch. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

The injured Theo Walcott makes a 2-0 gesture to the Tottenham fans as he is stretchered off the pitch. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

2014 Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger defended Theo Walcott for making a ‘non-offensive’ gesture towards Tottenham supporters after the England forward was pelted with missiles as he was carried off towards the end of the 2-0 FA Cup third-round tie at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners booked their place in the fourth round draw after Santi Cazorla drilled in a fine opening goal on 31 minutes, before Tomas Rosicky doubled the lead on the hour with a well-taken finish after robbing Danny Rose on the halfway line and sprinting clear.

There was, however, a controversial end to what had been a fiercely contested north London derby when Walcott was taken off on a stretcher with a knee injury.

Walcott was treated by medical staff onto a stretcher, before being taken around behind the Arsenal goal, in front of the Spurs fans - some of whom threw objects, which appeared to include coins and plastic bottles.

Walcott signalled a “2-0” gesture with his hands, before donning an Arsenal scarf as he was carried on around the stadium.

The Football Association will wait until receiving the match report of referee Mark Clattenburg before deciding whether the incident warrants investigation.

Wenger, though, moved to diffuse the situation.

“The doctors said to me that the coins had been raining over his [Walcott’s] head and they had to protect him, maybe that is why he did that. Yes [the coins came before the gesture] that is what I have been told,” said Wenger.

“After that, what he did is not offensive. You look for every single incident, I can understand that, but it is an action that didn’t offend anybody.

“I have seen the pictures after the game and it does not even look aggressive, he is smiling.”

Last month, Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere was suspended for two matches after television pictures showed him making an obscene hand gesture towards Manchester City supporters in the 6-3 defeat at Manchester City.

Wenger, though, maintained this situation did not merit any disciplinary action.

“My response will be simple, they [FA] have seen the pictures on television. If they judge it offensive, what can I say?” the Arsenal boss added.

Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood, meanwhile, revealed in his post-match press conference he had not witnessed the incidents.

Sherwood said: “Someone just mentioned it to me in there. I didn’t see it.

“Is that what he did? Well, listen I don’t know Theo, I don’t know him as a lad. It could have been a bit of banter, possibly.

“If they [Tottenham fans] did then it’s a problem, isn’t it? If they didn’t then it’s not a problem.”

Wenger felt his side, which included several fringe players, had been good value for their win.

“The game was played at a good pace and I think we controlled quite well both sides of it; the defensive and the offensive,” he said.

“We always looked to have a good discipline and to be tight at the back.

“Every time, when our game is based on movement and quick, sharp passing, we looked dangerous.”

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 13:15
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham were defeated in Melbourne for the second time this week after a 1-0 loss against a strong Atletico Madrid side in the pre-season International Champions Cup tournament.

Thu, 22:41
Essex's Ashar Zaidi

Pakistan all-rounder Ashar Zaidi blazed an unbeaten half-century to strengthen Essex’s chances of joining Middlesex in the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals.

Thu, 09:14
Sean Cronin leaps to win a header during Monday's victory over Maidenhead. Pic: Martin Addison

Sean Cronin is hoping his experience at the back can enable Wingate & Finchley to challenge for the Ryman League Premier Division play-offs this season.

Thu, 07:06
Nathan Sowter has become a regular member of Middlesex's T20 side. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Leg-spinner Nathan Sowter is seeking to play his part in a rare Twenty20 double for Middlesex this season.

Tue, 18:52
Spurs Ladies forward Bianca Baptiste (right). Pic: Clive Jones

Spurs Ladies won a cup double last season and forward Bianca Baptiste would love to go one better and secure a treble this term – but she believes the focus should be on the league and a top-three finish.

Tue, 18:35
Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette

Lyon have refuted reports that they have received a second bid from Arsenal for star striker Alexandre Lacazette.

Tue, 15:14
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has shown his willingness to put his faith in Tottenham’s youngsters on plenty of occasions, and they will usually thank him for it.

Tue, 07:30
North London players celebrate a wicket from Jordan Gregory in their five-run win against Brentham. Pic: Max Flego

Captain Sam Bardon has urged North London to maintain the impetus of their seven-match unbeaten run as they prepare to face the top two sides in Middlesex County League Division Three.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now