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 Sport Stories

16:46
Hashen Ramanyake scored 96 and took four wickets for Highgate in their win over Kenton. Pic: Max Flego

Hashen Ramanayake and Ed Foster bowled Highgate to victory as the Division Three table-toppers stretched their lead to a commanding 22 points in the Middlesex County Cricket League.

05:45
Jack Wilshere of Arsenal during the 1st team photocall at Emirates Stadium on July 28. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Jack Wilshere will be missing for ‘a matter of days’ and could face West Ham on Sunday after suffering an ankle injury in training.

10:05
Hampstead captain Steve Clark (right) took 5-37 to lead his side to a seven-wicket victory. Pic: Max Flego

Hampstead moved to within three points of top spot in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League after winning their third successive game on Saturday.

Most read sport

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

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder