Oh dear, Wenger just contradicted himself… a bit

Arsene Wenger – livid


See, managers have got a bit of a problem these days – the damn internet. It’s like a big whirring machine that logs your every thought and opinion, then spews it back at you whenever you attempt to make an argument from the other side of the fence.

As reported in today’s Telegraph, Arsene Wenger was left absolutely the wrong side of happy when Porto took a quick free kick last night, scoring a goal, and going on to win the match. He said this:

“If you cannot build a wall then you cannot ever defend an indirect free kick. It’s better than a penalty because not even the goalkeeper is in there.”

“It is completely inappropriate in a situation like that. He has to give us a chance to defend the free kick if he gives it there, otherwise he may as well just give a goal.”

Unfortunately for the Frenchman, the rules do state that if a player checks first with the ref, then it is totally fine to take a quick free kick without a whistle.

And even more unfortunately, thanks to the damn internet, it’s clear that Wenger already knew that. Speaking in 2004, after Arsenal had just sunk Aston Villa 2-0 thanks to a quickly taken Thierry Henry free kick, the Arsenal boss said this:

“It is in the interest of a player to always say he wants to take a quick free-kick.”


7 responses so far
  • Don // February 18, 2010 at 11:27 am

    You must not have noticed the ref had his back turned when the kick was taken from the wrong position. He was also talking to Sol Campbell and blocking the Arsenal defender

  • Mark // February 18, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    in 2004 the ref didn’t hand the ball to Henry nor he blocked any villa defenders.
    If ye want to write shite at least do some research before you write.

  • JoshBurt // February 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Thanks for the comments, chaps. Mark, yes, the circumstances may have been slightly different, but the point is that Wenger is well aware that sometimes footballers will take quick free kicks… can he really have any complaints?

  • Darren // February 18, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Have to agree with Josh on this one. He who lives by the sword dies by the sword; and frankly any manager who knowingly employed Robert Pires must be very comfortable with the notion of playing fast and loose with the rules to win a game of football.

    As an aside, did any of you notice the Porto manager’s antics while Wenger was chucking a mental after the goal?

    First he gave him the hand-mouth-talking sign thing, then tapped his temple in a “The Romans are crazy” gesture, then he started waving his hand to shoo Wenger back to the dug-out. You should watch it again if you get the chance. Classic!

  • Tim // February 18, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    You can’t tell the difference between defending a player (wanting to take a quick free) and criticizing a ref (giving away an indirect free unfairly, then not even allowing Arsenal a chance to defend)?


  • Don // February 18, 2010 at 1:13 pm


    I’m sure he can tell the difference. But the goal is to bash Wenger, and not necessarily to make sense.

    The Henry free kick against Villa was with most Villa defenders behind the ball.

    I’m sure the blogger understands the differences. Wenger-bashing=hits

  • Luke Rowe // February 18, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Nice assist by the swede

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