Date: 17th February 2008 at 11:35am
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Arsene Wenger’s ready-made excuses are as laughable as ever. Now he blames the state of the pitch.

Seeing the pitch at Old Trafford yesterday was shocking I admit. It was a bit like the ’70s and you expected thin men in those hilariously little shorts to occupy the playing field and start hoofing aimless long balls to each other.

Some two hours later, Arsenal reeling from a total humiliation, Wenger predictably blamed the pitch for the performance.

‘The pitch is a disgrace. You have players worth £20-25million and you cannot play a pass without it bouncing.’

Now I accept that a bad pitch is a hindrance when a team reliant on smooth, fluid passing comes up against long-ball merchants. But dear old Arsene, even you, with your famously short-sighted glasses, cannot claim that we won by using dire long-ball tactics. How is it that only one of the smooth passing teams was hindered by the bad pitch?

And of course he did not condemn his players’ disgraceful behaviour, no, he opted to attack Nani for his keepy-uppies.

‘We were incensed and most rightly so.

‘It is difficult enough to swallow when you are three or four goals down – you do not want to be teased or humiliated.’


Well, I’d offer alternatives. It’s difficult enough to miss a penalty in the last minute against your fiercest rivals, you don’t want to be surrounded and pushed and shoved by a company of bellowing pre-humans. Ot it’s difficult enough facing the press without having to remove a pizza from your clothes before the interview. Or it’s difficult enough to concede a last-minute equaliser, you don’t want a 20-year-old midget from Spain shouting f*** off at you even if you are Rio Ferdinand.

So please, Arsene, don’t talk about respect to us. Vieira’s attack on Gary Neville in 2005 February? When you start to show respect to United, maybe you’ll get it back. Until then – I know Fergie said Nani was disrespectful and he’ll have a word with him. But I think that word should be ‘well done son, but do not do it against other teams, they don’t deserve it’.