Yesterday the Premier League looked at and then handed down sanctions for a couple of incidents which happened at the weekend. The first I want to focus on is the American Baseball style, bench clearing altercation towards the end of the Premier League match between Swansea City and Hull City.
The incident happened after Ashley Williams (Swansea) and Yannick Sagbo (Hull City) clashed in the 80th minute. I think it was just a really silly incident as both teams were charged with failing to control their players and each fined a little under $33,000 for their hot headed display. I think that is fair and along with sanctions taken by the referee at the time should be accepted by both sides. It really is not a fight when Swans and Tigers face off.
The other major sanctions were handed down to the young England International and Arsenal player Jack Wilshire for his weekend loss of composure. After watching his side score three goals and still lose 6-3 was too much for the young man he decided to give the home fans an abusive hand gesture at the end of the game. What the referee missed, the cameras caught and so was assessed by the FA who issued a mandatory two-match ban.
Arsenal are now contesting the length of he ban, saying that one game should be sufficient for the crime and the FA will hear that argument later today. I have more than a few issues with the club’s stance now. I understand that a similar incident happened to Liverpool‘s Luis Suarez a couple of seasons ago when he was walking off the field of play in a 1-0 defeat to Fulham. In that case he was fined $33,000 and banned for just the one game, and I can certainly agree with that. Wilshire could have his ban reduced and a fine issued and I would have no issue with that, but my issue comes with the view Arsene Wenger takes on this incident and the comments he made when another incident happened against Manchester City in 2009. Then Emmanual Adebayor scored for City against Arsenal, ran to the away fans section (which was the other end of the pitch) to celebrate.
The Arsenal fans had been on his back all game, but that is no excuse. He was fined and given a two-game suspended sentence after already being issued a three-game ban for a much worse incident earlier on. This was not taken well by Wenger who made it clear he should have gotten the full five games combined.