Wenger: If he sends Wilshere off he has to send Van Persie off too

07:10 05 November 2012


Arsenal'a Jack Wilshere walks past manager Arsene Wenger after being sent off against Manchester United in his second game back after more than a year out through injury. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hit out at referee Mike Dean after the Gunners’ 2-1 defeat to Manchester United, saying Robin van Persie was as deserving of a red card as Jack Wilshere.

Arsenal had Wilshere sent off 20 minutes from time after ex-Gunner Van Persie and Patrice Evra had put the home side into a comfortable lead.

Santi Cazorla netted a late consolation for the Gunners but Wenger argued Van Persie might have been sent off for his reckless challenge on Bacary Sagna in the first half.

“If he sends Wilshere off he has to take Van Persie off too,” he said.

Of Wilshere’s second yellow card, he said: “To me it looked a regular challenge. I have to look at it again.”

Wenger labelled referee Dean “naïve” for announcing that Wilshere was on his final warning prior to his second yellow.

The Frenchman felt the warning encouraged United players to dive when challenged by the 20-year-old, knowing he would be dismissed as a consequence.

“It’s absolutely useless,” he said.

“If you give him a warning you show to the other team that the next foul, if you dive, he’s off.

“Why do they use that? It’s absolutely naive.”

The Arsenal manager also felt Evra deliberately overreacted to Wilshere’s challenge.

When quizzed on that subject, he said: “Of course. He has 10 years [of experience] in the Premier League.”

He continued: “I find the referee is very naïve because when you say to players the next foul you’ll get a second yellow, that is a signal for everybody on the other team to dive and of course they do it.”

Follow me on Twitter @nicholaspwright

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