Premier League - Managers: Wenger 'too disgusted to talk'

Sat, 05 Mar 18:49:00 2011

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was outraged by the refereeing decisions which he believes contributed to the Gunners' draw with Sunderland on Saturday.

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Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland

Arsene Wenger: "I am too disgusted to speak about these things. What can you say? We put a lot of commitment into the game. I believe (Andrei) Arshavin was not offside, but what can you do? These kind of things have too big an impact on the Premier League and we are really disappointed but we have to take it on the chin for the next game, but we feel really justice has not been done today and it is not the first time... I am very happy with the performance, defensively we were very good and gave a lot physically, and I cannot fault the players' attitude. True, we lacked a bit of creativity and sharpness in final third, but had two decisions going against us today which punish us severely, especially the offside, which is not offside... What can I do about it now? It is my job to deliver football games and the referee's job to give the right decisions. I can explain my job, but to (explain) the referee's decision? That is your job."

Steve Bruce: " We needed a response after last week when we were shocking. We have been hit by injuries, but the response today was terrific in the first half especially. There were a few hairy moments in the second half, but overall I think we deserved something from it. If you come here you need your defenders and goalkeeper to play well, and that is what they have done."

Newcastle 1-2 Everton

Alan Pardew: "I thought (Leon Best) was a little bit unlucky with the equaliser that was disallowed (for a push on Phil Jagielka). He backed into him, Jagielka. Unfortunately, Leon put his hands up - I have seen the replay and there's hardly a touch and he has gone down. I don't think Jagielka would have stopped it if he had defended it properly, so perhaps he was being smart there... I thought Mikel was creative, elusive and his work-ethic was outstanding."

Everton assistant Steve Round: "The manager has said to the team that the only goal for us now is to win the next game and let's see where that takes us. It's a strange league. Last season, we got 61 points and that got us eighth - I think if you get 61 points this season, you will be in the top six, maybe even the top five, we will see. The goal really is just to win the next game and see where it goes. There will be a lot fewer points needed to finish higher up the league this year."

Bolton 3-2 Aston Villa

Owen Coyle on Gary Cahill's two goals: "With his age, Gary is only going to get better. I believe he could play for any top team in world football. Gary could stand toe to toe with anyone. There will be a time when Gary has outgrown this football club and when that time comes it will take good money but he will go with my blessing. I will never stand in the way of anyone progressing. What Gary has to do between now and the end of the season is keep showing these top clubs what an unbelievable talent he is... We certainly never played as well as we can today but what we have for everyone to see is a sense of togetherness, a real bravery and a courage that we're never out of a game."

Gerard Houllier: "I think (Ashley Young's missed) penalty was maybe a turning point. We created so many chances we were cruising at one point and we could have been 4-1 or 5-1 up. I feel frustrated and disappointed but also a bit proud because taking the game to Bolton as we did was something special. We were maybe a bit naive against Cahill. In football you are a lucky manager when you have a performance and a result. Today we had the performance but not the result. We created nearly a dozen chances." On the offside decision that denied Darren Bent a goalscoring opportunity: ""It is not my style to argue about the referee's decision but at that time, before the penalty, we could have been 3-1 up. He was not offside and he was on his own."

Fulham 3-2 Blackburn

Mark Hughes: "I'm sure Steve (Kean) will have a view on the penalty at the end (which decided the match with two minutes left), but we should have a had a penalty just before it anyway. There were a number of situations where key decisions should have gone our way. I'm sure Steve will think the same. We're dubious about their second goal because we felt Jason Roberts had handled just before hooking the ball back into play... It was great for Bobby (Zamora to score the winner). I thought he was excellent when he came on and showed real character and leadership to grab the ball and dispatch the penalty. We're delighted for him."

Steve Kean: "I've asked (referee) Mark (Clattenburg) for his take on the penalty incident and he said that Grant Hanley had both hands around Aaron Hughes. He felt it was an aggressive bit of play and that's why he gave the penalty. I've looked at the images myself again and think that technically he was right, there was a bit of contact, but I said to him that if you go on that you'd have to give 10 penalties every game. It's his interpretation of the initial incident and I have to respect that. We respect his decision. Referees have the hardest job in the world... It would be good for the game if referees could come in and answer questions. I can sit here and Mark Hughes can give his account, but probably referees need to open up. If everyone can understand the reason why they do give these things, grey areas can be cleared up." On Gael Givet being sent off after the final whistle: " I didn't even know Givet had been sent off. Mark said Gael had run at him in an aggressive manner so he had to be sent off. I've not seen any footage of that and I've not spoken with Gael, but we'll address it if that's correct."

West Ham 3-0 Stoke City

Avram Grant: "We have momentum at the right time. We will not score three goals every game, that's for sure. Nobody is doing this. I believe in this football, I believe in attacking football. You need balance, and we're getting the balance better and better every game. But we have many players forward that can score now." On striker Demba Ba, who has scored four goals in five matches for the Hammers: "Nobody knew about Demba before I wanted to sign him. Even Stoke and Everton and other teams that wanted him, I don't think they knew who he was. At the end of the day, he came to the team that wanted him from the beginning."

Tony Pulis: "Up until the two goals, especially the first one, I thought we were well in the game. If anything, we probably had more control of the game. Then we gave a silly goal away and they scored again from a set play, which is disappointing from our point of view. From then on, they deserved to win it... We have to get to 40 points as quickly as we can and then look at the table from there. If you're always looking over your shoulder or looking at what other teams are doing, you take your eye off the ball with respect to what you've got to achieve."

Birmingham 1-3 West Brom

Alex McLeish: "(The Carling Cup win at) Wembley was a factor in our performance. To make the enforced changes we had to do made it very difficult for us. You are looking for the guys who come in to provide fresh inspiration, but it did not materialise, and the goals we lost were schoolboy errors. "It is a kick in the teeth, and we know the battle we face, and we will see where we are in May. The boys were aware already that they are in a relegation battle. It is not a case of it just creeping up on them. This is not a wake-up call."

Roy Hodgson: "You look to do a job, try to prepare the players as best as you can - but at the end of the day it's all about players, not coaches. The players have got to do the job, and they can feel very satisfied coming away from a difficult match with important points at stake, having played so well from start to finish. The board made the change of manager very late on. They realise a late change doesn't always work, and we still don't know if it will. But one hopes the confidence will improve with these results, and hopefully we have turned some sort of corner. There will be ups and downs, but hopefully there won't be so many blips that we can't get enough points to stay up."


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