Football - Wenger bemoans referee display

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has pleaded with referees to give Jack Wilshere the protection he deserves after a bruising victory at Sunderland.

PA Sport

The Frenchman was unhappy with a series of hefty challenges on his players during a 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light, and in particular some of the treatment handed out to the England midfielder, with referee Anthony Taylor taking a lenient approach despite sending off Gunners defender Carl Jenkinson for two bookable offences.

Asked if he was happy with some of the tackling on show, Wenger said: "No, I wasn't, especially on Jack.

"I was a bit frustrated because I thought many times, Jack didn't get the free-kick he deserved.

"The referee let two or three things go that I thought were fouls on Jack.

"I want just the referee to give a foul when it's a foul. I don't want any special protection.

"The referee is not a bodyguard, he is just a referee and you want him just to give a foul when it's a foul."

Wilshere limped off after 50 minutes following a collision with Sunderland's Alfred N'Diaye, although Wenger did not believe his player, who starred in England's 2-1 friendly victory over Brazil in midweek, had been singled out for special attention.

He said: "No, but you know when you have the midfield we have - [Santi] Cazorla, Wilshere, [Mikel] Arteta, [Aaron] Ramsey - they won't stop us from playing.

"They try to stop us from combining and playing, so they get close to us."

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