Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Cristiano Ronaldo’s “arrogance” makes him a target for bad tackles from opponents.
Speaking out against the rise of reckless challenges in the Premier League in recent weeks, Wenger singled out the Manchester United winger as a player who receives rough treatment, sometimes due to his “provocative” behaviour.
But the Arsenal boss wants to see an end to violent chalenges and has called for players who make bad tackles to get bans of more than 10 matches.
“Every bad tackle that is not punished I feel is not right,” Wenger said when asked about Alan Smith’s two-footed challenge on Ronaldo during Wednesday night’s Premier League match against Newcastle United at St James’s Park.
“With Manchester United I am a bit cautious because sometimes I feel they get too much protection and sometimes they don’t get enough. Ronaldo is a specific example of that. Sometimes his arrogance is provocative – and his class as well.”
“But when a player is not protected it’s not right. When there is a bad tackle you have to be punished and get sent off the pitch.”
Wenger wants to see longer bans of up to 10 matches introduced for guilty players, claiming three matches is not enough when the victims can be sidelined for long periods.
“They could create a special committee to analyse if three [games’ suspension] is enough or not,” he said. “I feel in some tackles 10 games is not enough.”
“An accident can happen when two people go for the ball but it is very rare. What I see is that guys go into the tackle to hurt the player. There is not sufficient punishment.”