Arsene Wenger has defended Cesc Fabregas and accused Everton manager, David Moyes of fabricating allegations against the Arsenal skipper.
The Everton boss suggested the Spain international deserved a red card for his ‘disgusting’ remarks towards the referee, Lee Mason, at half-time of the clash between the two teams at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The Gunners were infuriated that Everton’s opening goal was allowed to stand by referee Lee Mason and assistant Stephen Child even though goalscorer Louis Saha was in an offside position.
Wenger has insisted that his captain did not speak directly to Mason and believes that the Football Association’s decision not to bring any charges vindicates the midfielder.
Wenger said: “Cesc Fabregas has not said anything to the referee. Cesc Fabregas has not been charged, so the story for me is over.
“I believe it is wrong for Moyes to come out with what he pretends to have heard in the tunnel.
“If I come out with what I have heard in the tunnel in the last 10 years you would be amazed. I think there is a rule in our job to never come out with what is said in the heat of the moment. That usually is respected by everybody.
“If Cesc is guilty, he would have been charged. He has not been charged by the FA, there is no action against him, so I don’t see why we should spend any more time defending someone who is not guilty.
“For me, the incident is closed.
“If you play football with your friends you sometimes go in at half-time and say something that you are not very proud of 24 hours later, but it is in the heat of the moment.”
Asked if he thought there was a conspiracy against Fabregas, the Arsenal manager replied: “Yes. We are long enough in the job to know that somebody picks on you for a while, and you are in the heat of the moment.
“But for me what is the most important is the player behaves well. When Cesc is on the pitch, he tries to play football – I cannot say everybody who plays against him tries to do that.
“For example, some people reproach him for not exchanging shirts with a player after the game – but I hope he will not exchange shirts with players who try to kick him for 90 minutes and them come to say ‘please can I get your shirt’.
“I think that is a normal and natural reaction. Overall this guy is an example on the football pitch and shows you how to play football.
“People are more demanding, and Cesc has to live with that. It is not easy, but he is a very intelligent man and he will learn very quickly to cope with that.
“Cesc is 24 this year, he has played 250 games in the Premier League – at that age, it is absolutely remarkable.
“He has gone through a lot, difficult moments, but has always come out stronger – this guy is a fantastic leader.”