Arsene Wenger has lashed out at Mark Hughes for his response to Emmanuel Adebayor’s stamp on Robin van Persie.
Manchester City striker Adebayor has been charged with violent conduct by the Football Association following the incident in Saturday’s match with Arsenal.
Having evaded a reckless challenge by Van Persie, the ex-Arsenal striker caught his former team-mate in the face with his boot.
Hughes, defending his player in the aftermath of the incident, asked for Adebayor to be ‘cut a bit of slack’.
Wenger, who initially declined to comment on the incident, has been angered by Hughes’ remarks.
“I watched it when I got home and it looked very bad,” he said.
“You ask 100 people, 99 will say it’s very bad and the hundredth will be Mark Hughes.”
Referring to Adebayor, Wenger added: “Was I shocked? Yes, I think it was a very bad challenge, surprisingly bad. I didn’t expect him to do that.”
“Did you watch it?” he said, when asked whether there had been any malicious intent. “I shouldn’t have to answer that question.
“But you watched it, you have watched football for years, you know as well as me what a player can do. You can always ease off or not ease off. I played football and I know exactly, in a fraction of a second, when you master well your body, where you leave in or you move out. You know exactly at that fraction, ‘I can injure somebody or I can not injure somebody’ and you ease off or you leave in.
“In England, you have many cases where the players leave in, although less now than 10 years ago. You have some challenges 10 years ago where if you did that in the street, you go to jail.
Wenger admitted he was disappointed in Adebayor’s treatment of a former team-mate.
“Of course we are disappointed,” Wenger added, “because when you go to the head, you are always scared for people. You want to be protected, and this is Adebayor or anybody else. I think it was a very bad challenge, surprisingly bad. I didn’t expect him to do that, but the referee should have sent him off for his challenge on Cesc Fábregas.
“I was surprised that there was such animosity in Adebayor’s attitude towards Arsenal because Arsenal was great to him. He will realise that in a few years. That’s why I was deeply surprised and shocked. It has now become the case of Man City and the FA and we do not want to interfere in that. But you ask me what my opinion is, did he do it on purpose? I say yes.”