Arsene Wenger has apologised for his touchline spat with Jose Mourinho and defended his decision not to resign Cesc Fabregas.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has belatedly apologised for his touch line confrontation with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho in their recent meeting at Stamford Bridge, a game the Blues won on a 2-0 scoreline. With 20 minutes gone in the ill tempered clash Wenger was incensed by a tackle on Alexis Sanchez and went to remonstrate with the match officials, but entered the Chelsea manager’s technical area on the way, an incursion which resulted in the Frenchman pushing Mourinho.
The Gunners boss’ apology was however somewhat qualified, he contends that the incident was blown out of proportion by the press and that he was provoked by the Special One. He told French TV show Telefoot
“They gave too much importance to this story. In hindsight I think I should not have reacted at all, it’s not a way to behave on a football field.
“I always regret any signs of violence and I apologise, but that’s a part of games where everything is manic. And then we have quite a substantial past. Did Mourinho provoke me? That is how I felt. I did not enter Chelsea’s technical area.
While you couldn’t call this an unreserved apology it does represent something of a climb down from his defiant post match position.
The return of Cesc Fabregas to the Premier League could be another cause of bad blood between the London rivals. The former Arsenal midfielder signed for Chelsea in a £27 million move from Barcelona over the summer. The Gunners boss has been defending his decision not to activate the buy back option clause in the 27-year-old’s contract allowing him sign for Arsenal’s bitter cross town rivals instead. He told sports broadcaster BeIN sports.
“I don’t regret not taking Cesc because we already had a lot of creative players in our midfield.
Chelsea will also have a difficult period [in the season]. Our schedule was extremely difficult and I have the belief that we can close the gap to them.”
However given Fabregas’ sensational start to the season with the Blues, perhaps secretly Wenger regrets passing up the chance to bring the Spaniard back to The Emirates.
Dan O’Mahony, Pundit Arena.