Backpage Roundup: Arteta Defends Cazorla but Wenger Apologises, Diame Available For Cheap, Holloway Fed-Up and More

Arteta Defends Cazorla Over Diving Allegations

Mikel Arteta doesn’t think that Santi Cazorla dived in Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat of West Bromwich Albion on Saturday as he believes his compatriot is not that ‘sort of player.’

Cazorla went to the ground inside the penalty area despite the fact that WBA’s Steven Reid didn’t touch him. Referee Mike Jones awarded a penalty for the incident and it was duly converted by Arteta.

The summer signing from Malaga was heavily criticised after the game due to his alleged dive but Arteta is sure that his teammate’s tumble wasn’t intentional.

He said: “Santi is not a player who dives. He has taken a lot this year because of the way he plays. If he has done it [is] because he felt something and changed direction. But he is not that sort of player. I haven’t seen the replay. Santi was saying that he felt something. The ref makes decisions, some right and some wrong. If there is a little [contact], it is contact. For me, it is not right to dive.”


Wenger Apologises for Cazorla’s Dive

Despite Mikel Arteta’s insistence that Santi Cazorla did not dive in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over WBA on Saturday, coach Arsene Wenger has offered an apology over the incident.

The Gunners boss has previously defended his players in similar circumstances but the nature of Cazorla’s dive was so clear that even he couldn’t justify the Spaniard’s actions.

Wenger said: “I am sorry if it was not a penalty. I have spoken to Santi and he said he has been touched and lost his balance. Maybe he made more of it, I don’t know. It’s a difficult decision, it can go against you, it went for us today. That’s what it is. What I mean is, when he [a player] is touched, he goes down, the referee can give or not give the penalty. Of course [I will speak to Santi if he has not been touched]. I will look at it, don’t worry.”
Zaha to Arsenal Rumours Frustrate Holloway

Crystal Palace manager Ian Hollloway blasted the British press for constantly writing about Arsenal’s interest in his team’s star winger Wilfried Zaha.

Since coach Arsene Wenger confirmed earlier this week that the Eagles winger is on his shopping list, it has been reported multiple times that a deal is imminent.

The question of Zaha’s potential departure for Emirates Stadium was once again placed in front of Holloway recently and he made it clear that the subject annoys him a great deal.

Holloway said: “I’m fed up talking about Wilf. We have some great players here. Why not talk about Andre Moritz or Mile Jedinak or Yannick Bolasie. Wilf’s our player, he’s on a four and half year contract and it would take a lot more than one player to de-rail us. We have many good players. It’s all because he was called up by England lately.”

He then tried to give the Gunners a taste of their own medicine by saying: “I thought it was unprofessional of Arsenal to mention Zaha. I like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. He would help our promotion push. And what about Theo Walcott, he’s out of contract at the end of this season. I bet you wouldn’t start the speculation that way around.”


Diame Could Be Available For Cheap

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has revealed that he will be unable to stop Arsenal transfer target Mohamed Diame from leaving the club if someone activates his exit clause.

The Senegalese midfielder joined the Hammers in the summer but could already be on his way out of the club if someone bids £4 million for him.

Allardyce said: “There is ­always a situation where you are powerless to keep a ­player. Because of the size of the fee, you can’t turn it down and the chairman says: ‘We can’t say no, we’ve got to move him on’ but I won’t be ­disclosing a player’s contract.”


Wenger Not Interested In PSG Job       

Arsene Wenger has revealed that he isn’t in contact with PSG’s rich owners, who are reportedly keen to replace their incumbent manager Carlo Ancelotti with the Frenchman.

The Parisian outfit have struggled for results in Ligue 1 so far this season and it is believed that they are ready to sack Ancelotti and appoint Wenger for the position. However, the 63-year-old has made it clear that he hasn’t been contacted by anyone yet and advised PSG to stick with their man instead of pursuing his signature.

In an interview with French TV station TF1, Wenger said: “They haven’t contacted me, and I think they must support Ancelotti.”

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