Walcott Accused of Buying Penalty
Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has accused Theo Walcott of buying the penalty decision that enabled Arsenal to win Saturday’s clash at the DW Stadium.
Walcott went down inside the penalty area on a challenge from Jean Beausejour, and Martinez believes that it was an intentional tumble by the Arsenal player.
In the post-match interview, the Spaniard said: “The (Arsenal) penalty was very very soft, if anything, I think. Theo Walcott is very clever there. It’s difficult to tell if there is contact or not, and that doesn’t mean it’s a penalty, the contact has to stop you from staying on your feet. The player’s got real experience and he knew a penalty would change the game and give them real hope of the three points and I thought he bought the decision.
“But whether it’s a soft penalty or not, the disappointment is then in the other box you’ve got a clear handball. The ball travels a long distance and the arms are not in a natural position, and that’s a penalty. And then at the other end if you want to give a penalty where the hands are not in the natural position… I’m really disappointed because the players don’t deserve the feeling that they’ve got now.”
Wigan Unlucky to Lose, Says Arteta
Mikel Arteta praised Wigan Athletic for their offensive style of play after netting the winner in his side’s 1-0 win over the Latics on Saturday.
It was a very even affair, which got decided only when Arteta scored from the penalty spot that was awarded to the Gunners for Jean Beausejour’s foul on Theo Walcott in the second half.
In the post-match interview, the Spaniard admitted that they were made to work very hard by the home side and said: “I think they have been unlucky with the result because the way they play is quite ‘offensive.'”
Winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain agreed with Arteta’s viewpoint and added: “They set up with a lot of men in midfield. In the first half, it was hard to get to grips with their midfield at times.”
Wigan Win Will Boost Confidence – Wenger
Arsene Wenger has said that Arsenal’s Saturday afternoon’s 1-0 victory over Wigan Athletic has provided his side with a much-needed boost ahead of the busy festive season.
The Gunners nicked a very even affair, thanks to Mikel Arteta’s goal at the hour mark, and while Wenger admitted that their opponents gave them a tough time, he believes such a hard-fought result will instil some belief in his side.
“It was a difficult game but that will give us belief and confidence. They went for us and it’s a good result,” Wenger told Sky Sports before adding: “They stopped us from playing. We weren’t as fluent and sharp as Monday. They had great desire. They are in the wrong position in the table. They have a very good midfield and their full-backs did very well.”
Vermaelen: ‘Anything Can Happen’ against Bayern
Thomas Vermaelen feels everything is possible when Arsenal take on Bayern Munich in the next round of the UEFA Champions League.
The bookmakers have installed the Bavarian giants as the favourites to come out on top in their duel with the Gunners, but Vermaelen says that the strongest clubs don’t always win the Champions League and therefore, his side also have a good chance of progressing through to the quarterfinals.
“Most of the time in the Premier League, the one that is the most consistent wins the league, but the Champions League is a [cup] tournament, so anything can happen,” the Arsenal captain said before adding: “It is only about two games, one home and one away. You need a bit of luck in the tournament as well, so we will see how far we can get.”
Hammers Keen to Borrow Chamakh
Arsenal are currently negotiating the transfer of their outcast striker Marouane Chamakh with West Ham United, according to a report published by Goal.com.
It is thought that the Gunners want to sell the Moroccan but the Hammers are interested in borrowing him until the end of the season.
In addition to West Ham, Chamakh is also wanted by his former employers Bordeaux.