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Arsenal manager Wenger defends Walcott over gesture

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By Stephen Donovan

Sunday 05 January 2014

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has defended Theo Walcott after the forward made a gesture towards Tottenham supporters during his side’s 2-0 FA Cup win over their North London rivals, BBC Sport.

Arsene Wenger

After Santi Cazorla had put Arsenal in front in the first half with a powerful strike, and Tomas Rosicky had made the game safe by capitalising on an error by Tottenham’s Danny Rose, Walcott suffered a knee injury and needed to be stretchered off the field.

In the aftermath of being helped on to the stretcher, Walcott responded to abuse by sections of the visiting support by smiling and gesturing the 2-0 scoreline towards them, leading to some Tottenham fans throwing missiles at the England international.

This incident comes just weeks after Walcott’s Arsenal teammate Jack Wilshere was charged by the FA for aiming an offensive gesture at Manchester City supporters, but Wenger does not believe that Walcott will be similarly penalised, having studied footage of the encounter. He said: "I don't think he will be in trouble, he was not aggressive and he was smiling.

"The doctor said to me coins had been raining on his head and they had to protect him and that is maybe why he did that. People will look for every single incident. It is a reaction but he didn't offend anybody.

"My response to the suggestion that he could be in trouble is to say the FA will have seen the pictures on television. If they judge it as offensive what can I do?"

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By Ed on 05 January 2014 at 10:43

The missiles only came after the gesture. Look, there's no excuse for violence but there are usually reasons. Feeling any sympathy for Walcott having stuff thrown at him is like feeling sympathy for Adebayor when he celebrated in front of the Arsenal fans at Man City. At least that was heat of the moment. Walcott was fully aware of what he was doing and what reaction he was going to get. He should get charged and the Spurs fans who threw stuff should be punished. Both were in the wrong.





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