Stop the abuse! Wenger hits out at sick chants after another stormy trip to Stoke
18:59 GMT, 28 April 2012
Arsene Wenger believes more should be
done to stop offensive chanting at grounds after he was given a torrid
time in Arsenal's 1-1 draw at Stoke and midfielder Aaron Ramsey was
The two clubs have had a stormy
relationship since the Potters' promotion to the Barclays Premier League
four years ago, with the main flashpoint coming two years ago when Ryan
Shawcross was sent off for a tackle that broke Ramsey's leg.
Full force: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was subjected to abuse
The Stoke defender has been a target for Arsenal supporters ever since, and the home fans at the Britannia Stadium responded in kind today, although it was Wenger who took the majority of the stick.
The Gunners boss said: 'I've had enough experience to cope with that. It doesn't bother me too much. I don't listen to what people chant.
'I think one day football will have to tackle that. It's easy to sit in the stand and insult people. It's the easiest sport in the world.
'I focus on what I love in my job, which is football and the way my players behave on the pitch. I'm not responsible for the way people behave in the stands. If you want to stop that, it's easy to stop. You can isolate every single face.
'I think sometimes when I go out on the pitch at the end of the game, and people are angry or hateful, I would like a little picture to send home for them to show their son or daughter, and then come back next week and see if they will do it again, see if they are proud of you.'
Not bothered: Wenger claims he used to the abuse
Of the boos directed at Ramsey, Wenger
added: 'I don't think you can be especially proud to boo Aaron Ramsey, I
don't see what he has done wrong. It's an old story where the fans of
Stoke stand behind their player but it shouldn't go as far as booing
Stoke manager Pulis accepted abuse from the stands can go too far, although he stopped short of criticising his own supporters or agreeing that the two clubs need to tackle the enmity between them.
'It is very difficult for us all,' he said. 'I go to grounds and get abused. It's not just Arsene. If you speak to Sir Alex (Ferguson), he gets absolutely slaughtered at some grounds. Is it acceptable The powers that be have got to decide that.'
Regarding the treatment of Ramsey, Pulis added: 'I was more concerned about the Arsenal supporters booing Shawcross so I didn't hear the ones on Ramsey.'
Ear peace: Arsenal's Alex Song found a unique way to block out the chants
In a spicy atmosphere, the game began at a high tempo and Tomas Rosicky and Robin Van Persie were both denied by Asmir Begovic before Peter Crouch headed in the opener from a Matthew Etherington cross nine minutes in.
Arsenal hit back six minutes later as Rosicky found Van Persie, and this time the PFA player of the Year made no mistake to register his 35th goal of the season.
Chances were few and far between after that, although Arsenal felt they should have had a second-half penalty when Yossi Benayoun went down under pressure from Glenn Whelan, while right at the death Bacary Sagna had to clear virtually off the line after Crouch beat Wojciech Szczesny to a Rory Delap long throw.
The draw, coupled with Newcastle's 4-0 thrashing at Wigan, put four points between the teams in the battle for third place and a certain Champions League spot, and Wenger was largely happy with the result.
He said: 'It was a game where we have shown great character and great battling qualities. It was a game of two different approaches. One very direct and one who tries to play on the ground, and both teams are good at what they do.
'We had good chances, especially in the first half. I felt in the second half our fluency dropped a bit but we still had some chances, especially the penalty that wasn't given. “Overall we deserved at least a point and I can only give credit to my players. We have not always coped with Stoke's play, but today I felt we did.'
Pulis, who was adamant referee Chris Foy was right not to give a penalty, also felt it was a fair result.
He said: 'I'm pleased with a point. It was a good start, Crouch's goal was a very good goal. But from that point onwards I thought Arsenal did smashing and at times they played as well as they've played here.
'I thought Asmir made some good saves. The second half was a lot better for us, we restricted them and could even have nicked a goal at the end.'