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John Giles: Arsene Wenger abuse is over the top and should not be part of the game


Mourinho and Wenger

Mourinho and Wenger

Mourinho and Wenger

I WONDER do Arsene Wenger or Jose Mourinho ever make the connection between their own day-to-day hypocrisy and the fact that some fans think it is acceptable to verbally abuse a football manager out on the street?

There is no possible reason to condone that kind of thing. It is not acceptable inside a stadium or outside and will never be but I expect more and more of it.

Every time Wenger 'doesn't see' an incident which to the rest of us is black and white, does he not think that this economy with the truth and willingness to warp reality to suit himself or his players has an impact?

Has it ever dawned on Wenger or Mourinho that selective condemnation of things that are bad in the game sets an example which some fans will follow?

It most certainly does. Every dive, every pretence about an injury, every heated argument with the referee and all the other small or big examples of dishonesty or bad behaviour which afflict our game chip away at the foundations until Wenger finds himself in fear for his safety in a train station.

I wrote a piece last week about Nigel Pearson and how he was verbally abused by a fan behind him in the stand and reacted. It looks like he could lose his job over it.

Someone, presumably the individual who sparked the response, has brought the police into it and I am not a bit surprised that the man who was doing the shouting at Pearson has bought into football's double standard so wholeheartedly.

Do unto him but don't do unto me or I'll sue or press charges.

hat mentality has been encouraged and magnified by the way the game has developed in the last ten years.

Fans who dish out harsh treatment to players and managers see the same people cheating, simulating and generally bringing the game into disrepute on a weekly basis.

It all adds up. Eric Cantona aiming a kick into the crowd, Alex Ferguson's relentless defence of poor behaviour from his own players and the steady intimidation of referees. Wenger's willingness to ignore diving by Robert Pires, Thierry Henry and more recently, Theo Walcott, Nicolas Bendtner and Eduardo, Just last month, Santi Cazorla went over like he had been shot against West Brom.

Remember, Wenger is the man who was moaning about Robben diving last March when Arsenal knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich back in March and a few years back, suggested an automatic three game ban for anyone caught diving.

He was right about Robben but lost the right to complain through his own hypocrisy down through the years.

Mourinho was at again at the weekend when he was speaking about referee Chris Foy and his decision to book Diego Costa for diving against Hull.

He has spoken several times about his mission to help rid the game of all the bad things I've mentioned above but when one of his own players is involved, his resolve becomes severely diluted.

Costa dived and I've seen him dive before. At Chelsea, he is following in a grand tradition fostered by Didier Drogba and Robben, two men who could have had a career in acting.

Don't for a second believe that the manager has nothing to do with this; that the diving is down to the player and player alone.

Damien Duff is a great example. Mourinho changed him as a player while he was with Chelsea and he left Stamford Bridge a more defensively minded footballer than when he arrived.

But I reckon he learned a few of the dark arts there too. He admitted himself this year that he "liked a little dive" when he was doing some television punditry and I don't believe that this came naturally to him. There was no more honest a player than Duff.

Robben is still at it and I'm sure if Drogba was playing more often, he'd be doing it too. But Mourinho would never notice. Like Wenger, he never does.

Wenger has claimed before that his players are roughed up by other teams and I believe that he communicates this on the training ground.

He wants referees to know that his man has been fouled so he looks the other way when the evidence being supplied to the match officials is theatrical.

For Wenger, the decline in standards off the pitch are particularly relevant given the pressure he is under at the moment.

They are showing banners at matches now calling for him to go and that after he qualified for his 16th Champions League draw and has now steered them into the knock-out phase once again.

You can debate his merit as a manager or even put up a critical banner but there is no place for what happened in that train station, even if Wenger carries some of the responsibility for it himself.