Monday, 3 October 2011

Wenger blasted as "two-bob" after Spurs defeat...and Arsenal's woes go on and on

Arsene Wenger became embroiled in another “no handshake” row after Arsenal’s bitterly disappointing 2-1 defeat against North London rivals Tottenham last night.

Wenger, who has refused to shake hands with several Premier League rivals in the past, apparently refused to acknowledge Spurs coach Clive Allen after the derby clash with the former White Hart Lane striker describing the Frenchman as “two bob” – a cockney reference to a worthless character.

Allen, part of a vast footballing dynasty, needed a talking to by a nearby police constable after an apparently foul-mouth altercation with the Gunners’ boss after the game.

The pair also clashed during last year’s 3-3 draw between the two sides. Allen, the scorer of 202 goals in 418 games during a prolific career, failed to make an appearance during his brief spell at Arsenal in 1980. He told The Sun in London: "Wenger refused to shake my hand. He says he didn't see me or hear me — but he's two bob he is, two bob.

“I didn’t call him any dirty words though."

Wenger, under huge pressure after Arsenal’s worst start to a season for 58 years, said: "I shook the hand of the manager Harry Redknapp and the assistant manager Kevin Bond. How many hands do I have to shake? Is there a prescription?

"No words were exchanged and if the story of the game is Clive Allen, you must ask him. He wanted to make himself the story? I think yes."

Pictures in the British press today show Allen clearly attempting to shake Wenger’s hand as he headed for the White Hart Lane tunnel after a match which saw fans from both sides involved in obscene chanting.

Arsenal fans targeted former striker Emmanuel Adebayor, suggesting he should have died when his Togo team were attacked by gunmen before the African Nations Cup in Angola last year. Spurs supporters responded with the age-old paedophile slurs against Wenger.

Redknapp, whose side are now comfortably better off than their traditionally more successful rivals in terms of points and playing staff, said: "Arsene shook hands with me and I'm pleased with that. I think Clive went to shake hands and he missed him. He didn't see him.

"But if he's going to shake hands, either do it and mean it or don't do it at all. If he doesn't want to, he shouldn't.

"OK, Clive wasn't happy but Arsene shook my hand and, for me, that was it."

With his side 15th in the Premier League table having lost four out of seven so far, Wenger -who famously refused to shake the hand of then-Manchester City boss Mark Hughes in 2009, grumbled: "We played with the handbrake on in the first half. We got back to 1-1 but then we didn't push on enough. That shows we are not playing with confidence."

Rafael van der Vaart scored the 10,000th goal in Tottenham history just before halftime and Kyle Walker clinched the victory with his first for the club in the 73rd minute after Aaron Ramsey's equaliser for Arsenal.

Wenger, who saw Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny let the winner slip through his hands, also lost full-back Bacary Sagna on the brink of the international break this week. He said: "We are very worried about his injury, the first signs don't look good. It's the fibula and ankle that needs to be checked ... he was pushed quite hard. I don't know what happened when he landed, did he land the wrong way?''

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