Arsene Wenger says Arsenal will soldier on without Olivier Giroud in the next three games but feels the FA’s decision to uphold his red card at Fulham was harsh.
The boss didn’t complain too much about the sending-off in the aftermath of the Gunners’ hard-fought 1-0 win at Craven Cottage but says that having watched the replay the challenge on Stanislav Manolev was a ‘minor incident’.
Speaking to Arsenal Player Wenger said: “It is a blow that we cannot have him available. We will have to do without him and we will do it.
“It’s a harsh decision. After the game, I was a little bit less convinced that he didn’t deserve the red card but having seen it again, I feel it’s completely accidental and a very minor incident.
“That’s why I decided to appeal. I’m sad that it didn’t work but we have to cope with it.”
Arsenal were at risk of losing Giroud for the rest of the season had the FA deemed the appeal frivolous, but the boss admits he was never worried about the game’s governing body deeming his actions as such:
“You weigh that up but honestly nobody could accuse you of a frivolous appeal when you see what happened again,” he continued.
“I thought ‘frivolous appeal, no – but will they overturn the red card?’ For me that was 50-50. But we were never in doubt of it being [seen as] a frivolous appeal.”
Reacting to news of the ban yesterday on Twitter, Giroud himself admitted he felt hard done by:
“Décision très très dure…Very severe decision…”
Arseblog News is inclined to agree. That being said given the manner in which the FA banned Suarez for 10 games yesterday it seems there’s no point ever guessing what the game’s governing body will do…3,463 views