ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger believes trial by television is a positive development for the Barclays Premier League which should deter anyone from taking retribution themselves – as he did when spat on as a player. Newcastle forward Papiss Cisse will serve a seven-match suspension for spitting at Manchester United defender Jonny Evans, who was on Saturday banned for six games after initially denying the Football Association charge.
The incident was missed by officials during the Barclays Premier League match at St James’ Park on Wednesday but was highlighted from television replays and was subsequently reviewed by the authorities.
In another example of recent retrospective action, Crystal Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak was banned for four matches after elbowing West Ham striker Diafra Sakho.
Wenger, the longest-serving manager in the top flight, feels the changes which mean every action is scrutinised can only be positive.
“When I played in France, it happened before, but you didn’t see it on television,” Wenger recalled.
“I have been subject personally to spitting and maybe my tackle was not good enough, (but) at the time nobody spoke about it.
“When you see it on television of course it makes it worse.
“Yes (I was outraged), but I could control myself….(later) I applied the sentence myself (on the pitch).”
Wenger believes football has to “pay a price” for such scrutiny, which ultimately should force players to clean up their act.
He said: “We have to pay a price for that. We are popular. We are watched all over the world. It gives us some responsibility as well. When you do not live up to it, you have to pay for it.
“You cannot say: ‘okay, it is nothing’ when you see in on television, because if your little boy who is watching the game says to you: ‘is that right?’ then you cannot say: ‘yes.’”
Wenger continued: “(You get away with) nothing and we have to accept that.
“There are cameras everywhere, that means basically we are always spied on, from morning until night, and that is a little bit less freedom to go over the line sometimes.
“But it is good, like now how the story about doping (drugs cheats) is coming out.
“Even if it is 10 years later or 15 years later, people will be less inclined to do it today because they think, ‘oh, for the rest of my life that could come out, so I won’t do it’.”