Saturday 24 March 2018

Wenger: 'Respect is not part of our culture'

West Ham v Arsenal Live BT Sport 1, KO 8.0

Arsene Wenger. Photo: Getty Images
Arsene Wenger. Photo: Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes over-celebrating victories can be “a little bit offensive” and offered the example of sumo wrestling as the right way to do it.

The 68-year-old was responding to reports of a post-match fracas following Sunday’s Manchester derby after Pep Guardiola’s City won 2-1 at Old Trafford to move 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League.

“I don’t know what happened really,” he said when asked about the incident. “It is difficult to take when you lose a big game, to see the 100 per cent celebration on the other side. It’s an experience that’s a little bit offensive.

“It’s part of the intensity and importance of the games, sometimes it can go a bit overboard. It happened to us, it happened to them and it’s unfortunate, but ideally you would commit 100 per cent and 200 per cent on the pitch and be an angel after, but it is not always the case.”

Wenger said he saw a different approach to winning during his time in Japan, where he managed J-League side Grampus Eight before taking charge of the Gunners in 1996.

“When I was in Japan I admired sumo,” he added.

“In sumo you never can tell who the guy who wins is. He doesn’t show his happiness because of respect for his opponents and that shows how deep the culture is there for the respect for each other.

“Is it something you can copy (in the Premier League)? I don’t think so because it’s not part of our culture.”

Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s trip to West Ham tonight, Wenger ruled both Shkodran Mustafi and Aaron Ramsey out of the game at the London Stadium.

Mustafi missed Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Southampton with a thigh problem which he is yet to recover from, while Ramsey has a slight hamstring issue.

Meanwhile, West Ham boss David Moyes has assured Joe Hart he will get games at West Ham, but warned the goalkeeper: “It’s not my job to pick the England team”.

Hart’s World Cup hopes are in jeopardy after Moyes dropped the 30-year-old for Saturday’s win over Chelsea.

Adrian will keep his place against Arsenal as the Hammers look to build on Saturday’s morale-boosting win.

Midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate could return after he missed out against Chelsea with a hamstring problem.

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