Arsene Wenger was in denial about Gabriel Paulista’s shock tackle on Troy Deeney following our 2-1 loss against Watford, claiming that as far as he was concerned it wasn’t a red card, as reported by Arsenal.com.
The Brazilian lunged in wildly on Deeney as they both went for the ball, but the Watford man’s tackle was a little more conservative. Gabriel had both feet off the ground however, went in two footed, studs up, and really could have done some damage.
In real time it didn’t look like anything more than two committed players coming together, but after you looked at the replays even the most stalwart Arsenal fan couldn’t deny it was a terrible challenge.
Wenger clearly needs to watch the replay a few times, as after the game he seemed to think there was nothing wrong with the challenge.
“It didn’t look [like a red card to me], I have to see it again,” he said.
“He won the ball. It looked to me like Deeney was [off the ground] as well. Gabriel was first to the ball. That’s how it looked. If his feet were off the ground then I will have to look at it again.”
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Having Gabriel sent off early on may well have been a blessing in disguise, as he was truly poor against the Horns. He was largely at fault for the first goal, and it was just generally a poor day at the office for him and the rest of the defence.