Phil Brown is talking rubbish – listen to his radio interview today

The BBC interviewed Phil Brown today, and he sounded rather sheepish about the furore Hull have caused. Click here to listen to the interview. There are no witnesses to the alledged Fabregas spitting incident. He is now bringing up superfluous facts about Fabregas wearing inappropriate clothing. He can’t even remember what he said last night, he sounds very uncomfortable during the interview.

Another one of his claims, that Wenger has never shaken his hand after games this season is also clearly untrue. See the photos below for proof of Wenger shaking his hand after the 2-1 defeat in the league in September. Also click here for the Eurosport photo.

He is quoted:

“He wouldn’t shake my hand when we beat them fairly 2-1 at the Emirates, he wouldn’t shake my hand when they beat us, fairly, 3-1 at the KC Stadium.”

Arsenal.com have posted Wenger’s reaction here, you can listen to his response on the BBC today. Wenger has a perfectly reasonable explanation for not shaking hands, and the spitting allegations seem to be out of the blue totally. Fabregas vehemently denies them.

This is Brown’s post match press conference:

One word is going through my head – bull***t. This is another Sam Allardyce in the making. Phil obviously learned a lot during his time with ‘Big Sam’.

The FA have now written to Hull to ask them what exactly is going on. This all seems very strange. To be honest Phil Brown sounds like he is suffering from the pressure he is under at the moment.

I think we need to know the truth, these allegations are just Hull’s bitterness towards us for winning. Look at the evidence Phil, it just isn’t there, and you sound like a very, very sore loser.

Arsenal 2 – 1 Hull City Highlights. Bitter Brown’s spitting controversy

Arsenal 2 – 1 Hull City: Barmby 13, Van Persie 74, Gallas 84. Highlights here.

Morning all! Last night provided a satisfying win in controversial fashion. Hull’s early lead, through a lucky Barmby goal, was cancelled out by typically late Arsenal goals, from RVP and Gallas. Arshavin was the all-important factor again in this win; this was the sort of game we would have lost a few months ago.

A twisted Phil Brown had a bit of complaining afterwards which focused on three points:
1. He claims Gallas’ goal was offside, as Djourou headed it last – this is debatable.
2. He was unhappy that Wenger didn’t shake his hand
3. Most controversial of all – his assistant Horton, claims that Fabregas spat on him in the tunnel, and he is taking this to the FA.

Firstly the Gallas goal – it looked like it did come off the goalkeeper’s fist last, so Gallas probably wasn’t offside, but it may have come off Djourou. In either case it has been given, we were looking like scoring a second at some point, and luck, which we have lacked, finally came our way. So I can understand his frustration.

Wenger saw the goal afterwards on the Setanta interview and looked very awkward, the questions asked also focused on the fact he didn’t shake Brown’s hand – this was because Brown had gone off to the away fans and players at the final whistle, that is all.

The most crazy claim is the spitting accusation. Wenger told the post-match interview that this was the first he had heard of it. A very bitter Phil Brown said that Fabregas had spat at Horton:

“I was there and I witnessed it, he spat at my assistant manager down the tunnel, that’s their club captain. Hopefully he’s proud of himself. He spat at his feet.”

Fabregas has now put out an official statement on Arsenal.com.

“I categorically deny that I spat at anybody after the match. I have never done this in my whole career on the pitch, so why would I do it when I am not even playing?

“I can understand the frustration of losing a game to a dubious goal, that has happened to me many times in my career as well. But this is not the fault of me or any of the Arsenal players.”

I can believe Fabregas, I see no reason for him to spit, but we don’t know the whole story. It may be some sort of mix up, which has been misinterpreted. It would be in our best interest to get this sorted out as soon as possible. It would be very sad it if it has happened, but equally stupid if bitter Hull have fabricated this story.

Anyway a great result, with a good performance from Song yet again. I was happy with Walcott who looked dangerous at times too, even though his delivery wasn’t the best. Our best player by far was Arshavin, he created most moves, again showing his value, whilst Nasri and Bendtner showed their class, coming on in the second half and changing the game.

Nasri is looking increasingly effective in the central role late on in games, while Bendtner can drop off into the hole, and Arshavin drift in the wide left area. Our attack looks very convincing even if we were poor in the first half, I think that was down to the suprising nature of Barmby’s deflected goal. The fact that we have so many players who can switch from attack to the flanks and midfield is very exciting. We have kept the momentum up with that win, and now we need a result at Newcastle on Saturday.

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Wenger – changes and ‘Champions League focus’ – pre-Porto

Arsene Wenger spoke on a large range of issues in the press conference ahead of the Champions League game against Porto.

It has been widely expected that there will be changes in the line-up that lost to Hull City, but a knee-jerk reaction will not be the correct one.

The BBC has the video of Arsene Wenger’s pre-match press conference.

Wenger said there would be changes:

“There will be changes, certainly,” the Arsenal manager said. “I will see how many, but there will be changes.

“There were enough ingredients (in the Hull game) to make me physically sick.

“What we delivered was not good enough and we know that. I believe that is more down to the mental side than anything technical.”

“What is important now is to recover and prepare for the next game,”

He then calmed speculation that the changes were being made as punishment through demotion to the bench:

“Punishment? No, you know sometimes you make changes because you consider the other team, you consider the balance of your team, sometimes because one player is not at his best,”

“If a player or two do not play tomorrow it is not a punishment, it is just because of a rotation in the side. You cannot play every single game with the same 11 players.”

“I believe the goal we conceded where we are less guilty is the corner against Hull because it was a well-taken chance,” he said. “[Hull’s Daniel] Cousin is very tall and very good in the air. It was a perfect header and that can happen to anybody.

“You gain experience through the games. At the back is where we have experience because you cannot say with Clichy and Sagna and Kolo and Gallas that we lack experience. Will Kolo play in midfield? No, not at all.

“As for Vela, it’s difficult to go into any individual case. I believe Carlos Vela is a player of the squad and the whole squad will be used over the season. You cannot go from one team to the other and change 11 players because we just lost one game.

“I believe what is happening is that players have shown quality behind the first team and that is very interesting for the future of the Club.”

On the last CL game against Dynamo Kiev he defended the team:

“The side we played against Dynamo Kiev was very young. Theo Walcott is 19, Alexandre Song is 21, Denilson is 20 and even Cesc Fabregas is only 21,”

“It is not easy to win away in the Champions League with such a lack of experience.”

“This group is tougher than in previous years. It is definitely the most even group we have had because there are no easy games.

“That makes the match with Porto more important. We know in the Champions League you qualify with 10 points, so if we win our home games we are through.

“If we can do well, then the other teams will take all the points off each other and that is why I think even draws from our away games could prove good results because all the teams will drop points.

“There is no obvious weakest team, so every game will be very important and we will have to be at a high level for every game.”

He believes that we need to regain a ‘Champions League focus’ for every game:

“I believe the Champions League is a different game,”

“We have learned from the Hull match that you need a Champions League focus in every game.

“If we are guilty of something it is that we couldn’t get our focus to the right level to take our chances.

“The analysis of the game shows that we had enough opportunities to win. On the other hand, they made 100 per cent of the few chances they had. So credit to them and damage to us.

“You have not to make too much of it. We lost a game we did not want to lose but we have enough strength inside the Club and inside the team to deal with that. It can happen but it cannot be repeated.

“I don’t think we needed to be woken up but it was a big disappointment because we felt that we had enough quality to win the game.”

On injuries the main news is that Nasri is back:

“Song has still not recovered, I had him on the bench on Saturday but he did not feel comfortable and he had a little setback.

“Nasri is fit and is in the squad.”

Gallas echoed Wenger’s comments talking about how he wants to prepare:

“What we delivered against Hull was not good enough, we know that, so the important thing now is not how many games we can lose this season, but preparing well for Tuesday night.”

All in all you can tell that the team are very dissappointed about the Hull result. Losing at home is never pleasant, and especially not against teams like Hull.

It is very, very worrying that we have lost for a second time this season to ‘smaller teams’, and that we conceded from a corner yet again – we look extremely weak when defending set pieces.

All I can hope is that the team can recover and be back to their best for the Porto match, or we will be in trouble in the CL, and pressure will build from the media and fans.

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