News24

What 'arrogant' Ronaldo needs

2009-03-06 15:55

London -Arsene Wenger has claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo is paying the price of his own arrogance when he gets targetted for rough treatment from opponents.

But the Arsenal manager still believes that the Manchester United winger deserves better protection from match officials at a time when, he feels, reckless tackles are on the rise.

"Sometimes I feel Manchester United get too much protection and sometimes they don't get enough and Ronaldo is a specific example of that," Wenger said.

"Sometimes his arrogance is provocative - and his class as well.

"But when a player is not protected it's not right. When there is a bad tackle you have to be punished and get sent off the pitch."

Ronaldo was involved in a tunnel dust-up with Newcastle's Steven Taylor during United's 2-1 win over Newcastle at St James' Park on Wednesday, the fracas having been triggered by a challenge from Taylor out on the pitch.

Recent weeks have also seen Wigan's Lee Cattermole red carded for an x-rated lunge at West Ham's Scott Parker while Everton's Victor Anichebe will miss the rest of the season as a result of Kevin Nolan's two-footed tackle on January 22.

Wenger wants to see bans of up to 10 matches introduced for guilty players, claiming three matches is not enough when the victims can be sidelined for so long.

"They could create a special committee to analyse if three games suspension is enough or not," he said. "I feel in some tackles 10 games is not enough."

Wenger meanwhile is looking forward to seeing Theo Walcott back in the first team. The England winger has recovered from a shoulder injury that has kept him sidelined since November and will be in the Gunners squad for Sunday's delayed FA Cup fifth round tie against Burnley, at the Emirates.

"It is very important to see how he will respond with his shoulder and I think he looks to be nearly there. To have him back is great and he can be very good for us," the Frenchman said.

"However, the difference between training and competition is different. Theo is very fit, but after that you have to get used to tackles and go into the challenges. You have to use your arms and shoulders to resist."

Wenger insisted Burnley, who knocked his youthful League Cup squad out of that competition in December, would not be under-estimated.

"We know Burnley well and that they are a good side," Wenger added. "The Championship teams are now a serious candidate in every game.

"They have shown that recently, and we have the experience of playing Championship teams.

"The gap has been reduced between Championship teams and the Premier League - you see that in the results of the FA Cup and Carling (League) Cup."

Kolo Toure is ruled out by a calf problem but fellow defender William Gallas is fit again after an ankle injury and striker Eduardo is available after recovering from a hamstring problem he incurred on his comeback from almost a year out with a broken and dislocated ankle.

Burnley will be below full strength because on-loan defender Rhys Williams has been refused permission to play by his parent club Middlesbrough, who are still involved in the competition.

The winner of Sunday's 5th round tie will entertain Hull in the quarter-finals.

AFP