Wolverhampton Wanderers gave a fighting defensive display to hold Arsenal to a 1-1 draw at the Emirates yesterday, but they had to manage the last 15 minutes without Nenad Milijas who was given a straight red card by Stuart Atwell for a tackle on Mikel Arteta.
It seems the replays showed that Milijas won the ball fairly, and his Wolves team-mate Stephen Hunt believes that the Arsenal players made a meal of it and persuaded the referee to send him off.
“Sometimes players’ reactions are clever – they help the referee get a player sent off and this was one of those things,” Hunt said. “Everyone does it nowadays and we should be better at it.
“We’ve been ‘done’ in the past, for instance when Jonathan Woodgate stayed on – we should have been surrounding the ref to get him sent off. We don’t do it and we get punished so maybe we should start doing it.
“I thought it was a harsh decision – he tackled with his one leg and then the ball kind of popped up.
“I’d imagine the manager would appeal – I’m not even sure we should have to because he should just rescind it. I think the red card will be rescinded anyway, and if that’s the case and it’s done in time for Saturday, we won’t be punished.”
The Wolves manager Mick McCarthy confirmed that they will appeal the sending off, and is also hoping that Atwell will just hold his hands up and admit that he made a mistake.
“There’s no doubt we’ll appeal it,” said McCarthy. “I’d hope when the referee looks at it again he’ll be magnanimous enough to see he made a mistake and will rescind it. In the past we’ve been targeted as a dirty team but Nenad hasn’t got a bad bone in his body.
“He just doesn’t tackle that way and it was a perfectly good tackle. I don’t think it was ever a red card offence while I’ve got a head of grey hair. His foot was on the ground and he won the ball and I’m just not sure how that can be seen as a sending off.
“The referee gave the decision based on what he saw, but I think if he sees it again, he won’t be so sure.”
What do Arsenal fans think? Was it an unfair decision?