Date: 6th March 2009 at 4:17pm
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called for punishing players who go into hard tackles, and has specifically pinpointed Newcastle United midfielder Kevin Nolan as being a player lucky to escape punishment.

Nolan’s tackle on Everton’s Victor Anichebe, which ended the latter’s season, was described as ‘horrendous’ by Wenger, who said that anybody making such tackles on the street would go to jail.

‘I have seen some horrible tackles this season and I don’t think the punishment is sufficient. Kevin Nolan’s tackle on Victor Anichebe the other week was horrendous.

‘They [FA] could create a special committee to analyse if a three-game suspension is enough or not,’ the Frenchman fumed.

‘I feel that 10 matches is not enough for some of the tackles we have seen.’

‘If you tackle a player, anybody in the street like that, you go to jail,’ he said.

Everton boss David Moyes gave Wenger’s suggestion support as he said: “Certain things need to be looked closer at. I have not been happy for a while with some of the FA decisions and the people making those decisions.

“Maybe a panel is needed, or a group of people, who can look at certain things. Certainly we want to wipe out bad challenges like the one that has ended Victor Anichebe’s season. We should be looking into such serious challenges, it did a lot of damage.”

I’m sure everyone at Newcastle United deeply regretted the tackle. It was a terrible mistake, and the club paid the price by losing one of our best midfielders at a critical stage. David Moyes’ frustration is also understandable, but, Wenger’s surprise attack was pretty much an ambush.

Arsene, a nice jibe at our midfielder who got a straight red, and was banned for three very important matches that could make or break our season. He apologised to Anichebe in the tunnel, and was genuinely repentant of the seriousness of the tackle, but it’s not enough for you, is it?

Is it a coincidence that Arsenal are facing Newcastle United in the coming weeks, and Kevin Nolan will be in the squad? Probably not. But your attempt to slam our man under the guise of good conscience gave every Geordie something to wonder about you.

Way to go – singling out one player during a season which has seen its share of terrible tackles and red cards. Great professionalism from Arsene Wenger. Indeed.