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Ex-Arsenal striker Hartson critical of Wenger

Former Arsenal striker John Hartson has criticised Arsene Wenger for his disparaging comments towards referee Lee Probert in the wake of the team's 2-1 loss to Fulham last night.

The Gunners were beaten after Johan Djourou received a second yellow card in the 78th minute with the Cottagers going on to score two late goals to secure maximum points at Craven Cottage.

Wenger complained after the match, saying that Probert was wrong to show a second yellow to Djourou for a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge with match-winner Bobby Zamora but Hartson disagrees.

"People are sick of it. You want Wenger to come out and say 'look, my players were ill-disciplined'," the Welshman said on talkSPORT.

"Over the years at Arsenal the discipline has been woeful under Wenger. You want him to take it [the blame] on the chin.

"We all know Arsenal should have won the game, they go 1-0 up but that's a dangerous score line, they needed that second goal. Fulham are always thinking, one more goal and we're back in this.

"I'm getting sick of excuses [from Wenger]. I don't know how you can defend his comments really. I genuinely feel Djourou deserved to get sent off.

"The first tackle on Dembele was a definite booking, and a rash referee could have sent him off. Then he gets away with another one on Frei that could have been a booking and then the third one on Zamora.

"Zamora's a very clever player and if you're clean through and then pulled back, clever players go down. You've seen Arsenal players like Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas and Robert Pires all go down under Wenger.

"This is was what clever players do. If they are touched, if they've felt a little bit on the shoulder, they go down. It's not cheating, it's clever."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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