So, the FA have finally come out and asked Arsenal to respond within 7 days to Hull City and their Assistant Manger, Brian Horton’s, accusations that Cesc Fabregas spat at him in the tunnel. I’m amazed on several fronts, firstly the FA have managed to start an enquiry in the same month an actual incident happened, the fact that a little club ( as viewed by Soho Square) are actually going to get a chance to state their case to the FA and that we already have a lawyer already involved on Hull City’s side. Advice has been sought so now it’s in the FA’s hands.
What intrigues me and always has done, is the way that spitting in football is so frowned upon. Now, don’t get me wrong here, I’m no fan of spitting, but the ire that incidents like this create for such a minuscule display of immaturity and petulance still surprises me. Spitting just seems to fire so many people up, I could understand it 20-30 years ago, but still it probably attracts such anger from fans, pundits and the people on the receiving end of the projectiles.
Of course, the first real spitting incident I remember was this little gem, Rudi Voller still remains the only player I know to get sent off for being spat on and it was one of the major talking points of Italia 90. Yet, this new little tete a tete between Horton and Fabregas is unusual, now anyone who saw the pictures of Fabregas on the pitch that night can’t deny that he was certainly pumped up at the end of the game, but did he really have the audacity to then try and spit on Horton? Fabregas has denied it and claimed he’s never spat at anyone on a pitch, but something certainly happened between him and Michael Ballack once before. (Check it on Youtube, I’d include a link but the video has a soundtrack with some choice words, so just be careful where you watch it.)
Yet, just because he was pumped up after the match doesn’t make him guilty through pulling strange faces. I’ll be very disappointed either way when the story comes to it’s conclusion, but if he is guilty, what punishment will be given. It would surely be classed as ungentlemanly conduct, which I believe carries a 3 game ban, something Arsenal do not need right now. With a possibility of Arsenal playing in potentially 15 games, including Champions League and FA Cup matches and with him almost back to full fitness, Wenger will be counting on Fabregas to come into the team to give them a boost in the final two months of the season, he does not need him banning at this point of the season. If he did spit at Horton, then Wenger should throw the book at him, I hope he does.
Yet, I can’t see why Horton and Brown would lie about something like this, it’s a pretty concrete accusation to make about someone and the dossier that was sent to the FA is fairly substantial. Something definitely happened in the tunnel, so let’s hope the FA can work through the accusations and allegations and draw a line under the debacle and we can get back to football.