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Fabregas and Horton Prepare For Round Two

 Fabregas and Horton Prepare For Round Two

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.

13 Responses to Fabregas and Horton Prepare For Round Two

  1. jm says:

    Two small points and a question:

    1) I’m not sure why the Ballack video merits any attention. Both Bayern and UEFA have made claims supporting Fabregas (at least indirectly, UEFA noted that in the ref’s report for the match, there was no mention of any spitting). It is entirely based on interpreting a slight jerk of his head in a grainy video on youtube. If that qualifies as evidence, then I’m not sure what use our concept of evidence is!

    2) While it does seem odd to suppose that Horton and Brown would lie about this, there is enough reason for doubt that this supposition seems to carry little water. Brown’s telling of the story changed over the first few days (at the touch to in the tunnel), and he also claimed that Wenger did not shake his hand after either of their first two matches (which was absolutely false). Perhaps he misremembered and it is unfair to call this a lie, but it does not flatter his accusations against Fabregas.

    Question: Is there a precedent on suspensions for players out injured? I would presume that he could “serve” the suspension while injured, for even if the FA waited until he returned to fitness, clubs could just report the player fit when they had no intention of playing him anyway. Anyone know of a recent case in which this has occurred?

  2. jj says:

    Phil Brown should be charged by the FA for suggesting the referee sided with Arsenal, the Wenger got his goalie booked, and that Hull were cheated.

    He should then be charged by fabregas for defamation of character – Fabregas doesn’t need to prove he is innocent, he has to prove he is guilty, which he can’t.

    And Brown should be exposed for the lying egomaniac he is. He categorically stated on TV and radio (the following day repeating the allegations so no heat-of-the-moment stuff) the Wenger has never shaken his hand at the ned of matches when video & photographic evidence proves otherwise. HE IS A LIAR! So nothing he says should be listened to.

    Thankfully, he is so blind by his own delusions that he is taking Hull right back down where they belong. And hopefully will quite rightly be given the sack! Bye-bye Brown, bye-bye Hull. xxx

  3. arcal says:

    i dont know why many people (see journalists) seem to start off on the premise that Fabregas DID spit in the first place. no one questioned Brown’s flip flop reactions after the match and his lies about Arsene Wenger. He’s just a sore loser who shot off his mouth and now he’s too proud to take it back. probably the ‘dossier’ is filled with fabricated ‘evidence’ of the incident no one else saw except brown and horton.

    I think Arsenal’s response in this matter has been (as always in such cases) measured and dignified. no name calling or counter arguments have come from the club so far. The club and its fans have always shown Hull respect this season (AFC even letting Hull use their training ground!) and Hull has spat right back in Arsenal’s face. pun intended.

  4. Stuart says:

    A few things need to be commented on here. The first is the implication that Fabregas has previous form in the shape of the Ballack incident. Both Bayern and UEFA have confirmed that there’s no suggestion he ever spat, Cesc denies it, and I suspect the only thing deterring Ballack from confirming it is the six-point gap between Arsenal and Chelsea. There’s a nasty air of xenophobia/racism to all this, with an apparent automatic assumption of guilt from many pundits. Would the same assumption be made if Fabregas were English?

    The second is the comment “I can’s see why Horton and Brown would lie about this”. Well, I can think of at least two good reasons. First, they’d just lost an important match in controversial circumstances and felt hard done by. Second, Hull are in freefall and Brown, under enormous pressure, might well have been looking to either serve up a handy excuse or to take some pressure off his players with a diversionary tactic.

    Finally, Hull’s story on this has never been straight. Brown changed it several times in the aftermath of the match and has kept changing it. He also lied about Wenger not shaking his hand and hasn’t retracted that despite masses of concrete evidence to the contrary. He is, in short, an unreliable witness.

    The most amazing thing about this whole incident is that it’s got as far as it has. Really, it should have been dismissed as soon as it became clear Hull had no independent witnesses. That it hasn’t means a slur continues to be cast at Fabregas without a shred of evidence.

  5. Ali says:

    Is the British media driving Fabregas out? I won’t blame him! It is so stupid how the media picks up on such stories and make something out of them! Leave the lad alone, and let’s focus on football. As for Brown, he has tons of reasons to lie. It is simply Hull’s word against Arsenal’s. No independent witness. So FA should just say insuffecient evidence and kill the subject. Unless Hull have a picture of Fabregas doing it in that dossier, then the whole saga is meaningless and is distracting for both players; and moreover, defaming to a player who is already under pressure for not being able to play, and for being tapped up by the giant clubs of his home country.

  6. g0on3r says:

    yes, youtube video invloved fabregas and ballack should be out of question because bayern already said fabregas did not spit at ballack. but somehow media in england ignored it like such statement never made. i believe many ppl in england try as hard as they can to make fabregas guilty in public eyes before he can even defend himself so that no matter what happened with FA fabregas will always labelled as bad guy.

  7. Paul Orem says:

    Hull and Brown have lied and there is no case at here at all. The first is the accusation that Fabregas had spat on Ballack was dismissed by both Bayern and UEFA. Cesc has also denied it. UK Press are killing the game and are aiming at driving Cesc out of England. THey are not happy with Spanish status currently as the Euro King and likely World Cup Competitor. UK Press please stop such nasty xenophobia/racism. Let fans and Cesc enjoy the beautiful game.

    The secondly Hull and Brown are very bitter that they are going back to where the came from i.e Nationwide League.

    Lastly, Brown and Horton are master liars and Hull’s case on this matter has never been correct. Brown changed his case several times in the aftermath of the match and has kept changingt. What is shaking Wenger’s hand to do with this saga? Will shaking hands make Hull winners or Losers of the remaining league games? Is shaking hands playing football? Wenger can decide to shake hands or not depending on your hands may be if your hands are dirty, Wenger can decide not to shake them Mr. Brown.

  8. James says:

    This has got so boring now Cesc did nothing – all AFC did was win the game against Hull and Hull are bad loosers – get on your bike Hull back to the Championship

  9. James says:

    Cesc is the AFC captain and on eof our star players – the fans should support him and get behind him – it’s bad enough that the British press have a witch campaign against Fabregas as he is Spanish and they beat England!

    It is shocking that s small Northern cklub like Hull can manipulate the press in this way and turn the press against fabregas – this would never happen at Manu U Alex would never allow such rubbish.

    The whole story has dragged on for far too long – no mention in the press of how Cesc was given a barrage of abuse by the Hull players and coaching staff about how AFC are cheats and shouldn’t have won the game.

    Hull will soon be playing in the Championship whilst AFC will be at Wembley!

  10. American Gooner says:

    You’d think that if there were more evidence that actual players would step up and say something, yet aside from the he said/he said of the coaches and Fabs, nothing. That weighs heavily in Fabregas’s favor, if you ask me. Also, one wonders if this was a case of two guys getting into it and one of them gets a little frothy at the mouth and the other one says “You spit at me!” The fact that Fabs is accused of spitting on Horton’s shoe does really help us figure that out (although it does suggest that there’s not as much to the accusation… a shoe?)

    Brown and Horton should have let this drop a while ago. They seem like the kind of people who have accused someone, then in hindsight realize that the accusation is either silly or misfounded, but they decide they have to plow ahead anyway to save face. That’s the vibe I get.

    What they don’t seem to realize is that if the FA decides there’s nothing there, Brown and Horton will look like clods and it will stick with them. Sure, there’ll be some die-hard HC fans who’ll boo Fabregas within an inch of his life, but everyone else will move on and accept the decision. Even if there is indisputable evidence that Fabs did the deed, he’ll pay the price and everyone will move on and the only satisfaction HC gets is rubbing Fabregas’ nose in it for awhile. Brown and Horton have much more to lose than Fabregas does, in terms of integrity and opinion. A player loses his cool versus a dishonest accusation. Who would you have more sympathy for?

  11. Gaz says:

    All this aside…

    I didn’t see the game but it seems from all the images that I’ve seen that he was a little out of hand and pumped out (maybe taunting) after this game. He’s injured, right? Why is an injured player not on the game sheet allowed on the pitch to do such things after a game?

  12. Mike says:

    “Phil Brown should be charged by the FA for suggesting the referee sided with Arsenal, the Wenger got his goalie booked, and that Hull were cheated.

    He should then be charged by fabregas for defamation of character – Fabregas doesn’t need to prove he is innocent, he has to prove he is guilty, which he can’t.

    And Brown should be exposed for the lying egomaniac he is. He categorically stated on TV and radio (the following day repeating the allegations so no heat-of-the-moment stuff) the Wenger has never shaken his hand at the ned of matches when video & photographic evidence proves otherwise. HE IS A LIAR! So nothing he says should be listened to.

    Thankfully, he is so blind by his own delusions that he is taking Hull right back down where they belong. And hopefully will quite rightly be given the sack! Bye-bye Brown, bye-bye Hull. xxx”

    Well that’s not a biased reply at all is it!

    Brown, Horton and City’s fitness coach are witnesses who have come forward about this. We cant say whether he did it or not yet but I think he may have done, mainly because of the addition of the fitness coach standing as a witness.

    It wouldnt be out of character for cesc fabregas to do something like this, and im not talking about the ballack incident. He is known to do quite a few dirty things throughout his career so far. The pizza anyone?

    You cant just say that this is all a lie because you dont like phil brown, thats as stupid as hull city fans saying fabregas definitely did spit before there was any evidence, if not more stupid.

    We cant say anything for certain yet.

  13. Mike says:

    Oh and Hull were cheated. A relatively normal performance from Riley (a controversial referee in almost all of his games) up until after the second half, where wenger actually talked to him. After this talk about 5 yellow cards were given to hull players for nothing and the game was stopped alot. And yes, the goals were dubious.

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