Premier League - Pressure has turned Wenger into a 'nutter'

Sat, 25 Sep 00:42:00 2010

The pressures of managing in the Premier League have transformed Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger from a calm character into a 'nutter', according to his Tottenham Hotspur counterpart Harry Redknapp.

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"We can all remember when Arsene first came to England. I remember reading articles saying he was like a professor watching the game," Redknapp said of the 60-year-old Wenger.

"All the other nutters were jumping up and down shouting and screaming, hollering and hooting - and this man is not like those idiots.

"He just sits there, studying every move on the pitch like chess. They never lost a game all season and it was okay. I could have sat there with a cigar, but suddenly then you start losing a few games and it all changes.

"Now he has joined the nutters, you know!" joked Redknapp.

"In fact, he is one of the key nutters. He's a gentleman and I get on well with him but that's the tension you're under.

"It has affected him now. He's no longer sitting there, he's up there arguing with everybody and gets into it all. It can't do you any good, can it?

Wenger is under pressure with his young team having not won a trophy for five years and he had to sit in the stands for Arsenal's 4-1 League Cup third round win at Spurs on Tuesday after receiving a one-match ban for improper conduct.

The Frenchman reacted angrily when Sunderland striker Darren Bent scored in the fifth minute of added time to force a 1-1 draw against Arsenal at the Stadium of Light last Saturday.

The fourth official's display board had indicated a minimum of four minutes additional time would be played.

Wenger remonstrated with match officials, furious over the time added on by referee Phil Dowd.

Bent's goal, with the last kick of the Premier League game, cancelled out Cesc Fabregas's first-half effort and denied Arsenal the chance of going top of the table.

"I don't think you can make a big difference," added Redknapp. "In the end, you don't get anywhere. You can't change anything. You aren't going to make the referee whistle quicker. If he's played extra time it's done."

Wenger can return to the touchline when Arsenal host West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Saturday while Redknapp is sure to get a hot reception from the home fans when Spurs face his former club West Ham United at Upton Park.

Reuters

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