Arsenal man Wilshere banned for two games, despite FA plea
Player must pay the price after being caught on camera gesturing to the crowd during City loss
ARSENAL'S defeat to Manchester City at the weekend could turn out to be more costly than it first appeared after midfielder Jack Wilshere was ruled out of the Gunners' crucial Christmas clashes against local rivals Chelsea and West Ham, after giving fans the finger.
Wilshere has been banned for two games by the Football Association for gesturing at City supporters during the 6-3 defeat on Saturday. The England midfielder may have thought he had got away with the sly hand gesture when the ref wasn't looking, but although officials missed it the television cameras didn't.
As a result Wilshere was charged by the FA with misconduct and handed a two match ban. In a statement the FA hinted at Arsenal's exasperation. "Wilshere claimed the standard sanction for this offence was clearly excessive," it said. "The commission rejected this claim and the two match suspension will commence with immediate effect."
The ban rules Wilshere out of Arsenal's clash with Chelsea at the Emirates on Monday, as well as the visit to West Ham on Boxing Day.
Speaking to Talksport, FA chairman Greg Dyke admitted he understood why Wilshere reacted the way he did but nonetheless said it was incumbent on players to curb their tempers even if provoked by opposition fans. "As a supporter I sympathise with the players because of the flak they get from the crowd," Dyke said. "People can lose their cool very quickly, but he [Wilshere] has got to learn. He's very well paid to play the game and he's got to learn to cope with it.
"You think back over many years of players who were hot-headed when they were younger, but not when they get older. They just learn and mature. That is what happens. It is part of life."
Wilshere, who will be available for Arsenal's trip to Newcastle on 29 December, did not appear too upset during the club's Christmas party on Wednesday night. Held on what the Daily Mail described as "a fancy-dress party bus", the Arsenal players toured the capital stopping at various venues along the way.
Wilshere was dressed as Batman with goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski as Robin, while striker Oliver Giroud went as Captain America. Spotting the paparazzi, the Frenchman grinned as he gave what's become known in the trade as a 'Wilshere wave'. ·