Arsene Wenger: Football celebrations can be offensive, unlike in sumo wrestling

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes over-celebrating victories can be “a little bit offensive” and offered the example of sumo wrestling as the right way to do it.

The 68-year-old was responding to reports of a post-match fracas following Sunday’s Manchester derby after Pep Guardiola’s City won 2-1 at Old Trafford to move 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and City goalkeeper Ederson are reported to have had a confrontation after the game, while it is claimed Mourinho had milk and water thrown at him from the away dressing room.

United are understood to have taken exception to City’s post-match celebrations and an altercation – involving up to 20 players and staff in the crowded corridor leading to the dressing rooms – is believed to have left City coach and former Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta with a head wound.

The Football Association has asked both clubs for their observations of the incident and Wenger, whose Arsenal side were involved in a similar incident at Old Trafford in October 2004 when their 49-match unbeaten run was ended, feels that a muted celebration can often show respect for the opposition.

“I don’t know what happened really,” he said when asked about the incident. “It is difficult to take when you lose a big game, to see the 100 per cent celebration on the other side. It’s an experience that’s a little bit offensive.

“It’s part of the intensity and importance of the games, sometimes it can go a bit overboard. It happened to us, it happened to them and it’s unfortunate, but ideally you would commit 100 per cent and 200 per cent on the pitch and be an angel after, but it is not always the case.”

Wenger has had his own run-ins with Mourinho over the years (Nick Potts/PA)

Wenger said he saw a different approach to winning during his time in Japan, where he managed J-League side Grampus Eight before taking charge of the Gunners in 1996.

“When I was in Japan I admired sumo,” he added.

“In sumo you never can tell who the guy who wins is. He doesn’t show his happiness because of respect for his opponents and that shows how deep the culture is there for the respect for each other.

“Is it something you can copy (in the Premier League)? I don’t think so because it’s not part of our culture.”

Japanese sumo wrestlers could be the role models footballers need (Rebecca Naden/PA)

Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s trip to West Ham, Wenger ruled both Shkodran Mustafi and Aaron Ramsey out of the game at the London Stadium.

Mustafi missed Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Southampton with a thigh problem which he is yet to recover from, while Ramsey has a slight hamstring issue.

Olivier Giroud, who came off the bench to score a late equaliser at St Mary’s, could make his first Premier League start of the campaign as Wenger again denied reports the striker is set to leave in January.

Source: By Mark Mann-Bryans, Press Association Sport

Published at Tue, 12 Dec 2017 11:32:07 +0000