Bolton fume over William Gallas tackle after FA refuses to act

21 January 2010 08:37
Bolton captain Kevin Davies accused Gallas, no stranger to drama, of deliberately attempting to injure the 21 year-old while his team-mate Paul Robinson labelled the tackle "disgusting".

With emotions still running high after the match, Bolton manager Owen Coyle had said the Arsenal defender's clash with Davies was "akin to assault". The Football Association made it clear, however, that it had no intention of intervening. It certainly appeared a reckless challenge.

 Related ArticlesWin Arsenal v United ticketsCoyle: Gallas deserved red card for 'assault'Mark Davies paid price for breakdown in trust between footballersGallas: career flashpointsOn the road to nowhereSport on televisionReferee Alan Wiley, who had been a target of the home supporters' anger after the perception that he had allowed a number of Bolton players to make robust challenges, deemed that the incident was a coming together of two players and did not warrant any punishment. FA sources on Thursday made it plain that it had no intention of "re-refereeing" the game and stood by Wiley's original decision.

Bolton saw it differently. "I thought initially it looked a little bit naughty, there was no intention to play the ball, and having seen it after the game it confirmed what I thought," Kevin Davies said of Gallas's tackle that led to Cesc Fabregas's equalising goal after Arsenal had trailed 2-0 and then went on to win 4-2 to go top of the Premier League.

"I think Alan Wiley is a decent referee and will look at it after and be disappointed," Davies said. "I spoke to him about it and he said that he did not see it."

He added: "Mark played really well for us and was having a massive influence on the game. He was causing them plenty of problems and the fact that he was getting fouled quite a lot showed just how much possession he had in central midfield."

Davies, certainly, has a history of disputes with Arsenal, while Arsène Wenger has not been slow to complain over the treatment his players have allegedly received against Bolton. There is bad blood. Last season, Davies accused the Arsenal players of being "embarrassing" because they made "loud screams to try and get you booked" and tried to cheat the referee following the previous game at the Emirates with claims over fouls.

Certainly there was a seething sense of resentment at Bolton that Arsenal had not responded in a sporting manner after Davies, who has suffered severe bruising but was fortunate not to break his ankle, was hurt. He underwent a scan yesterday following an X-ray after the match which had suggested more serious damage.

"It was a disgusting tackle. He's lucky he hasn't broken his leg," Robinson said. "We deserved better and are disappointed not to have got anything."

Arsenal also picked up injuries during the match with Bacary Sagna, who will be rested because of a shoulder problem, and Abou Diaby, who has a stiff calf and will undergo a scan today to further assess the damage, set to miss Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Stoke City. Diaby will also miss next week's league match at Aston Villa.

Arsenal have also confirmed that left-back Kieron Gibbs will miss the rest of the season after undergoing foot surgery following an injury sustained in November.

Source: Telegraph