Football

Everton Vs Blackpool, Sat 5 Feb 2011

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Everton manager David Moyes has hit back at Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger in a row over the conduct of Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas.

Wenger said "it is wrong for Moyes to come out on what he pretends to have heard in the tunnel" after the Everton boss claimed Fabregas made "disgusting" comments towards officials this week.

The Spaniard was alleged to have approached the fourth official at half-time during Arsenal's 2-1 win over Everton at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday to complain about the visitors' goal.

Arsenal were angry Louis Saha had not been flagged offside before opening the scoring in the Barclays Premier League clash.


 

Moyes said: "I have to defend the integrity of Everton and David Moyes as well.

"I think it has been said I didn't see it or I didn't hear it.

"Well I was there and I saw it and I heard it.

"Cesc questioned Everton's integrity by suggesting we possibly had given money to the referee.

"In doing that he also questioned the integrity of the referees.

"If I had said that or any other player had said that I think that would have warranted a sending off.

"I think Arsene said there was an unwritten rule that you don't say things which are in the tunnel.

"Well his player was the one who broke the unwritten rule.

"Because what he did was question Everton football club, that we may be paying officials."

Wenger has defended his player and said that only he spoke to referee Lee Mason at half-time.

Moyes however has confirmed that he thought Fabregas was speaking to fourth official Kevin Wright.

He said: "Cesc never swore once. He was very calm, very calculated. It wasn't a rant or a rave like I've heard a lot people saying.

"It was just straight to the point and I thought it was out of order and he deserved to be sent off.

"I thought if I said that to the fourth official - who he did direct it to - I would have been sent off and the FA would be involved and probably fining me #8,000 again."

Mason made no mention of any half-time incidents in his report and the Football Association will not be investigating.

Moyes added: "We have no intention of getting the FA involved.

"If the FA ask for information I won't give them it. That doesn't get me three points back.

"In truth I wouldn't have even brought it up or mentioned it again if it wasn't that it looks like Arsene seems to think I have not seen or heard it."

Defeat at Arsenal has left Everton just three points above the relegation zone and still struggling to build momentum.

The Merseysiders have won just two of their last 14 Premier League games and are anxious to put that right as out-of-form Blackpool visit Goodison Park.

Ian Holloway's promoted Seasiders are a point and two places better off than Everton but have experienced a reality check in recent weeks, losing on six of their last seven league outings.

Moyes said: "Ian's doing a brilliant job. There are other managers doing great jobs but Ollie is certainly doing very well.

"I think people like them because of their attacking style."

Holloway hopes a change of scenery can inspire a change in fortunes for his Blackpool side as they look to end a run of four successive defeats.

Promoted clubs usually rely on their home form to keep them out of trouble but for Blackpool the story has been somewhat different. In fact, they are the only team in the division whose away record is better than their home performance.

Holloway said: "It's definitely more difficult to play at home in this division, for us anyway, and the results have proven that. Nearly everybody in the Premier League is very good at blocking you away from home and then counter-attacking.

"If you look at the stats (against West Ham), we had 21 shots and they had 11 but unfortunately they scored three and we only got one. Our style is definitely counter-attacking, getting forward and having a go.

"I think people's home expectations against Blackpool puts pressure on their team to attack us and that will leave space for us. We're just finding it a little bit difficult at home at the moment."

Blackpool's exuberance and positive approach to life in the Premier League has won them many friends and Holloway is determined that will not be affected by their form.

"What we've given ourselves is a great platform, with 28 points, to have a good crack at the last 14 games and try to get out of the sort of mid-season blues that newly-promoted clubs get in," he said.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Everton
Blackpool

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