Bolton rage after Wiley backtracks over Gallas

Arsenal defender left with no case to answer after referee says he saw challenge

Bolton Wanderers are furious at what they believe was a change of heart by referee Alan Wiley over William Gallas's studs-up lunge on the Bolton Wanderers midfielder Mark Davies at the Emirates on Wednesday.

Sources at Bolton claim that Wiley told them in the aftermath of the game that the reason he had not punished Gallas was because he had not seen the incident. However, Wiley yesterday told the Football Association that he had indeed seen it – albeit only as two players "stretching" for the ball – but at the time he had not realised the severity of the challenge.

By acknowledging that he had witnessed it, Wiley closed off any possibility of retrospective action against Gallas.

Bolton believe that was a different version of events to the one that the referee gave after the game to their manager, Owen Coyle, who described the Gallas tackle as "akin to assault". They allege that on Wednesday night the referee said he had not seen the tackle which meant that the FA could theoretically have taken action against Gallas.

Bolton are also unhappy at the Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, urging his team to keep playing after the Gallas tackle when Davies lay stricken on the ground. Arsenal went up the pitch and scored through Cesc Fabregas to make it 2-2. They went on to win 4-2.

There is also a sense of grievance at Bolton that the general reaction of the Arsenal players and their manager contributed to the jeering that accompanied Davies as the player was taken from the pitch on a stretcher.

If they could, Bolton would challenge Wiley's decision, which effectively halts any FA disciplinary proceedings against Gallas. It is not thought there is any scope for them to go down this path. Davies himself will have further tests today. The damage to his right ankle is not thought to require an operation or a long-term absence from football.

Arsenal's injury problems have deepened with the news that Kieran Gibbs is to miss the rest of the season because he requires surgery on his left foot. The left-back, a graduate of the club's academy, had been very long odds to make England's World Cup squad. He broke his first metatarsal against Standard Liège in November and now requires a bone graft.

Arsenal are also concerned about the fitness of Abou Diaby, who came off late in the game against Bolton with a recurrence of his calf problems. They already have Aaron Ramsey, Samir Nasri, Jack Wilshere and Robin van Persie out injured.

Wenger said yesterday that Diaby will miss the FA Cup match against Stoke City on Sunday and the league match at Aston Villa next Wednesday. He may be available again for the Manchester United match a week on Sunday. Bacary Sagna is also being troubled by a shoulder problem and is set to sit out the Stoke match.

Andrei Arshavin, who scored the fourth of Arsenal's goals, said that the slender nature of his club's lead at the top of the table – they are ahead of Chelsea on goals scored and have played one more game – made it difficult to think of the Gunners as the leaders. "I think that Chelsea are still top of the table," he said. "They have not played their game [in hand] yet. Let's see what happens then."

Tomas Rosicky said that the next four league games, in which Arsenal face Aston Villa, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool would decide their title credentials. "It's difficult to say [what has changed]," he said. "Since the loss against Chelsea [on 29 November] we started something new again and went on a run. You can see how quickly it can change in this league. Chelsea didn't win a few games after winning here. You have to be consistent and that's what we want to be. Everybody knows that the coming weeks are the critical ones in the whole season and I would say this win [against Bolton] came right on time for the team. For the confidence of the team, it is great."

Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence