Cut out the theatrics, says Wenger

Manager attacks players for going 'overboard' ahead of Arsenal's match with Newcastle tonight

Arsène Wenger has called for simulation to be toned down in advance of Arsenal's home match against Newcastle United tonight – especially the play-acting that seems to be aiming at Oscars rather than leaving a referee in no doubt that a player has been fouled.

It was in the meeting of the two teams at St James' Park in Arsenal's first match of the season that Gervinho was shown a red card on his debut after brushing away Joey Barton, who reacted as if he had been hit by a speeding truck rather than an Ivorian winger.

"At Newcastle, Gervinho had a bad response to provocation from our friend Barton," Wenger said. "He was shocked because he felt he didn't do a lot. I think he learnt his lesson in the first game and it's better than after 20. It's better to know what you are facing. If you want to play abroad, work abroad, then you have to adapt to the local culture."

Wenger accepts that Arsenal players have not been blameless in the past, but he feels that overreactions are reaching a new level. He highlighted the penalty won by Luis Suarez during Arsenal's 2-1 win at Liverpool nine days ago. "It annoys me but it can happen with one of my players as well," he said. "But for example, Suarez got the penalty last week. It was no penalty. Where they go overboard is that nobody touched him. But then when they roll down the sock, take the shin pad out like he has been kicked like mad – it's a bit overboard. Everyone who has played football can understand they try to win the penalty, but when he goes afterwards to get a bit more, then we don't need that."

Arsenal are aiming for a fifth successive league victory, and Wenger is pleased with the spirit that has allowed his team to come from behind to beat both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, and beat Milan 3-0 in the Champions League tie six days ago to come within a goal of cancelling out a 4-0 first-leg deficit.

The spirit in the squad was as good as it had been for some time, he revealed. "For consistency of top results, yes, because for a long time, we didn't put one big result after the other, and [for the] quality of our games as well," he said. "We scored seven against Blackburn, five against Tottenham, three against Milan and they are good teams, so overall we have a flow in our game because maybe the confidence is higher."

It will have to be against a Newcastle team whom Wenger includes in the list of those in contention for a top-four finish. "First of all they play with a fantastic attitude, but basically what they have done is that they bought very well," he said. "That is one of the secrets in our game. I thought that Yohan Cabaye was a very good buy, with Hatem Ben Arfa, Demba Ba, Papiss Cissé. All their buys were successful."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy