Jack Wilshere to escape FA action over Twitter rant

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The Independent Football

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will not face any disciplinary action from the Football Association over his Twitter comments criticising referee Phil Dowd after Saturday's 4-4 draw at Newcastle.

Wilshere, who has joined up with the England squad ahead of the friendly in Denmark, used his Twitter page to hit out at Dowd's handling of the Barclays Premier League clash, where Arsenal had raced into a 4-0 lead before having Abou Diaby sent off which proved to be the catalyst for Newcastle's amazing comeback.

However, while the FA did consider the matter, the governing body will not be taking things further.

Former Liverpool striker Ryan Babel was fined £10,000 by the FA last month when he posted a doctored photo of referee Howard Webb in a Manchester United shirt, following a 1-0 defeat for Kenny Dalglish's team at Old Trafford.

However, Wilshere has escaped any sanction.

Dowd sent off Diaby in the 48th minute after he reacted to a challenge by Joey Barton by shoving the Newcastle player to the ground.

Wilshere felt a later incident involving Kevin Nolan and Wojciech Szczesny, in the immediate aftermath of the first of Barton's two penalties, was just as serious and should have seen the Newcastle midfielder receive the same punishment as Diaby.

"Inconsistent refereeing needs to stop. It's killing the game. If Diaby goes, what's the difference between that and Nolan on our keeper?" Wilshere had posted on Twitter, an entry which was subsequently deleted by the Arsenal midfielder.

The mood of disappointment following Saturday's capitulation was lifted slightly with the news leaders Manchester United had suffered a shock defeat at bottom club Wolves.

Arsenal now trail the Red Devils by just four points, and have to face them at Emirates Stadium in April.

Arsene Wenger hopes his players will bounce back from the psychological blow with a confident display at home to Wolves after the midweek internationals.

Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Kieran Gibbs, Johan Djourou and Aaron Ramsey, on loan at Cardiff, have all pulled out of duty with their countries through a combination of sickness and injury.

Centre-half Djourou hobbled off at Newcastle with a knee problem which Arsenal hope tests will prove not to be as bad as initially feared, with reports in his native Switzerland suggesting the 24-year-old could be set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines leaving the Gunners short on numbers at the back.

As usual, Wenger will be keeping everything crossed his jet-setting players return unscathed from their travels, with both Wilshere and Theo Walcott expected to play some part for England in Copenhagen on Wednesday night.

Russian winger Andrey Arshavin maintains the squad must not be "sitting and moaning" about what happened to them at St James' Park and instead focus their efforts quickly on putting things right against Wolves.

Defender Bacary Sagna agrees. The French international said on Arsenal TV Online: "This is football, but it is still hard to take.

"However, we have to take it, this game is now behind (us) and we want to keep looking forwards.

"We will have disappointment if we put our heads down, because we just want to be champions at the end (of the season).

"It was a bad day for Arsenal (at Newcastle), but it can still be a good day at the end."