Walcott – I didn’t dive for Bassong’s sending off

The Arsenal winger Theo Walcott was just bursting into the Wolves penalty area in the 8th minute of last night’s win at Wolves when Sebastien Bassong appeared to blunder into him and push him to the ground.

Some TV pundits thought the decision to send off Bassong was a little harsh so early in the game, and the Wolves supporters barracked Walcott for diving throughout the game, but Walcott is adamant that he had no reason to dive when he had a clear goalscoring chance.

He said: “I was running at so much pace and the guy clipped me.

“I’m an honest guy, I try to stay on my feet. I’m not going to go to ground when I’m through on goal.

“It’s a shame to see a red card but I can’t change that decision.”

Arsene Wenger also admitted that the ref had little choice but to send the Wolves defender off according to the rules, but he also agreed that it was harsh on the relegation-threatened side.

“It looked to me like a penalty but I have not seen it again.” Wenger said. “You could argue that he is the last man as well. The referee had no choice but I think the punishment is harsh because you give away a penalty and you lose a man as well.

“It spoils the game for the supporters because they know they have little chance to come back after. I never forget that we lost Robin van Persie in Barcelona last season when he got a second yellow card for kicking the ball away. It was just strict application of the rules. Today I think the referee had no choice because it is the rule.”

Having seen all the replays myself I am certain it was a penalty, and considering that Bassong is still technically a Tottenham player I am not in the slightest bit sorry for him!

Watch the sending off and the other goals at this link