Samir Nasri may face punishment for his part in the first-half fracas during the match between Arsenal and Hull on Saturday. Steve Bennett did not see the Frenchman stand on Richard Garcia’s foot and if he makes it clear that he would have punished Nasri further if he had seen it, then a charge of improper conduct may be brought against the Arsenal midfielder. Arsenal have been involved in cases of video evidence already this season with the Eduardo diving hoopla still fresh in the memory.
This has led to some Arsenal fans complaining that their team is the victim of a media witch-hunt, but is this really the case? Nasri does deserve punishment for his actions in the game against Hull. He may claim that he was provoked in some way but that does not excuse his behaviour. The stamp on Garcia was a cowardly act and while Garcia may have made more of it than he should have done, Nasri was lucky to escape with only a yellow card for his actions.
The Frenchman told Hull players that he had reacted to some provocation earlier but he must learn to control his temper and desire for quick revenge. Any anger that he feels towards the opposition must be channelled into a productive output. Accusations of a media agenda against Arsenal are far-fetched but there are certainly points that need to be addressed. When Eduardo was accused of diving against Celtic, the incident generated huge media interest and the replay of the moment in question was played repeatedly on various networks. When Rooney recently dived against Aston Villa, there was very little mainstream media coverage of the incident. Similarly the unfounded accusation that Fabregas spit at Hull’s Brian Horton last season was also overexposed in the media.
Arsenal cannot complain if Nasri is sanctioned for his behaviour against Hull, it is not evidence of a conspiracy; but they can legitimately raise the issue of whether all clubs are treated fairly and equally by the FA.