The Football Association chairman Greg Dyke says Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere needs to grow up a bit.
That comment was made after the 21-year-old admitted a Football Association misconduct charge for raising his middle finger to Manchester City fans in last weekend’s 6-3 loss.
Wilshere accepted The FA charge of misconduct for the incident but has appealed the awaiting two game ban, claiming it was excessive.
Arsenal’s argument is based on the fact that Wilshere stands to miss two important matches, rather than just one. For mitigation purposes, Arsenal argue that in 2011 Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was handed a single match ban for the same offense committed in a match against Fulham.
The club’s precedent argument weakens, however, when considering The FA handed Blackpool’s Tom Ince a two match ban last August after making the same gesture to a referee in a Capital One Cup tie at Preston North End.
Dyke isn’t concerned with Wilshere’s ban length so much as he is the England international’s maturity.
“As a supporter I sympathize with the players because of the flak they get from the crowd,” Dyke told talkSPORT. “People can lose their cool very quickly but he [Wilshere] has got to learn. He’s very well paid to play the game and he’s got to learn to cope with it.
“You think back over many years of players who were hot-headed when they were younger but not when they get older. They just learn and mature. That’s what happens. It’s part of life.”
Assuming the two match ban is upheld over appeal, Wilshere will miss upcoming matches against Chelsea on Monday and West Ham United on Boxing Day.
The Chelsea match will go a long way towards determining who will be top of the table come the New Year. A Liverpool victory over Cardiff City on Saturday will put them in first place on 36 points, one point clear of Arsenal and three points above Chelsea going into Monday evening’s London derby.
Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal has declared “ugly” Atletico Madrid unworthy finalists in the UEFA Champions League.
Bayern was eliminated in the Champions League semifinal by Atleti on Tuesday, with Diego Simeone’s Spanish side advancing on away goals.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s UCL coverage ]
However, Vidal believed Bayern were the better team in the second leg, saying Atletico played “ugly football” to get through.
Today ugly football – Atletico – played against the best football in the world. The only time they saw the ball was for the goal.
They are going to be dreaming about us right up to the final. They did not have the ball, they took on the best team in the world, they took their chances and got to the final.
The best does not always win in football, like today. They are not deserved finalists.
Bayern Munich controlled more than 70-percent of possession and had 33 shots compared to Atletico’s nine, but those stats mean little as Antoine Griezmann’s away goal was enough to send Atleti to the final.
[ MORE: Former England striker Joe Cole headed to NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies ]
Atletico may not play the most attractive football, but after eliminating Barcelona and Bayern Munich in consecutive legs, it’s hard to argue anyone deserves this more than Simeone’s men.
The second leg of the Europa League semifinals kick off tomorrow, with two La Liga sides looking to make it an all-Spanish final.
[ MORE: Premier League Playback ]
Villarreal holds a 1-0 lead over Liverpool, while Sevilla scored two away goals in their 2-2 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.
Liverpool vs. Villarreal – 3:05 p.m. ET
Villarreal won first leg 1-0
Adrian Lopez’s late winner in the first leg has given Villarreal a slight lead, while the Spanish side did well not to concede an away goal. However, Liverpool have overcome deficits at Anfield before, including their memorable 4-3 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the quarterfinals. Emre Can is back fit for the Reds, as manager Jurgen Klopp will hope his fellow German can help the team to a cup final in his first year in charge.
[ RELATED: Liverpool preparing for another big Thursday night at Anfield ]
Sevilla vs. Shakhtar Donetsk – 3:05 p.m. ET
First leg ended 2-2 draw
Sevilla are looking to become the first team to win three consecutive Europa League titles as the two-time defending champions face off against Shakhtar Donetsk. Sevilla are in the driver’s seat after scoring two away goals in Ukraine, and will feel confident of advancing to the final with a great home record at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
In the latest Men in Blazers podcast, Rog and Davo celebrate Leicester City’s improbable Premier League title with Leicester’s own Arlo White.
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LISBON, Portugal (AP) Portuguese and European police say they have broken up a cell of an important Russian mafia group that allegedly laundered money through European football clubs.
Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said in a statement Wednesday the group identified EU football clubs in financial distress and infiltrated them with benefactors who brought much-needed cash.
[ MORE: Man City bounced from UCL ]
Once they were in control, the mobsters allegedly laundered millions of euros (dollars) through player transfers, TV rights deals and betting.
Portuguese and European police on Tuesday raided third-division Portuguese club Uniao de Leiria and arrested three key members of the Russian gang. Three other Portuguese clubs’ premises were searched.
Europol said the operation helped identify serious crimes in Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom, though it gave no details.