McLeish: Gunners conned Hutton

Hutton lost his discipline in being yellow carded twice in the

space of two minutes after a flare-up with Robin van Persie and

then for bringing down Thomas Vermaelen. Van Persie was then

spotted waving at Hutton after he had been given his marching

orders by referee Jonathan May, and the full-back will now miss

Villa’s Boxing Day clash at Stoke through suspension. McLeish said:

“I thought Alan was great, really terrific last night. Although it

didn’t cost us the game, it was a shame to see him getting sent off

after such a good performance. “Van Persie was waving to him as he

went down the tunnel. They conned him. Alan was conned and he

should be experienced enough to just laugh in his face and walk

away. “He was disappointed in himself. He texted me last night and

he was apologetic. He was probably trying to get out of the fine!

“Maybe the Arsenal player lured him into it but I didn’t think he’d

get conned like that, but there you go.” But McLeish insists he has

no issue with Van Persie over Hutton’s red card. When asked if that

side of Van Persie’s game disappointed him, the Villa boss said:

“No, you’ve got to do what you can for your team. What it is, is

being streetwise. “If you’re winding someone up and they get sent

off – and you’ve reduced the opposition’s resources and your team

wins – you’ve done a good job.” McLeish believes there is still

more to come from Hutton, who played for him with Rangers and

Scotland, after his summer move from Tottenham. He said: “I think

there is more to see from him. He strides forward. He had some

phenomenal performances for Scotland during the World Cup and

European Championship runs. “He was oustanding against the Italians

and French. We saw some of those runs forward last night. “He is in

really good form and he even matched Craig Bellamy (of Liverpool)

the other night. He got on the wrong side of Bellamy a couple of

times but he got back to him. “He has great recovery pace and he’s

a big presence.”