Clarke hoping Dorrans stays put

Clarke hoping Dorrans stays put

Published Jan. 21, 2013 6:15 a.m. ET

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger felt his team suffered from poor officiating during the 2-1 defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Wenger was livid on the touchline as Juan Mata broke the deadlock moments after Ramires appeared to foul Francis Coquelin.

And his anger increased when Gunners goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was adjudged to have brought down Ramires in the box.

Ramires appeared to slip as he tried to twist past the keeper, and Wenger believes the Brazilian should have been booked for diving.


Wenger said: "The referee gave a lot of free-kicks today, and some much less than the Coquelin one. It's frustrating.

"It doesn't mean we should have conceded the goal but, in the big games, these decisions have big implications.

"He could have given Ramires a yellow card as well."

However, Wenger refused to absolve his players from blame for the defeat, the second league game in succession in which they were made to pay for a slow start after last weekend's loss to Manchester City.

"We had a similar start to Man City last week, didn't defend too well and gave them too much incentive," he said.

"We didn't play well in the first half, but we were much more dangerous in the second half, with a different attitude.

"Unfortunately we didn't make enough of our corners, free-kicks and the chances we created. That's why we lost the game.

"It's very damaging for our position in the league and difficult to swallow."

The France Under-21 international midfielder signed from Bursaspor on a three-and-a-half-year contract for an undisclosed fee and was impressive in the 3-2 win at Wigan.

N'Diaye makes an impact on physical appearance alone but can play too, providing the cross for Steven Fletcher's first goal, the most notable moment of an eye-catching all-round display, even if he did tire in the second period.

"He's a strong lad," said O'Neill, whose side have now moved into a comfortable mid-table slot. "His vitality is there for all to see and when he learns about the game he will be even better.

"He's only 22 but he is such a strong lad. He tired a little bit towards the end but he's only been around the football club for a short period of time and when he gets to know the players he'll be great for us."

Dorrans indicated he would like to leave Albion this month but has started the last three games and impressed in the 2-2 draw with Aston Villa.

Clarke said: "The reason he wanted to go was that he wasn't playing matches. Now he's playing matches.

"You've seen his performances. He's always 100% committed to the club. I would love him to stay here.

"I hope he's getting enough football to make him reconsider through this transfer window and that he'll stay until the end of the season."