Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger faces punishment from the Football Association following a row with officials after Sunday’s 1-1 draw at West Brom – but will not be banned for Wednesday’s visit of Chelsea.
Wenger was charged on Tuesday for his post-match protests in the referees’ room at the Hawthorns, where Mike Dean awarded the hosts a controversial late penalty converted by Jay Rodriguez.
The Frenchman will face no action before facing Chelsea, however, as Arsenal’s next Premier League fixture in a congested festive period arrives before he must respond to the FA charge on Friday evening.
The FA said: “It is alleged his language and/or behaviour in the match officials’ changing room after the game was abusive and/or improper and/or questioned the integrity of the match referee.”
Wenger received a four-match touchline ban last season after he pushed fourth official Anthony Taylor and accused him and referee Jon Moss of being “dishonest” during a fraught win over Burnley.
He appeared to wander into similar territory on Tuesday when he repeated his criticism of Dean, saying “he saw what he wanted to see” in relation to Sunday’s penalty call.
“I must say what is more frustrating for me is that it happened many times this season – at Stoke, at Watford, at Man City, at West Brom,” Wenger added. “That is a concerning coincidence for me.”
He said Arsenal had yet to receive any offers for stars Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, whose contracts expire at the end of the season and have shown little inclination to recommit, but vowed that if they were sold in January they would be replaced with “players of top quality”.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, whose team can return to second place and go 10 points clear of Arsenal with victory at Emirates Stadium, has indicated that he will only buy this month if he first sells.
Defender David Luiz appears the leading candidate to depart having fallen out of favour with Conte.
“Our squad is not big,” said the Italian.
“For this reason I think it’s impossible to send on loan one player or to sell one player if we don’t take another player.”