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FA Cup wrap: Piegate, Wenger on lower leagues

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Let’s put a bow on this.

Sutton United v Arsenal - The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round
You got done wrong, Wayne
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

After Arsenal’s comfortable-but-not-too-much 2-0 win on Saturday, here’s a few final thoughts:

Wayne Shaw has been asked to resign and has done so.

Shaw, famously, was spotted eating a pie on the bench during the match, and as it turns out, SunBet, who took out a one-day sponsorship of Sutton United’s kit for the match, had 8-1 odds on Shaw doing just that. This morning, it turns out that having a snack cost Shaw his job. According to Richard Watson, a director of the UK’s Gambling Commission:

“Integrity in sport is not a joke and we have opened an investigation to establish exactly what happened.

Uh, Richard? It was a joke. It did not threaten the integrity of the sport. It was a bit of fun. But, you do you. It cost a good man his job, but you do you. Final words to you, James Dart:

Wenger says managing in non-league is “Too hard”

Arsene Wenger is a gentleman. Always has been. He’s always very complimentary about lower league sides in these competitions, and yesterday was no exception. When talking about being at Gander Green, he said

I come from a club that is smaller than that so it reminds me of my childhood. The changing rooms for me were fantastic – the closer you are, the more united you are when you go out there.

He also had very kind things to say about Sutton United’s play. He was asked if he felt Arsenal did well against SUFC:

“Yes, against a side that was astonishing,” said Wenger. “It is basically division five, and they are 17th out of 24. I will never go down there to manage because it is too difficult,” he said.

And it’s not just him being nice - Sutton did make things tricky for Arsenal at times, even if Arsenal’s overall quality was just too high.

Broadcasters are gross

I don’t know where in the world you watched the game, but here in the US, the pre-game studio crew spent the entire 30 min pre-game show alternately cracking jokes at Sutton’s expense, making cheap fat jokes about Wayne Shaw, or condescending to the team because they had the temerity to not be billionaires. It seemed like their hearts may have been in the right place to start with, because at first it was just light banter, but as the show went on, it just got worse. Every single thing they talked about, seemingly, was reflected through the lens of “look how small this place is!” and “some of these people have real jobs!” like those are bad things.

Chuckling at a lower division side is one thing, I guess, if you only do it once. Spending a half hour basically making it sound like Sutton was lucky to be breathing the same air as a Premier League side, much less be on the same pitch with them in a competitive fixture, was gross. The tone of it was very much “oh ha ha ha look at the poors trying to be like real people”, and it was a tremendously off-putting start to what should have been a really fun day.