Arsene Wenger believes what happens in the dressing room, should stay in the dressing room.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said Friday he wished everything managers said to their players would “remain in the dressing room” as he reacted to the row surrounding Roy Hodgson.
The England manager apologised after several newspapers reported that he had told a joke, viewed by some as racially offensive, at half-time during the 2-0 win over Poland at Wembley on Tuesday which clinched qualification for next year’s World Cup.
“I have been aggressive at half-time but you have to adapt to the culture of your team,” said the 63-year-old Wenger, who managed in Japan before joining Arsenal back in 1996.
“When you go to a Japanese dressing room you have to be cautious because what looks normal in an English dressing room looks completely shocking in a Japanese one.
“Sometimes you can say words that are not politically correct, that can happen to any manager,” the Frenchman added.
“Secondly we can go a bit overboard at half-time because it’s an emotional situation and there’s a lot of desire and effort in there, but basically it all has to remain in the dressing room.”
According to press reports, Hodgson encouraged his players to pass the ball to in-form Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend by telling a joke about a monkey being sent into space by US space agency NASA.
Townsend, who is of Cypriot and Jamaican descent, insisted Thursday that “no offence was meant and none was taken!”.
Hodgson, who has apologised for causing any unintentional upset, was furious his remarks had been leaked.
“The players are as angry about this as I am,” Hodgson told Friday’s Daily Mail.
The joke, which is thought to have emerged in the 1960s, is about a US astronaut being sent into space for the first time alongside a monkey — animals had been sent into space prior to manned flights.
The astronaut becomes frustrated the monkey is doing all the work and contacts mission control to ask what he should do.
NASA’s ground control replies: “Don’t touch anything — just feed the monkey.”
Football Association chairman Greg Dyke pledged his full support for Hodgson, saying the governing body was satisfied there was no racist intent in his comments and praised him as “a man of the highest integrity”.
But Peter Herbert, head of the Society of Black Lawyers and the new Race for Sport campaign group, wrote to Dyke on Friday demanding Hodgson be sent on a “race appreciation” course.
“To announce that the matter is ‘closed’ without any action being taken against the England manager is unacceptable and wholly inconsistent with your policies on equality and diversity,” Herbert wrote.
“The ‘innocent remark’ made out of ignorance is sadly a common feature of football. We are using the appropriate complaints procedure to urge the FA to provide mandatory ‘race appreciation’ training and ‘cultural capital and cultural intelligence’ training to Roy Hodgson and all football managers in the UK.”