Arsene Wenger Responds to Race Controversy over Emmanuel Frimpong Tweet
The 21-year-old responded to a fan's question over his omission from Arsenal's Capital One Cup squad for the fixture with Chelsea by saying, per James Dickenson of the Daily Express: "LOL I wanna laugh. Sometimes I wish I was white and English #realtalk."
His comments were quickly deleted after provoking a storm on the social media site, having seemingly suggested that race and nationality were playing a part in his non-selection at the club.
Look what ever you read tomorrow has majorly been twisted. Is a joke what people will do to start controversy goodnight people— Emmanuel Frimpong (@IAMFRIMPONG26) October 28, 2013
Manager Wenger played down the controversy, per Arsenal's official website, accepting Frimpong's explanation that the comments were made in jest:
He said it was a joke. I don’t know [that] has he a problem with England, with anybody else, with Arsenal. In fact he was on the list to be the 19th player, he was called up this morning but he was sick. So for us, he was selected.
It is not the first time that the young Gunner has courted controversy on Twitter, having previously faced FA sanction over a racist term used in response to a Tottenham fan on the site, per the Daily Mail.
There is a growing feeling that the midfielder, who is remarkably a regular feature in Ghana squads despite rarely featuring at club level, is too preoccupied off the pitch to succeed at Arsenal.
Along with rapper Lethal Bizzle, Frimpong launched the "DENCH" clothing line based on the pair's popular catchphrase, per Sam Wolfson of the Guardian. They also recorded a track called "LEAVE IT YEAH" together.
Numerous television interviews followed, including one on Sky Sports' Soccer AM, which prompted the ever-opinionated Joey Barton to call Frimpong "thick" and the far less politically correct term "mong" on Twitter, per the Daily Mail.
Joey Barton calls Emmanuel Frimpong a mong Twitter: Joey Barton has caused controversy on Twitter yet again afte... http://t.co/D4xSpKLN— MailOnline Sport (@MailOnlineSport) March 4, 2012
The Arsenal man may know how to capture attention, but his football career has stuttered. He rarely features for the Gunners and made just a handful of loan appearances for Fulham last season.
Wenger may not be willing to make a big deal of the issue in public, but it is fair to say that Frimpong is doing his career little good with his continued antics.
At his current rate, he is unlikely to be an Arsenal player much longer. If he's not careful, he may find himself dropping out of the Premier League, where attention will be far less forthcoming.
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