• Premier League

Wenger labels Bould rift talk 'unacceptable lies'

ESPN staff
December 14, 2012

Arsene Wenger has denied any rift with Steve Bould and described the stories as "lies".

As Arsenal's season reached a new low on Tuesday with the League Cup defeat to Bradford City, stories have escalated about disagreements and frustration between manager and assistant. Wenger, however, insisted that he has a "united staff team".

"You can unfortunately not control all the lies that are written in the newspapers," the Frenchman said. "I believe it's a good opportunity to show that we are strong inside the club and let people talk.

"We are criticised when our results are not good. We have to take it on the chin. That we have to face a lot of lies is less acceptable.

"We are top professional people. What is important is what happens tomorrow, not what happened yesterday. We are sorry for that [Bradford result] but what is important is the next game."

Wenger also insisted it was his job to personally take all of the flak for the team's performances on his shoulders, and denied the need for anyone above his staff team, such as Stan Kroenke, to take some of the burden off Wenger.

"I am here for that [to take the flak], and you do that very well!" he said. "I think the direction of the club is fixed by me on the football front and when the football doesn't work, you can't expect Stan Kroenke to intervene. Its my job to do that.

"The only way to give you support is to let you work and do your job. My job is to be determined and give importance to what is important. What is important is I love football, I love this club and I give my best for this club. The rest, I cannot interfere with that.

"Believe me, I am highly focused on doing that and all the rest, that doesn't interfere with my thinking at all. I am very determined and very hungry and if I wouldn't be, I wouldn't sit in front of you.

"I can understand that people criticise when the results are not as expected but it looks like it has become the modern way to think. You say that 16 years can be a handicap but as well it can be an advantage because you have experience, you love the club. If I sit here, it is because I have really shown how much I love this club. As well, you know you have gone through difficult periods before and you know how to turn it around."

The Arsenal boss was also asked about the future of Theo Walcott, who has been linked to Chelsea, and Wenger appeared to hint that the former Southampton man might sign a new deal with the Gunners.

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