• Premier League

Wenger hits back at Scholes claims

ESPN staff
March 28, 2014
ESPN FC: Gunning for the top four

Arsene Wenger has hit back at Manchester United legend Paul Scholes after he accused Arsenal of lacking backbone.

The former midfielder claimed Arsenal "didn't have any leaders" and "were million miles away from a title challenge" in an outspoken outburst while working as a pundit for Sky Sports earlier this week.

His comments followed Chelsea's 6-0 thrashing of Wenger's side, a defeat which cam on the back of a 2-2 draw at home to Swansea on Tuesday and saw their title task become more difficult. But Wenger was quick to reject the criticisms.

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"If six points [from the top] is a million miles away, I don't know the translation of a mile into a point," Wenger said.

"Everybody has opinions, people who have managed zero games have opinions and we have to accept that.

"We are in a society where there are thousands of opinions today. Some go for you, some against you, you have to live with that."

Scholes was also outspoken in claiming Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has "not progressed" since he made his breakthrough in the first team, but Wenger rejected that barb, too.

"You cannot say that," he claimed. "Jack Wilshere is an exceptional player for me who has been handicapped by many injuries. Once Jack will be back and consistently on the pitch, he will show everybody wrong about that because he is an exceptional football player and Scholes knows that as well."

Wenger went on to confirm he does not know whether full-back Bacary Sagna will sign a new deal at Arsenal, in a week when ESPN sources confirmed the French defender is in talks over a lucrative move to Manchester City.

"He has an offer from us, but he has not come back yet," added Wenger.

"The talk of the Manchester City move cannot be right. It would be illegal [if they have offered him a contract].

"We have a general rule in our club [to offer a two year deal for players over 30], but we look at each individual situation. I am confident he will stay, but we will accept whatever decision he comes to and get on with it."

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