The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits he is stunned by Uefa president Michel Platini's attack on him in an interview with a French newspaper.
Platini's attack stuns Wenger
The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits he is stunned by Uefa president Michel Platini's attack on him in an interview with a French newspaper. Platini, the head of European football's governing body, questioned the Arsenal manager's priorities in football during a frank interview with Grenoble daily Dauphine Libere. The former France midfielder criticised Wenger for having a business mentality rather than a football one.
And he also berated the Gunners coach for calling for the introduction of video replays to rule on questionable refereeing decisions. Wenger has been taken aback by Platini's criticisms. "I am stunned by the aggressive content of Platini's words," he told L'Equipe. "I am effectively a supporter of video assistance for referees, like all coaches, and I believe Uefa have an important role to play in this. I am for sporting justice and Uefa must be the guarantor of it."
Wenger added: "I am a supporter of good management of clubs, for financial equilibrium. "And Uefa must equally support this idea. I am fighting for the future of the game and of football. I don't see why Uefa should take umbrage at ideas that are different from theirs." In Platini's interview, Wenger's name was raised during a question about the introduction of video technology. Platini replied: "I like to talk about football, him [Wenger] about business. We must stop with Wenger and all that."
Platini then said he hoped video assistance would never come into football, adding: "It would make me happy that Arsene Wenger never sees it." Later in the interview, Platini again targeted Wenger when asked about his thoughts on Romanian side CFR Cluj's unexpected victory over Roma in the Champions League last week. "That is what makes football so great," Platini said. "It is what people like Wenger do not want, little clubs beating the big clubs, because they want their business."
The Newcastle captain Michael Owen admits he and his teammates were very upset to see manager Kevin Keegan leave the club. The caretaker manager Chris Hughton now faces the task of raising the players' morale, who have lost three straight games, for tonight's Carling Cup third-round tie with Tottenham, and Owen admits the manager's loss has had a lasting effect. He said: "We are all feeling it at the moment - but we have got to snap out of the doom and gloom."
* PA Sport