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Wenger: I was right not to re-sign Pat

24 Apr 2010 08:09:00

Wenger: I was right not to re-sign Pat

Arsene Wenger believes it was probably better Patrick Vieira did not come back to Arsenal - thus forever preserving his legendary status. The veteran France midfielder, who turns 34 this summer, could face his old club in Saturday's late kick-off against Manchester City at Emirates Stadium. Wenger has maintained a close relationship with his long-time captain and midfielder general, who left Highbury for Juventus during July 2005. Indeed, it appeared as if Vieira was set for a return to his old club last summer when it was clear he was going to leave Inter Milan in search of regular first-team football. Wenger, though, felt the move would have not been in the best interests of either club or player with the likes of Alex Song and Aaron Ramsey both already pressing for place in the side. "I always had a chat with Patrick when he was available again," said Wenger. "Arsenal was massive for him, but it was also important for him to play when he came back to England. "In the end, I was not involved at all when he went to Manchester City. The signing was very quick." Wenger added: "Of course I am always interested in Patrick, for me he was a special player here. We arrived here together and I respect hugely what he has done. "He was a massive success with Arsenal, is a legend here and will always remain so. Maybe it is better like that." Wenger, meanwhile, has called on Arsenal fans and players alike not to target Emmanuel Adebayor when the controversial former Gunners striker returns to Emirates Stadium for the first time. Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is confident the £25million summer signing has learnt the lessons of past mistakes and will keep the focus purely on the football against his old club. Adebayor was handed a three-match ban for raking his studs down the face of Arsenal forward Robin van Persie, who branded the incident "mindless and malicious", which followed an ill-advised goal celebration - which also lead to a suspended two-game sanction and £25,000 fine from the Football Association - when he raced the full length of the field to slide right in front of the Gunners' supporters during the clash at Eastlands back in September. Wenger - who plucked the now retired Togo striker from relative obscurity at Monaco during January 2006 and helped turn him into one of the hottest properties in Europe - believes all that should be left in the past. "We have always had the same line of conduct - to respect what they have done for us and we want our fans to respect that as well and encourage our team," Wenger said. "No matter what happened in the first game, it is important that we have a positive attitude and encourage our players." Arsenal's hopes of staying in the Barclays Premier League title race were thrown away during a ridiculous final 10 minutes at Wigan on Sunday, where they somehow allowed a 2-0 lead to slip as the home side fought back to win. "It is important that we keep fighting, because you never know - and also we are as well under threat from the people chasing from behind," Wenger said. "Nothing is secure."


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