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O'Neill unhappy with Wenger comments
Published : 28 Jan 2010 08:32:59
Martin O'Neill accused his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger of making "ridiculous statements" after he branded Aston Villa a long-ball team.
Wenger made his comments in the aftermath of the Gunners goalless draw at Villa which caused them to lose ground to Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League title race.
The normally placid O'Neill was clearly incensed, and said: "If that is what he (Wenger) saw here, that is as ridiculous a statement as I've heard. He has made a few ridiculous statements in his time here and that is probably as good as any."
He added: "That is only an annoyance at the end of it all. Anyone who saw the game wouldn't take that viewpoint. But it is an appalling insult."
Wenger said: "It was a very difficult game, because they stopped us from playing when we had the ball and when they had the ball, because they played a very long-ball game and closed us down.
"We didn't always find our passing game and we know when we come here what you get and we were not disappointed.
"They play a very efficient English game with long balls and very physical and they did do that very well and they are a good side on the counter-attack."
In fairness to Wenger, he also lavished praise on certain aspects of Villa's performance and believes they will challenge for a top-four spot.
He said: "I hope they have a a good run now against all the other teams because they are quality, are well organised, have a strong spirit, and are very strong physically.
"The midfield four of (James) Milner, (Luke) Young, (Stewart) Downing and (Stiliyan) Petrov don't stop running and all these players can score goals so I think they have a good chance."