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Wenger: Players must take responsibility
Published : 15 Oct 2010 14:33:00
Arsene Wenger has expressed his belief that it is too easy for players to hide behind their manager when they commit X-rated challenges. Fulham captain Danny Murphy made headlines during the international break when he pointed the finger of blame for reckless tackles at the managers of Stoke, Blackburn and Wolves, claiming they were "sending out their players so pumped up there is inevitably going to be problems". Rovers boss Sam Allardyce challenged Murphy to be "man enough" to publicly apologise for his statements, insisting his Blackburn are not a dirty side. Wenger has long championed the need for referees to clamp down on over-the-top challenges, having seen the likes of Abou Diaby, Eduardo and in February this year Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey all suffer horrific injuries which sidelined them for months. Indeed, the Arsenal boss earlier this season drew criticism himself for claiming Stoke had reduced the game to "rugby" with their approach to the match against Tottenham. Wenger, however, insisted each individual must be held accountable for their own actions. "I believe Murphy said we as managers have a responsibility regarding the behaviour of our team, and I agree, I do not deny it," the Gunners boss said. "I am not in the other dressing room, so I do not know [what goes on]. "I never ask any player if he has been wound up by his manager. "I always say the same thing - the referees have the rules for them and [have] to get the game respected, the players have to respect each other, no matter what they are instructed to do." Wenger declared: "I am a strong believer you are responsible for what you say and what you do. "When I make a mistake, I do not look at anybody else, to say 'it is his fault'. It is my fault and if I behave wrongly, it is my fault, it is not somebody else's. "If a player does bad tackling, it is too easy to hide behind the manager's instruction because you are responsible for how you behave. "I do not want to add anything to what I have said many times - I like commitment and physical games, but it has to be in a fair way because it can only work if everybody goes into it in a fair way."