Arsene Wenger says Patrice Evra is scared of Arsenal

11 December 2010 01:08
Patrice Evra and Arsene Wenger traded insults on Friday ahead of Arsenal's trip to Manchester United, with the defender branding his title rivals an 'academy team' and a 'load of rubbish' for failing to win a trophy in five years.

Evra dismissed leaders Arsenal as a title threat - even if they win at Old Trafford and go four points clear of United in the Barclays Premier League - claiming Wenger's side are preoccupied with playing pretty football. They have not won a trophy since lifting the FA Cup in 2005.

Hitting out: Evra claims title rivals Arsenal are a club in crisis after failing to win a trophy since 2005

'To my mind Arsenal are an academy team,' Evra told French TV station Canal+. 'I will watch one of their games and enjoy it, but in the end will they win a trophy? That is what people remember you for. A big club like Arsenal have not won a thing for five years. For me that is a crisis and a load of rubbish.

'We can lose against them on Monday, but what would there be for them in the end? There is nothing. I hear people comparing them with Barcelona. But people won't remember Arsenal's style of football in 20 years' time.'

Evra's comments riled Wenger, who hit back at his fellow Frenchman, suggesting his remarks lacked respect and were born out of 'fear'. He said: 'They are harsh words, not only with regard to the team but also towards the club, which I will treat with a little disdain.

Crisis, what crisis? Arsenal are through to the latter stages of the European Cup, on top of the Premier League pile, and in the semi-finals of the Carling Cup

'In sport, everyone must respect their opponent. Respect for others is a sign of class. His comments are surprising, badly placed, below the belt. And such remarks are always based on fear. I think when you want to be a big player you must respect your opponent.'

It is not the first time Evra has taunted Wenger's team. After United won 3-1 at the Emirates to reach the 2009 Champions League final, he claimed it was like '11 men against 11 boys'.

Chelsea can temporarily knock Arsenal off top spot if they win at Tottenham on Sunday, and Evra believes the champions - who meet United at Stamford Bridge next weekend - are a bigger threat to Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

Due a result? Arsenal haven't won in the league at Old Trafford since Adebayor's late strike in 2006

He added: 'We are more concerned with Chelsea's results than Arsenal's, even if we know Arsenal are a great team who can beat anyone. But the difference between us and them is we play good football and have strength as well. We're more efficient but Arsenal fail to kill off games.'

United defender Rio Ferdinand, who should be fit despite coming off against Valencia on Tuesday with a tight hamstring, said it is 'only a matter of time' before Wayne Rooney gets back among the goals.

The striker has had a turbulent time in which he almost quit Old Trafford before signing a new contract and has not scored in open play since March.

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Source: Daily_Mail