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Mar 28, 2014

Wenger rejects Paul Scholes criticism

Arsene Wenger has dismissed claims by Paul Scholes that Arsenal “didn’t have any leaders” and “were a million miles away from a title challenge.”

• Mangan: Arsenal need Vermaelen

Former Manchester United midfielder Scholes made the comments after seeing the Gunners' title hopes all but ended after a 6-0 defeat at Chelsea last Saturday and draw 2-2 draw against Swansea on Tuesday, but Wenger has fought back.

“If six points is a million miles away [from the title], I don’t know the translation of a mile into a point,” Wenger said. “Everybody has opinions and we have to accept that. We live with what we do on the pitch and the rest is only opinions.

“We are in a society where there are thousands of opinions today. Some go for you, some against you, you have to live with that.”

Scholes was also vocal with his opinion that Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has “not progressed” since breaking through into the Gunners first team, but Wenger also rejected that notion.

“You cannot say that,” he claimed. “Jack Wilshere is an exceptional player for me who has been handicapped by many injuries. Once Jack will be back and consistently on the pitch, he will show everybody [they are] wrong about that because he is an exceptional football player and Scholes knows that as well.”

Wenger went on to confirm he does not know whether full-back Bacary Sagna will sign a new deal at Arsenal, in a week when ESPN sources confirmed the French defender is in talks over a lucrative move to Manchester City.

“He has an offer from us, but he has not come back yet,” added Wenger.

“The talk of the Manchester City move cannot be right. It would be illegal [if they have offered him a contract].

“We have a general rule in our club [to offer a two-year deal for players over 30], but we look at each individual situation. I am confident he will stay, but we will accept whatever decision he comes to and get on with it.”

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