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Aug 19, 2008

Rosicky denies criticising Gunners team-mates

Tomas Rosicky has been forced to deny he criticised his Arsenal team-mates including William Gallas and Gael Clichy in a newspaper article.

The injured midfielder was reported to have had harsh words to say about last season's 2-2 draw at Birmingham in February which signalled the beginning of the end of the Gunners' title bid.

Victory would have sent Arsenal eight points clear of Manchester United, instead they imploded after a horrific injury to Eduardo and drew the match - failing to recover from the disappointment.

Rosicky, who has not played for the club since January, insists that his comments were taken out of context and were a positive assessment about the future and how the squad has grown.

In a statement on the club's official website, Rosicky said: 'I would never blame individuals for the team not lifting a trophy. We are in it together. We win as a team and we lose as a team.

'As individuals, we all make mistakes and the message I was relaying to a Czech newspaper was that we are more experienced now and have learnt from last season.

'We came so close last year to winning something and we will be giving it our all to win a trophy this year.'

Rosicky, who still faces a few more weeks on the sidelines, is not the first player to claim to have been misrepresented in foreign media and is unlikely to be the last.

The Czech international was quoted as saying: 'I remember the Birmingham game and what happened to Eduardo. The lads were winning 2-1 but then in the last minute Gael gave away a really stupid penalty.

'At the same time, he played brilliantly all season. He improved immensely and turned into a great defender as a result. But he messed up that day. I don't think something similar would happen to him now, because he's a lot more experienced. But it was definitely a match we should have won by a long way.

'We were leading and we even had another huge chance to score. I think it was Bendtner and Adebayor who were bearing down on goal, but Adebayor shot instead of passing and missed.

'There were an awful lot of other similarly negative things happening. Everything began with Eduardo's injury. Then came Gael's error and that thing with William.

'You could say that was probably where the ground started to crumble beneath our feet.'

Rosicky added about Gallas, who infamously sulked in the other half of the pitch as Birmingham took an injury time penalty to steal a point: 'It was not an easy situation. On the other hand, it was William's first season as captain and it's not easy to wear the armband in a team like this. I think he will have learned. There were things he could have done better - but he knows that better than anyone else.

'He's really immersed in everything and that was something he just got immersed in too deeply.

'But otherwise he's a good leader in my opinion and he will continue to be captain even though there was speculation about that.'

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