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Nov 5, 2008

Pulis hits back at Wenger criticism

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has responded to claims from Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger that the Potters "deliberately injured" his players during Saturday's Premier League clash by ridiculing the Frenchman for hypocrisy and trying to fool the public.

Wenger claimed that Stoke set out to intentionally hurt his players during the Gunners' 2-0 defeat at the Britannia Stadium after Emmanuel Adebayor (ankle), Theo Walcott (shoulder) and right-back Bacary Sagna (ankle) were all injured.

Wenger said: "The only intention is to hurt you and I can show some tackles where I can prove what I say.

"Do you think (Rory) Delap tried to play the ball when he tackled Walcott? Or that [Ryan] Shawcross tried to play the ball when he tackled Adebayor off the pitch. All the players have been injured deliberately."

But Pulis has hit back in a statement on the club's website that pokes fun at his opposite number and accuses Wenger making a dramatic u-turn on comments made immediately after the match.

"In Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday evening Mr Wenger talked openly about Arsenal's encounter with Stoke," Pulis said. "He commended my team's organisation, my team's commitment and confessed that on the day Stoke City thoroughly deserved to win the game,"

"In London 48 hours later and 150 miles away from Stoke-on-Trent, Mr Wenger changed tack and has tried to rewrite history.

"His comments about my team are there for everybody to read and certainly made me smile, along with I'm sure 27,000 supporters at the game, millions of TV viewers and the massed press who interviewed him after the game."

Pulis goes on to point out that the only red card issued in the match was to Arsenal's Robin van Persie after a barge on goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen and that Adebayor was booked for a chest-high challenge on Ryan Shawcross.

"I and my Football Club have tremendous respect for Mr Wenger and Arsenal Football Club, but as Mr Wenger is such a learned professional and on a great day in American electoral history, I would like to remind him of Abraham Lincoln's great quotation, 'You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time'."

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