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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

New aggression complaint from Wenger

Arsene Wenger has accused referees and opponents of victimising Arsenal following the Champions League stalemate with Fenerbahce where he admitted his side struggled for stamina.

After criticising Stoke for deliberately harming his players at the weekend, Mikael Silvestre is a fresh injury concern after his nose was injured after a challenge from Semih Senturk.

Wenger said: ''Was it intentional? I don't know. He rotated his arm. You must ask the player.''

Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia missed the Group G clash with an upset stomach, while Bacary Sagna, Theo Walcott and Emmanuel Adebayor were also sidelined.

Wenger is getting increasingly frustrated as he feels different rules apply to his team.

He said: ''You can look at the fair play table. Who is top? Arsenal Football Club. We have no lessons to learn from anyone on that front. Look at the team that makes less fouls - it is Arsenal Football Club.

''Who gets the more yellow cards after four or five fouls? Arsenal Football Club. Some teams get their first yellow card after 15 fouls. I cannot read the book or something is wrong.

''I'm responsible for the behaviour of Arsenal and we are top. I do not make that table. Instead of having a go at us, people should look somewhere else.''

Wenger also stands by his criticism of Stoke, adding: ''I responded to some statements made by a Stoke player (Thomas Sorensen).

''I wasn't happy with some tackles and wanted to say that you don't have to be brave to tackle from behind. The brave one is the guy who tries to play football. Why should I regret that? I maintain that strongly. It is not bitterness after a defeat.

''Sometimes in England we feel 'he didn't fancy that'. Of course we didn't fancy that because that is not football.

''Of course we are ready to battle. But it depends what you mean by battle.''

Arsenal had the better chances in the goalless draw but failed to get past Volkan Demirel, with Robin van Persie coming closest when he struck the crossbar in the first half.

''In the second half we dropped physically and were less dangerous from then on,'' Wenger added. ''We were not sharp enough to put our strikers into good position.

''We didn't look in trouble at all. You expect us to make chances in the last 20 minutes and this didn't come because physically we didn't have the resources.''

Wenger feels the rigours of the Premier League accounts for the poor results among English teams in Europe this week.

''None of them had lost until this week and none of them have won this week - this is explained by giving their all in the Premier League and have less resources to do well,'' he said.

''The Premier League is demanding physically. If you have a Champions League game the week after it is very difficult.''

Next for Wenger is the Premier League clash against Manchester United on Saturday when they will look to get back on track in the title race after dropping points to Stoke as well as Tottenham last week.

''It's a massive game, of massive importance for us,'' Wenger said. ''Every three days is a big game at the moment but Arsenal v Man United is a special one, we know it is vital to do well in the big games in this league. I'm confident we will.''

Gunners midfielder Cesc Fabregas has challenged his team-mates to prove they are good enough to turn around their poor form.

''We don't want excuses because we are playing for Arsenal and a lot of players would like to be in our position,'' he said. ''We have to make sure we give everything on the pitch always.

''We have to keep going. The next match, against Manchester United, is massive. This is welcomed because it's a big game and big players want to play in big games.''

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