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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 21, 2009

Wenger irritated by speculation

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hit out at the way Spanish clubs conduct their presidential elections after Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas was once again linked with a move back to boyhood club Barcelona.

Current president Joan Laporta is entering his final year in charge, and has so far failed to convince their former trainee to return to the Nou Camp.

Now, it has emerged Sandro Rosell has targeted the Arsenal midfielder as part of his bid to take control at the club, with reports suggesting a deal could be struck for Fabregas' transfer next summer.

Wenger, though, has no intention of letting any of his star names leave and slammed all the speculation behind the political wrangling.

"I believe that apart from giving some articles to the newspapers, all the rest is rubbish,'' declared the Arsenal manager, whose young side have opened the new campaign in impressive form.

"It does not help football and does not help people to focus on their job and is sometimes destabilising.

"The way Spanish clubs are run is more political than sport orientated.

"How much does that harm other clubs? It is difficult to measure, but it does not help other clubs when somebody who has, for example, no chance to be elected next year as president, can announce any name.

"What can you do against him? Nothing. Does that help other clubs? Certainly not.''

Wenger, though, declared: "The only thing I can say that the day I agree to sell a player one year in advance, I will not be in this job any more.''

Despite all of the harbingers of doom predicating a difficult season ahead for the Gunners, who have not won a trophy since the 2005 FA Cup, Wenger's side have impressed during their two matches so far.

A 6-1 mauling of Everton at Goodison Park was followed up by a 2-0 win away to Celtic in the first leg of their Champions League play-off.

The Arsenal boss, though, knows all to well there is a long, long way to go.

"I feel we have started well and we have shown some potential,'' he said.

"We are in a marathon here and it just started.''

Wenger added: "[Liverpool manager Rafael] Benitez is right, it is far too early to speak about anything which will happen in this Premier League, because you do not see the first trend until after 10 games.

"We will have had some tough games by then, so that is why now we have our feet on the ground.''

Arsenal may have only signed one player during the transfer window so far, but £10million man Thomas Vermaelen already looks a shrewd acquisition.

Partnered at the centre of defence alongside William Gallas following the sale of Kolo Toure, the Belgian international has produced a couple of impressive displays - scoring on his debut at Everton.

Wenger said of the former Ajax man: "Everybody looks surprised that he is doing well - I am not because I saw him when he played against us for Ajax.

"He is a player who has intelligence, physical strength and a good technical level.

"If you analyse him well you see that he has all the ingredients needed to be successful in the Premier League.

"As a team we want to do better defensively than we did last year.

"That is vital to us - we conceded 37 goals last year and the target is to do much better than that.''

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