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Usher: Reds defence key at Basel

Liverpool about an hour ago
Read
Oct 15, 2010

Wenger sees some truth in Murphy's claims

Arsene Wenger agrees with Danny Murphy's claim that managers have a influence over the way players behave but stressed that they are responsible for their own actions.

Fabregas unlikely to face Blues
Allardyce wants Murphy apology
Pulis unimpressed with Murphy
Forum: Should Murphy apologise?

Fulham midfielder Murphy caused controversy in England when he said managers may be to blame for some of the more forceful challenges in the Premier League as the players are so fired up to defend.

Wenger believes managers do play a part in the mindset of their players but feels that the ultimate responsibility lies with those committing the tackles.

"I believe Murphy said we as managers have a responsibility regarding the behaviour of our team, and I agree, I do not deny it," he said. "I am not in the other dressing room, so I do not know [what goes on].

"I never ask any player if he has been wound up by his manager. I always say the same thing - the referees have the rules for them and [have] to get the game respected, the players have to respect each other, no matter what they are instructed to do."

He added: "I am a strong believer you are responsible for what you say and what you do. When I make a mistake, I do not look at anybody else, to say 'it is his fault'. It is my fault and if I behave wrongly, it is my fault, it is not somebody else's.

"If a player does bad tackling, it is too easy to hide behind the manager's instruction because you are responsible for how you behave.

"I do not want to add anything to what I have said many times - I like commitment and physical games, but it has to be in a fair way because it can only work if everybody goes into it in a fair way."

Murphy has also been defended by his Fulham manager, Mark Hughes. He said: "There's a lot been said about Danny being disrespectful to the manager, but having had conversations with him he has huge respect for the managers of the teams he mentioned.

"Maybe the fact we had recent history against the teams he mentioned was fresh in his mind and he was giving examples. We're disappointed by the reaction to it. You must respect he has an opinion. He was being honest. He wanted to make a point. Whether he did that in the right manner is open to debate."

Wenger also confirmed he has no plans to offer a contract to Robert Pires. The former Arsenal winger is a free agent after leaving Villarreal at the end of last season and has been training at London Colney.

"We have enough players," he said. "We have a big squad - we have 25 players. We will respect our wages bill and we will not go above what we have planned financially with the players.

"It is time for us to get the players back on the pitch because we pay as well the players who don't play. We want them back on the pitch and we have medically to make a big effort to get everybody back.

"You want your players to perform on the football pitch."

Wenger also said he was not concerned by Cesc Fabregas' comments that Arsenal are lacking a winning mentality.

"It can be misinterpreted. I think everybody has a great desire to win, but you get a winning mentality as well when you have won," Wenger said. "What is at stake for us is not the desire to win, but to make history and to win trophies.

"As long as you have not won you are not completely certain that you can do it - but that does not mean that you lack the desire to win. This team has a great desire to win, but you have to show it week in week out.

"This life, at the top level today, in the best league in the world, is to turn up every single game at full cylinders."

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