Wenger hits back at Evra jibes
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger shrugged off jibes by Patrice Evra on Friday after the Manchester United defender ridiculed the Gunners as little more than a "training centre."
In remarks broadcast by Canal Plus, French international Evra stoked tensions ahead of the two teams' Premier League clash on Monday by taking aim at Arsenal's five-year trophy drought.
"Arsenal is a training centre. I watch them play and enjoy it but will they win the title? That's what people remember," Evra said.
"Arsenal are a great club but it has been five years since they won anything and that for me is a crisis. We could lose to them on the 13th but then what? There is nothing (for them), there will be no trophy, nothing," said Evra.
In a restrained rebuttal of Evra's comments, Wenger said he had little interest in trading verbal barbs with the Manchester United stalwart.
"He gave you some good stuff to make it all hot before the game," the Arsenal manager told reporters. We are guided by the way we want to play football and not by the statements of anybody who plays against us.
"Personally, I believe if you are a big player you always respect your opponent and that is what we try to do," said Wenger.
Asked if he believed whether Evra had been disrespectful, Wenger replied: "I leave that judgement to you. We do not want to go into any unneeded talking before a game like that.
"We want to focus on the way we want to play and ignore any provocation before a game.
"We are motivated by the desire to win the game and by the quality of the football we want to play," said the Gunners boss.
Arsenal currently top the Premier League standings by one point, with Manchester United in second having played one game fewer.