Arsene Wenger criticism at Arsenal 'really appalling,' says Steve Bruce

The Tigers are set to entertain Arsenal at the KC Stadium on Tuesday night

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The Independent Football

Hull City manager Steve Bruce has branded criticism of Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger as “appalling” ahead of their FA Cup fifth-round replay.

The Tigers are set to entertain Arsenal at the KC Stadium on Tuesday night with a sixth-round meeting against Watford at stake but Bruce has opted to defend Wenger amid increased speculation about his future.

Wenger’s side have picked up just one point from a possible nine to fall eight points behind Premier League leaders while they also trial Barcelona by two goals ahead of the Champions League round-of-16 second-leg clash at the Camp Nou.

Bruce said: “They have had a bit of criticism which I find ridiculous but then again it's part and parcel as a football manager at the moment. How anybody can criticise him is beyond me with what he's achieved and what he's done. 

“From inside the game you're not going to hear people criticise Arsene Wenger because when you are in management as long as he's done and what he's been able to get at Arsenal then who is anybody to criticise him? 

“I find that really appalling. He's built a fantastic squad - he's helped finance it, he's had to sell players. He's never been able to really compete at the top level like anybody else has at a top club yet has kept them in the top four for 17 or 18 years. 

“For me you only get one thing, which is respect. He deserves a bit more than what he gets dished out considering what he's achieved.

“It's very difficult to win a title. Manchester United went 20-odd years before they won 10 of them. With the emergence of Chelsea and Manchester City over the last decade then it is very, very difficult - it doesn't just come as easy than what it used to.”