Wenger calls for internal feuds to end

Arsenal manager issues end-of-season plea to players, shareholders and fans
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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger has appealed to the dissident sections within Arsenal to bite their tongues, for the good of the club. He has also once again turned down the approaches of Real Madrid this week, in what has become an almost annual event in each of the 13 summers he has spent in north London.

This after his management had been questioned by a group of shareholders at a tough meeting a week ago. Wenger responded yesterday with an admonishment to those in the club whose tongues have been wagging a little too much. He did not name names but he did not have to.

His targets were players like Emmanuel Adebayor who have been vocal about the need to bring in more experience. And the shareholders and supporters at the Emirates who have been voicing their discontent at Arsenal's fourth consecutive season without a trophy.

Wenger said: "I believe the more everybody shuts up inside the club and doesn't talk about anything and works hard is the best. I think inside the club the less you talk, the better it is. Let other people talk.

"I include myself when I say shut up. I include myself because why should I talk about things? Everybody is talking about Adebayor. No matter what I say it will go against the club and against the interests of the club. So let's not talk too much."

Wenger refused to comment on any job offer from Real Madrid, but did admit that he had been approached by rival clubs from time to time.

"I am used to it. I believe I have faced that for a long time," he said. "When you are in a job for a long time, as soon as you have a blip, people are not happy. Through my whole stay here I've had contacts with other clubs but nothing ever comes out from my side. I believe nobody can question my commitment."

Only Wenger knows if he was truly tempted by the offer from Real. He has turned them down so many times but they still keep coming back for more. The Arsenal board certainly seemed concerned that Wenger might actually leave the club, after the hostile reaction of some shareholders last week and the boos that have rung around the Emirates.

Wenger said yesterday he had never thought too hard about leaving. But he admitted things could be better at Arsenal, who face Stoke in the season's final game tomorrow. "If I needed a divorce I would have called a lawyer. But I haven't called anyone. So, no, inside the club we have no problem at all," he said.

"You are never completely happy in our job, unfortunately. I have had the freedom to work and I have a quality squad. There has been a lot of hard work behind this squad to assemble them all and help them improve.

"We have not stood still in the last four years like many people have suggested... The level of competition is very high in England but I believe we'll have a word to say next season."