Wenger comments 'bizarre' says Collins

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The Independent Online

Defender James Collins has hit out at Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger's claims that Aston Villa are a long ball team and branded his comments "stupid" and "ridiculous."

Wenger made his thoughts clear on Villa's approach after Wednesday's goalless draw between the two sides.

Villa boss Martin O'Neill was clearly unhappy when told of Wenger's outburst and claimed it was an "appalling insult."

Now Collins has echoed those sentiments ahead of tomorrow's Barclays Premier League clash with Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The former West Ham centre-back said: "They were ridiculous comments by Arsene Wenger. I don't think he has any right saying that about teams.

"It's the same on the pitch. You sort of get the impression playing against them that you can't tackle them.

"The comments he has made are so stupid, it's unbelievable. If we played long balls, we wouldn't be in the position we are in.

"Obviously the manager (O'Neill) is angry with the comments as well and we can't believe what he has said."

Collins added: "I've never played in a team where we have played better football. It's one of the most bizarre comments I've ever heard.

"Wenger has got a bit of a reputation for coming out with odd comments now and again so you just have to take it with a pinch of salt really."

Meanwhile, Villa left-back Wilfred Bouma has again started on the comeback trail after 18 months out of action.

Bouma had recovered from the dislocated ankle suffered in an Intertoto Cup clash with Odense in July 2008 but then sustained a toe problem in October.

Now the Dutch international is back in full training.

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