Coates hits back at Wenger

Stoke chairman believes Gunners boss is feeling the pressure

Wenger: Coates response

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Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has dismissed claims from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger that Theo Walcott and Emmanuel Adebayor were deliberately injured in the Gunners' 2-1 defeat at the Britannia Stadium.

Wenger claimed that Ryan Shawcross and Rory Delap had no intention to play the ball in incidents which ended in injuries for his duo and rejected suggestions that his players lacked bravery in physical encounters.

Wenger said: "Do you think Delap tried to play the ball when he tackled Walcott? Or that Shawcross tried to play the ball when he tackled Adebayor off the pitch. All the players have been injured deliberately.

"I am not ready to listen to things that are completely untrue and make people who are cowards, for me, look brave."

However, Coates hit back, defending the Stoke pair from Wenger's criticisms.

"I am really very disappointed in what he has said," said the Stoke chairman.

Nasty

"That wasn't the game I saw, it wasn't the game the fans at the ground saw and it wasn't the game that the referee saw.

"I really am disappointed in him and I couldn't really disagree with him more.

"There was only one player who got sent off in that match and that was an Arsenal player (Robin Van Persie).

"Things happen in football. We don't have nasty players in the team who go out to injure players and we don't want that."

Coates believes Wenger's reaction may have been prompted by an an unexpected defeat at Stoke on the back of surrendering a two-goal lead to Tottenham.

He added: "Perhaps he (Wenger) has had a difficult few days with his results. There is a lot of pressure in football and I think it could be a manifestation of that.

"I think he's a fantastic manager, one of the great managers of the game. I'm not going to get involved in a slanging match with Arsenal, I just profoundly disagree with what he has said."