Wenger - I have lied
Gunners boss misled press to protect players
Last Updated: 16/10/10 11:14am
Wenger: Clear consience
Arsene Wenger has admitted telling lies to the media on occasions in an attempt to shield his Arsenal players.
"I didn't feel comfortable but I had a clear conscience because it was for a good cause."
Arsene Wenger. Quotes of the week
The Gunners boss was responding to questions in the wake of Wayne Rooney's contradiction of earlier comments made by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ferguson had told reporters that his star striker, who has come under the spotlight due to allegations surrounding his private life, was not fit enough for the recent games against Valencia and Sunderland due to an ankle injury.
But when asked after playing 90 minutes in England's 0-0 draw with Montenegro at Wembley in midweek if his ankle had caused any problems, Rooney replied: "No, I have had no ankle problems all season."
And when quizzed on his thoughts on the issue, Wenger replied: "If you ask me have I lied to the press to protect a player, I must honestly say yes.
"I didn't feel comfortable but I had a clear conscience because it was for a good cause.
"But when I lie to the press I speak beforehand with the player and say: 'Listen, this is the story we're going to give."'
Wenger declined to identify the occasions when he was economical with the truth adding: "If you ask me why I've lied I would have to give concrete examples and you find out which player."