By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger says his players do not need Patrice Evra's criticism to motivate them at Old Trafford.
Ahead of Monday's game the Manchester United left back wrote off Arsenal's title chances, criticised their recent lack of trophies and dismissed them as nothing more than a "training centre".
Inevitably, Wenger was reminded of Evra's remarks at his pre-match press conference but the Arsenal manager would not rise to the bait. He insists that his team are driven on by their desire to play well and win, not by a provocative opponent.
"He gave you [reporters] some good stuff to make it all hot before the game," said Wenger. "But we are guided by the way we want to play football and not by the statements of anybody who plays against us.
"Personally, I believe if you are a big player you always respect your opponent and that is what we try to do.
"I leave that judgement to you [whether Evra has been disrespectful]. We do not want to go into any unnecessary talking before a game like that.
"We want to focus on the way we want to play and ignore any provocation before a game. We are motivated by the desire to win the game and by the quality of the football we want to play."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 10 Dec 2010