By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger will not use the Eduardo saga as an excuse if Arsenal stumble this season.

The Croatian striker was handed a two-match European ban this month after being found guilty of ‘deceiving the referee’ during the second leg of Arsenal’s Champions League play-off against Celtic.

Eduardo’s suspension was annulled on appeal, leaving him free to play – and score the winner – against Standard Liege in midweek.

Wenger expressed his concern last week that Eduardo was already paying a heavy price for being singled out by UEFA because he was denied a penalty for Croatia against England and had been barracked by opposition fans.

But the Frenchman insisted on Friday that Arsenal were big enough to put the controversy behind them.

“No [UEFA don’t owe Arsenal an apology],” said Wenger.

“I feel how much have we suffered doesn’t really matter.

“To be in a big club is to deal with this kind of matter and you need mental strength to deal with that. I wouldn’t like to use that as an excuse at all.

“We have over the years been confronted with these kind of situations and the best way to deal with it is to always show the mental strengths and to win football games.”

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18 Sep 2009