By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger has no regrets over his failure to shake hands with Mark Hughes after the Carling Cup tie at Manchester City on Wednesday.

The Arsenal manager fully admits he is a “bad loser” but refused to go into his reasons for not congratulating his opposite number at Eastlands. The issue has been high profile in the British media this week but, at his press conference on Friday, Wenger was dismissive, citing his overall reputation as one of the game’s gentlemen.

“Tomorrow, by coincidence, I am managing my 500th [Premier League] game at Arsenal,” he began, ”and I believe I have shaken hands maybe 497 times.

“It is a ceremonial courtesy. But the most important is not the ceremonial but the courtesy of behaviour.

“I don’t deny that I am a bad loser but on this occasion I would have done exactly the same if we had won the game or lost the game. I am in accordance with the principals I think are important on the football pitch and I maintain exactly what I said and did.

“I am used to treating this kind of thing with the needed distance and I do not want to make a fuss. There are incidents on the touchline [sometimes] but you have never heard me ever say anything about another manager after the game, in a press conference or during the week after. I maintain exactly the way I behave and do not regret one second of what I did.

“But,” he concluded, “if the world has no bigger problems than this then it is not so bad.”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
4 Dec 2009