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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 March 2008, 22:39 GMT
Wenger fumes at Bentley comments
David Bentley and Theo Walcott
Bentley believes Walcott should leave Arsenal to further his career
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has reacted angrily to David Bentley's suggestion that Theo Walcott must leave Arsenal to find regular football.

Bentley, 23, quit Arsenal after five years in 2006 to join Blackburn where his career has flourished.

But Wenger said: "Bentley is entitled to his opinion but it does not mean he is right.

"I don't know why one player should incite another player to leave a club. It is not his job."

Walcott, 18, has still not earned a regular first-team place under Wenger despite showing the sort of form that earned him a shock England call-up for the 2006 World Cup.

When you are in one of the biggest clubs in the world you have to accept competition

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

The striker came on as a substitute for the last 19 minutes of Arsenal's midweek Champions League triumph against AC Milan and promptly made the second goal for Emmanuel Adebayor.

Wenger said Walcott has plenty of time to grow into a more accomplished player by staying with the club.


"When you are in one of the biggest clubs in the world you have to accept competition," said Wenger.

"If you accept it, it makes you better, if you move down you are down, not at the top.

"I believe Theo can establish himself here. He is 18 and at that age to play in one of the biggest clubs in the world in a regular position is very difficult.

"When he comes on he makes a big impact, he's not there completely yet when he starts a game."

Walcott joined Arsenal in 2006 from Southampton for a fee of 5m.

The striker will miss Sunday's visit to Wigan after sustaining a slight thigh injury.

Saints deny Walcott money rumours
03 Mar 08 |  Southampton
AC Milan 0-2 Arsenal (agg 0-2)
04 Mar 08 |  Europe


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