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No regrets over Mark Hughes incident says Arsene Wenger


Wenger stands by touchline behaviour

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he does not regret refusing to shake hands with Manchester City boss Mark Hughes after the Gunners' Carling Cup defeat.

Hughes accused Wenger of "not knowing how to behave" following City's 3-0 victory over Arsenal on Wednesday.

But Wenger said: "On Saturday, I am managing my 500th game at Arsenal and I believe I have shaken hands 497 times.

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

Hughes was angered by Wenger's action in the immediate aftermath of Wednesday's contest, which saw City overcome a youthful Gunners side to book a semi-final place against Manchester United.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty

The two managers argued on the touchline during the game, with the Arsenal boss complaining to the fourth official that Hughes had left his technical area.

After the final whistle, Wenger walked straight down the tunnel with Hughes waving at him from the side of the pitch.

Wenger is now preparing his side for Saturday's home game with Stoke and insists that he has nothing to apologise for.

"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 or lost the game," he added.

"I act in accordance with the principles I think are important on the football pitch and I maintain exactly what I said and did."

When asked if he had been insulted by Hughes, Wenger responded: "I'm used to treating this kind of thing with the needed distance. I do not want to make a fuss.

"There are incidents on the touchline but you never heard me ever say anything about another manager after the game, in a press conference or after during the week.

I think it's a good thing to maintain calm and the atmosphere

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti on the practice of shaking hands

"I maintain exactly the way I behave and do not regret one second of what I did."

For his part, Hughes is keen to move on from the controversy.

"We keep revisiting things that have already occurred," he said. "Everybody has had their say on what happened.

"I have my view, as I tried to articulate after the game. I am sure Arsene has his view on it as well. But that is between myself and Arsene, not anybody else.

"It is not something I am not looking to dwell on. It is past, why revisit it? We are grown men, we just get on with it. From my point of view the issue is over."

Cheeky journalist winds up Hughes

City host Premier League leaders Chelsea on Saturday and Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti insists he likes the practice of shaking hands after the game.

"I think that shaking hands is a normal thing," Ancelotti said. "Mark Hughes is a very good coach. I know him. For me, it's not a problem to shake hands. You show respect to the other coach. It's normal.

"In Italy, it's not usual to do that at the end, immediately after the game. In England we have to do it. I think it's a good thing to maintain calm and the atmosphere.

"I don't know why Wenger didn't shake hands with the other coach. I don't know if it was right or wrong. Every person can do what he wants to do."

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see also
Arsenal 2-0 Stoke City
05 Dec 09 |  Premier League
Man City 2-1 Chelsea
05 Dec 09 |  Premier League
Hughes slams 'ungracious' Wenger
03 Dec 09 |  League Cup
Manchester City 3-0 Arsenal
02 Dec 09 |  League Cup
How to watch Match of the Day
09 Aug 11 |  Match of the Day

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