Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wenger Keeps Up Red Devils Attacks

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wenger Keeps Up Red Devils Attacks

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Stone

Ruud van Nistelrooy's apology to Ashley Cole does not look like ending his feud with Arsenal after Arsene Wenger launched another bitter attack on the Dutchman ( and his club.

Van Nistelrooy began the first suspension of his Manchester United career last night after pleading guilty to the charge of serious foul play levelled against him by the Football Association following his crude tackle on Cole during the Red Devils' 2-0 win at Old Trafford.

Under the FA's new fast-track disciplinary process, the striker will also miss Saturday's trip to Portsmouth and the November 7 Manchester derby as a result of a challenge BBC pundit Alan Hansen labelled `a disgrace'.

Van Nistelrooy maintains the incident was not premeditated but TV replays looked bad, prompting the apology to Cole which accompanied a vehement defence of his disciplinary record.

"There was no deliberate intent to harm Ashley Cole and I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to him," said van Nistelrooy.

"Throughout my 10-year career I believe my disciplinary record is very good, not only for Manchester United but at all my previous clubs. I accept the charge made by the FA and I take full responsibility for this incident." However, van Nistelrooy's stance is unlikely to win him too much sympathy at Highbury and Wenger's latest comments will not do much to ease the on-going tension between England's biggest clubs.

The striker was already public enemy number one among the Gunners for his role in getting Patrick Vieira dismissed on Arsenal's previous Premiership visit to Old Trafford 13 months ago.

On that occasion, the 28-year-old was mobbed by angry visiting players after missing a last-gasp penalty.

This season, van Nistelrooy did not miss ( either Cole or the net ( after he was offered a chance to redeem himself for his previous spot-kick blunder.

Wenger was seething at the former PSV Eindhoven man's challenge, labelling him a cheat, a statement that could yet land the Frenchman in trouble with the FA, an accusation that prompted the `soupgate' tunnel scandal which United have been so keen to play down. …

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