Coyle rejects Wenger criticism

Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle has dismissed suggestions from Arsene Wenger that his Arsenal players are being deliberately targeted.

Coyle takes his Trotters to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday with Wenger's critical comments of Stoke City and their defender Ryan Shawcross still fresh in the memory.

Wenger demanded more protection from referees in the face of overly-physical opponents after Shawcross' late tackle left Gunners midfielder Aaron Ramsey with a horrific double leg break last weekend.

But despite Wenger's protests, Coyle doesn't accept that other teams are deliberately targeting his Arsenal players.

"They are special players, no doubt about that, but there is no way in the world that anyone would go out to intentionally hurt or maim any player," he told the Bolton News.

"Ramsey is a terrific talent and is going to be a top player but there's no way that was intentional to hurt him.

"If you're not motivated to go out there and be aggressive to begin with, to earn the right to play, then you're going to be run over the top of and made to look foolish.

"We all take pride in trying to make our players competitive, to go and earn the right, as we say in football, but there's no way you'd say 'Go and smash this and that'."

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