Wenger dismisses Pulis criticism over Arsenal 'surrounding officials'

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has defended his players after Stoke boss Tony Pulis criticised them for haranguing officials during Saturday’s meeting between the two sides.

The Gunners emerged 1-0 victors at the Emiates Stadium thanks to a Lukas Podolski strike which had initially been disallowed for offside, but was awarded following empassioned appeals from the hosts.

And Wenger has insisted his players were not aggressive in requesting that the decision be reviewed by the linesman.

“I haven’t seen it from the bench – what happened. I thought the linesmen had given offside, I couldn’t see anything else, or maybe somebody from us had handled the ball, that’s all I could think,” Wenger told reporters.

“But in fact I have heard that Walcott was offside but he was not interfering with the game, then it’s a normal goal. Who wouldn’t do that? I am sorry if we did that, but we were trying to understand why the linesman disallowed the goal. We didn’t do it in an aggressive way.”

Stoke boss Pulis, however, was of a different opinion, and slammed both the players and officials involved in the reversal.

“The disappointing thing for me was that the linesman has given the decision and the Arsenal players surrounded him, and I thought you weren’t allowed to surround officials today,” he said.

“It’s very, very ambiguous in lots of ways. And, like I say, we’re disappointed in that respect.”

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