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Arsenal boss defends under-fire Villas-Boas

Hugo Lloris will make his Spurs debut against Lazio. Photo: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport Hugo Lloris will make his Spurs debut against Lazio. Photo: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Monday, September 10, 2012
11:18 AM

Arsene Wenger has played down talk of rift between Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

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Lloris was signed by Spurs on deadline day from Lyon for a fee of around £12million but was reportedly disappointed by his new manager’s claims that Brad Friedel was still Spurs’ number one.

Arsenal manager Wenger has weighed in to say that the affair has been blown out of proportion and backed Lloris to make a big impact at White Hart Lane.

“Brad Friedel saved Villas-Boas and he owes him a form of recognition — but it doesn’t mean he won’t play Hugo,” Wenger told TF1.

“When they see Hugo in training, they’ll understand quite quickly they’ve got a hell of a player.

“Let’s not be dramatic, he has a guy ahead of him who’s 41 and you must plan his replacement, and this might happen in the next 15 days or three weeks.”

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Arsenal

Nickname: The Gunners.

Ground: Emirates Stadium (capacity 60,361).

Founded: 1886.

Honours: First Division (until 1992) and Premier League: 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2004.

FA Cup: 1930, 1936, 1950, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005.

League Cup: 1987, 1993.

Fairs Cup: 1970.

Cup Winners’ Cup: 1994.

Leading goalscorer: Thierry Henry, 228.

Leading appearances: David O’Leary, 722.