Arsenal boss Wenger on Ashton: National teams have too much power

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says the retirement of West Ham striker Dean Ashton again raises the issue of the responsibility of national associations for their players.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says the retirement of West Ham striker Dean Ashton again raises the issue of the responsibility of national associations for their players.

Ashton has succumbed to a long-term ankle problem which he initially sustained when training with England in August 2006.

The Gunners have lost Holland striker Robin van Persie to an ankle injury for the best part of the remainder of the campaign, and Wenger believes these situations open up the debate over players' treatment while on international duty.

After paying tribute to Ashton, Wenger said: "It raises the deeper question - is the power of the clubs right today compared to the power of the national team?

"I think it is completely wrong and I have said that many times and the medical side is only part of it.

"The national teams have too much power compared to the clubs considering the clubs pay the players."