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Ex-Arsenal boss Rioch: Wenger must get tougher with players over contracts

Bruce Rioch feels Arsenal should get tougher with their players.

The former manager believes Arsenal must look at the way Manchester United do business - toughen up, rediscover their competitive edge and hark back to the days when Patrick Vieira and Co took no prisoners.

"I've got a lot of affection for Arsenal, there's no room in my life for bitterness. It is a great club by any yardstick," says Rioch, now living in Cornwall, to the Mirror.

"Yes, United scored some great goals but losing two outstanding players like Fabregas and Nasri is really going to dent any team's confidence - unless you've got like-for-like quality as immediate replacements.

"Their moves turned into long-running sagas when something should have been sorted out quickly.

"This time last year Alex Ferguson had a contract problem with Wayne Rooney. He got it done and dusted in a week, even thought it cost them financially.

"United sent out a message to the rest of the world - we are not a club which sells our best players.

"It's not always been like that for United. But when Cristiano Ronaldo wanted to go a few years ago, United made sure it cost Real Madrid top dollar, around £80million.

"Then you look at the early signings Alex made this summer. Top English talent like Phil Jones and Ashley Young came in and must have given that dressing room a hell of a lift.

"Bill Shankly once told me that when a player got towards the end of his contract at Liverpool, he would be offered a new deal. Any hesitation and he was history. Shanks took it as an indication his head was elsewhere.

"I feel Arsenal should have done that with Nasri."

 It's the home stretch! 24/7 click for the best coverage of Arsenal's final transfer market moves

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Tribal Football Staff

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