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Focus on your club blasts Wenger.

ARSENE WENGER has told his Arsenal stars to forget about the World Cup and concentrate on driving the Gunners to success both in the Premier League and Europe.

Arsenal can secure a place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a draw against Standard Liege at the Emirates Stadium tonight.

However, the Gunners fell eight points behind leaders Chelsea following a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Sunderland on Saturday, when they were without Holland striker Robin van Persie, who damaged ankle ligaments while away during the international break.

England forward Theo Walcott, however, made a welcome return to action and could feature again in Europe.

Wenger, though, maintains first and foremost it is the job of his players to deliver the goods for Arsenal, rather than worrying about what they may be able to go on and achieve in South Africa next summer.

"For me, the big season is with Arsenal, not at the World Cup," Wenger declared.

"We do not pay players to go to the World Cup. We pay the players to do well for Arsenal.

"The first pride of a man is to do well for the guy who pays you in life, not to go to the World Cup."

Captain Cesc Fabregas accepts performing consistently for Arsenal can only help his bid to become first choice for Spain.

He said: "I can understand the boss' point. He is the manager and wants Arsenal to do well, the national team is secondary.

"Sometimes I don't play for Spain, I am on the bench so definitely I want to play well for Arsenal to start in the World Cup. My first priority is to play for Arsenal, to play well and to win titles."

Wenger will have England Under-21 defender Kieran Gibbs available again tonight after a foot injury.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 24, 2009
Words:302
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