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Ray Parlour reveals Arsene Wenger once yelled at Arsenal assistant Pat Rice to ‘shut up’ after he shouted at Robert Pires – ‘You couldn’t have a go at Robert’

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Pires is a Highbury hero, fan favourite and was a key player in the Gunners’ famous ‘Invincibles’ side that won the Premier League title with an unbeaten record in 2003/04.

The midfield maestro was famed for his effortless ability with the ball at his feet, his eye for a defensive splitting pass and his lethal partnership with fellow Frenchman Thierry Henry.

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Football fans may have recently seen Pires on TV, as part of ITV’s ‘Harry’s Heroes: Euro Having a Laugh’ show, as Harry Redknapp’s team of England legends took on FC Metz’s unbeaten veterans team, which is led by the former France international.

And he not only won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups with Arsenal, he was also a World Cup and European Championship winner with France.

He was a winner, and was untouchable during his pomp at Arsenal… quite literally, it seems, as Parlour has revealed Arsene Wenger didn’t let anyone lay into the midfielder, even when he wasn’t playing very well.

And it appears Pat Rice learned that the hard way during his career as Wenger’s long-term assistant coach, as he once received an earful from his boss after trying to tell Pires off in the dressing room.

“You couldn’t really have a go at Robert Pires,” Gunners legend Parlour explained on the talkSPORT Breakfast.

“You couldn’t really have a go if he wasn’t tracking back anyway, because he was so good going forward.

“But if you did have a go at him, he’d go into his shell and didn’t want the ball!

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Pires is ranked as Arsenal’s sixth-greatest ever player according to the club’s official fan vote AMAZING Kolo Toure story! His Mad Arsenal Trial

“Arsene Wenger knew exactly the characters he could have a go at and the players he couldn’t.

“I remember Pat Rice, we came in at half-time in one game and Robert wasn’t playing well, and Pat went to have a shout at him…

“But Arsene Wenger said: ‘No, shut up Pat!’

“’Keep going Robert,’ he said. ‘Keeping getting the ball, keep trying’.

“You knew if you had a go at Robert you might as well take him off, because he wouldn’t respond to that.

“Other players respond to people having a go at them, so as a manager you really have to know the characters you can really have a go at and will respond to it, and Arsene Wenger had that.”

Listen to a clip of Ray Parlour on the talkSPORT Breakfast above!


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