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Arsene Wenger responds to criticism of Arsenal’s 14-minute flight ahead of Norwich City defeat

PUBLISHED: 16:20 23 October 2012 | UPDATED: 18:18 23 October 2012

Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger before the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich.

Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger before the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich.

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger today insisted a lack of trains was behind their decision to take a 14-minute flight to Norwich.

Arsenal flew from Luton Airport to Norwich Airport last Friday, ahead of their 1-0 defeat at Carrow Road on Saturday.

The decision was branded “absurd” by Jennifer Parkhouse, co-ordinator of the Norwich and Norfolk Friends of the Earth.

Wenger, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League game with German team Schalke, was asked for his thoughts on the matter.

According to ITV, he told today’s press conference: “Usually we take the train and there was no train available, so in the end we decided to fly because we had to drive up on Friday afternoon at the moment when you never know how long it lasts.”

A spokesman for the club yesterday said the decision to fly was made based on the “temperamental” A11 and planned engineering work on the Norwich to London rail line.

But the flight from Luton to Norwich only lasted 14 minutes, and green campaigners said the club had not considered the environmental impact it would cause.

A spokesman for train operator Greater Anglia has confirmed there was engineering work and bus replacements on Saturday.

Norwich City supporters, responding to yesterday’s story on www.eveningnews24.co.uk and www.edp24.co.uk, joked the Arsenal players appeared to have been suffering from jet-lag during their visit to Carrow Road.

Grant Holt’s 20th minute strike secured the Canaries the three points.

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