Murphy plays down tackle row

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Danny Murphy has hit back in the row over his attack on the managers of Wolves, Blackburn and Stoke by insisting his comments have been "blown out of all proportion".

Fulham captain Murphy caused a storm when he pointed the finger of blame at Mick McCarthy, Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis for the recent rash of dangerous tackles in the Barclays Premier League.

Thursday saw Blackburn boss Allardyce call on the 33-year-old to be "man enough" to apologise and in his programme notes for Fulham's match with Tottenham on Saturday, Murphy said: "These (comments) were taken out of context to a large extent, and were blown out of all proportion. For the record, I have a huge amount of respect for the managers of the clubs that I named, and for their achievements in the game."

He added: "Anybody who listened to the debate in its entirety would have understood the points I was trying to make, so let's draw a line under it."

Meanwhile, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has called for managers and referees to have a summit in an attempt to stamp out x-rated challenges.

Wenger has long championed the need to clamp down on over-the-top tackles, having seen the likes of Abou Diaby, Eduardo and Aaron Ramsey all suffer horrific injuries which sidelined them for months.

Writing in his programme notes ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League game with Birmingham at Emirates Stadium, the Arsenal manager said: "Personally I like the physical commitment in England and it is very important we do not lose that.

"On the other hand, it is important that the referees sit down together with the managers so that we can get clear what is allowed and what isn't.

"I am convinced that everybody needs to fight against violence.

"What has got lost is the technique of the tackle: a tackle with two legs should be an automatic red card, but a good tackle is technically beautiful to watch. That means that your feet are on the ground, you are getting the ball back and only playing the ball."

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