Arsenal legend Wright: Footballers shouldn't be given hard time because of Team GB success

The former Gunners striker believes players have been unfairly criticised in light of London 2012 achievements, and feels money spent on games could have been used more wisely

Arsenal legend Ian Wright feels footballers have been given a hard time in light of the success of Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics.

The former Gunners striker admitted he has been unimpressed by the reaction of the public to praise the athletes and condemn footballers so easily as he feels players do a lot of work that goes unappreciated.

He told ESPN: "I respect what the amateur athletes did at London 2012, but I wasn't too impressed with the way everyone seemed to go out of their way to say these sports men and women were all a whole lot better than footballers.

"Why slate footballers just because the Olympic athletes did well for a couple of weeks? Look into what footballers do with their money, the good work they do for charity, before you start slagging them off. Not all footballers should be tarred with the same brush, but they are an easy target."

Wright does not believe the attention given to the Olympics was fair, and feels the vast amounts of money spent on the games could have been spent more wisely.

He added: "People see footballers as spoilt brats and they are jealous of working class lads doing well for themselves, but this is all nonsense.

"Footballers shouldn't be the fall guys just to make the Team GB stars look good. If an Olympic athlete falls out of a nightclub in the next few months, will that get the kind of coverage a footballer seems to get? I bet they don't.

"Let's not forget, it cost billions of pounds to stage the Olympics in London, so I never jumped on the bandwagon to go along with the idea that the Olympics saved the nation. Maybe we could have spent that money on better things."