Arsene Wenger is imploring Arsenal fans to "respect" the ex-Gunners who now play for Manchester City when the two teams meet Tuesday. Wenger wants the home crowd to focus their energies on supporting current Gunners and set an example to the many young people in attendance, Arsenal.com reports.
"You want to respect our players who have played for us," Wenger said. "That's what we expect.
"It's always more important to support our players rather than be negative against the players of Man City. What is important is that we are united to win the game.
Kolo Toure, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy are the former Arsenal stars who now call the Etihad Stadium home. Tuesday's Carling Cup quarterfinal could see Clichy and Nasri make their first appearances against their former club.
Toure was the first to join the newly-rich Citizens when he made a £15 million ($23.3 million) switch in the summer of 2009. Clichy followed him two years later for £7 million ($10.9 million) after rejecting the chance to stay in North London (for a lower salary).
Nasri's move was more contentious than the others'. With 18 months to run on his contract, he rejected each of Arsenal's offers, because of the pay City could offer him. With his mind seemingly set on the swithch, Wenger reluctantly sold him the French international for £22 million ($34.1 million) as the summer 2011 transfer window drew to a close.
The longtime Arsenal boss is also aware that lower prices for Carling Cup games at the Emirates Stadium attract familes and young people. He hopes supporters will spare his former players from abuse for the sake of those young people in attendance.
"Also, in the Carling Cup we have different people who are very young," Wenger added.
"It's an occasion where we make the prices very cheap for young people and you feel there is happiness to be there on the night. Hopefully we can keep them happy."
Manchester City eliminated Arsenal at this stage of the competition in the 2009-10 season.
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