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Wenger: Squad's still strong


Arsene Wenger insists his current Arsenal squad should have been good enough to retain the Premiership title and did not need strengthening.

Wenger spent less than £5m last summer on Manuel Almunia, Robin Van Persie and Mathieu Flamini, while only Emmanuel Eboue was signed in the January transfer window for £1m.

But with Gilberto Silva, Edu and Sol Campbell all injured for significant periods, that has left Arsenal's strength in depth, as well as their inexperience, exposed.

Indeed, Thierry Henry admitted after this week's defeat by Manchester United the key to losing out to Chelsea was "injuries and our bench not being the same as other teams".

Wenger nevertheless rejected suggestions his board had turned down his appeals for transfer cash and claimed he looked for world-class players at the right price - but could not find them.

"I had some money if I had needed it. There's no problem in spending the money," he stressed.

"But I feel we had the necessary quality to win the championship with the players we have.

"It's always easy to say that we aren't responsible for anything, so let's buy. These are the same players who won the championship unbeaten last year."

While many managers advocate investing from a position of strength, Wenger did not buy another centre-back last summer - even though he admits their "careless" defending has since cost them.

"We had won the league unbeaten, had just lost in the last minute of the Champions League quarter-finals, with the quality to go through to the final, and had lost in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and Carling Cup," he said.

"We felt there was no need, with Sol Campbell and Kolo Toure, as well as Pascal Cygan and Philippe Senderos, to buy players just for the sake of buying.

"I feel we have the needed quality but our quality is young. At the start of the campaign, you don't necessarily plan to lose Gilberto and Edu after you have lost Parlour, Wiltord and Kanu.

"Then you must put your young players in straight away. But now they have gained the experience, to buy players who would play in front of them would be a huge mistake."

The problem is that Campbell will miss his 12th league game of the season on Saturday through injury, while Toure is banned, leaving fit-again Senderos competing with Justin Hoyte to partner Cygan at Aston Villa.

But despite having spent a club record fee on Jose Reyes 12 months earlier, Wenger was still not lured into action in January, believing too many players are then over-priced.

"Give me the names of the world-class players who were available in January?" he asked.

"Javier Mascherano? He is not qualified for England as far as I know. He doesn't have the right number of internationals and no passport.

"We already have Fabregas, Flamini, Vieira, Edu and Gilberto coming back, so where do you put all your players? Then you must pay the wages. We could have had Nicolas Anelka back but for how much?"

The net result is still that Arsenal now trail 13 points behind leaders Chelsea, as well as having being pushed into second place by United.

"I'd never like to say that I wouldn't have done anything differently as that means I'm untouchable and that looks quite pretentious," admitted Wenger.
Wenger: Squad's still strong



"But when you make the kind of decision that I made, you know you're going into a gamble.

"We're not capable of buying a player for £25m, so you have to fight the other teams in a different way and nurture the younger world-class players who are not completely ready yet.

"But in August next year, Fabregas, Flamini, van Persie and Reyes, as well as Eboue and [Gael] Clichy, will be much more mature and stronger players than in last September.

"We have the quality but we need results this year to give them time to mature. To put players in front of them because we panic would be completely wrong."


teamtalk.com


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:sweeteye:
 

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The only mistake in signing Wenger ever made in the last several seasons is signing Pascal Cygan. This guy isn't even in the league of Chinese captain Li Weifeng. I'd say get rid of him ASAP, even it is by releasing him on free to the confrence sides.

Wenger still needs to sign one or two good quality central defenders, preferably who can play in other position like Edmilson who can play as centre-back or DM, and Maldini who can play as centre-back or full-back. And a real established world class goalkeeper like Frey.
 

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Zhuge Liang said:
The only mistake in signing Wenger ever made in the last several seasons is signing Pascal Cygan. This guy isn't even in the league of Chinese captain Li Weifeng. I'd say get rid of him ASAP, even it is by releasing him on free to the confrence sides.

Wenger still needs to sign one or two good quality central defenders, preferably who can play in other position like Edmilson who can play as centre-back or DM, and Maldini who can play as centre-back or full-back. And a real established world class goalkeeper like Frey.
I'd like us to go for Chivu. He is young but he's good, and if we put in a decent offer I think Roma would say yes.
 

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khimik said:
I'd like us to go for Chivu. He is young but he's good, and if we put in a decent offer I think Roma would say yes.
Chivu was talented young player..but we just wasting money if we buy him, as I know, he had a seriuos injured and it would be risk in the future..and, like Aw said, We can get chivu to highbury..but how Much? :rollani:
 

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cygan isn't that bad at all, you know that?
 

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i think we should get a new Gk, and hmm is there any chance of ANELKA since he mentioned him, a Cb is needed, but who chivu, with his injuries he would cost allot, and aso be a risk, i dont see AW getting him, so who is there to buy really?
 

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if anything, against the mancs, cygan was better then campbell
 

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Cygan keeps pressing people down, which is generally a good thing, but he can't track back in time, which leads to gaps in defense. The only positives of Cygan's game is that he can pass well, and he is left-footed.
 

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hm, We have shitty goalkeepers, both Almunia and Lehmann don't fit in this great club. I don't think the gk's are so expensive ( niemi,given,marcos,rogerio ceni,frey,...) we could get every one of them for less than 5 ooo ooo Ł. And DC-> cygan is very very slow, toure isn't as good as last year and sol is injured a lot this year. :eekani:
What was with Lauren at Arsenal-ManU?? He was sleeping in offensive zone and let Cristiano scored 2 goals.And this didn't happened for first time.
 

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and jern would never sell out and use words like 'offensive zone'...

still, i do smell a rat
 

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but where did he get that avater from? its exactly like jerns, is it not?
 

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*OZ* said:
but where did he get that avater from? its exactly like jerns, is it not?
Getting the avatar is no problem at all. Simply save it on your PC and then choose it as your custom avatar. Bada bing bada boom. ;)

Jern will N E V E R put any other club side in his Teams column. :skull: He is a Gooner from head to toe who likes Milan. :stuckup:
 
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