Wenger: I have the backing I need
Published 20/12/2012 | 10:59
Manager Arsene Wenger maintains he has always felt fully supported by the Arsenal board.
Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov, the club's second-largest shareholder, on Thursday reiterated in an interview with American broadcaster CNBC his desire to further invest in the Barclays Premier League club.
Speaking ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Wigan, Wenger said: "I believe I have always had the support from the board, and am very grateful for that. We have worked over the years in respecting in what we did, which is to always work within our financial resources."
He added: "Therefore we made decisions which from outside looked not based on purely footballing reasons, but it was based as well on financial reasons."
Usmanov - whose Red & White Holdings group are not represented on the board - also claimed Wenger did not have enough backing and blasted the decision to sell captain Robin van Persie to rivals Manchester United in a £24million deal last summer.
Arsenal on Wednesday announced new long-term deals for England midfielder Jack Wilshere and four other young players - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson and Aaron Ramsey.
Wenger remains hopeful England winger Theo Walcott will follow suit and commit his future to Arsenal, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season. The Gunners boss, however, insists just simply spending big in the January sales will not necessarily take Arsenal forward.
He added: "What is important is this team develops in the way we want to play. I have seen some interesting aspects on Monday night at Reading. Let's see how far this team can go. If we can add one or two exceptional players, we will do it.
"What we do not want to do is add players just because people put us under pressure to buy players. That is where we have to be strong enough. If we find a player who will give us something special, we will do it - but that in January will not be easy.
"We have money, and why should I not spend it if it is to find the right players? I believe as well the first and most important thing is to keep confidence in the players we have. If we are consistent, we can come back."