Sport Soccer

Thursday 23 November 2017

Arsene Wenger defends transfer policy once again as calls grow for signings

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger again defended his transfer policy as angry Arsenal fans called for him to make signings.

The Gunners drew 0-0 at champions Leicester to remain winless after two Premier League games leading the travelling support to voice their desire for Wenger to spend.

Arsenal lacked cutting edge despite dominating possession with Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil testing goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel but rarely threatening to break through.

Boss Wenger has signed Rob Holding from Bolton and Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach this summer but missed out on Leicester's Jamie Vardy, who rejected a move.

He was clearly irritated by transfer talk following the game and insisted he was not reluctant to spend big - as Arsenal chase their first title since 2004 - but would not splash out for the sake of it.

Wenger said: "Why do you say I'm reluctant? If I buy you tomorrow for £45million I have spent £45million and I would have done well because I will have listened to you but spending the money in itself is not a quality. Spending the money buying a top player is different and we are ready to do it.

"I just said I'd spend £300million if I find the player and I had £300million. Do not forget we are a club who has 600 employees who we have to have a responsibility to as well. It's a bit surprising you come out of games and don't speak about football. You have to speak about money.

"You have to respect the players who played and the performance from both teams. If we find the players to strengthen our team then we are not reluctant to spend the money.

"They (the fans) are highly influenced by the media, that's part of the process today. We try to make the right decisions, it's as simple as that.

"We have a whole team working on the strengthening of the team. I'm not the only one. Unfortunately no-one speaks about the performance of Rob Holding. You should be happy, he is English and 20-years-old. I am sorry he didn't cost £55million so he can't be good."

Wenger reserved praise for defender Holding but also felt Arsenal should have taken more than a point.

"We could have got more out of that. It was a game where we had the chances and I think it was a game of intensity and quality," he said. "They were very direct as you know and we needed to have the courage to play without making mistakes at the back.

"It was a fight until the end and you could see Leicester have some mental qualities and that explains why they were champions last year."

Reigning champions Leicester are also searching for their first win of the season but had two penalty claims rejected after Danny Drinkwater and Ahmed Musa went down in the area at the end of each half. Vardy also failed to score as he faced Arsenal for the first time since turning down a move to the Emirates in June.

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri refused to question referee Mark Clattenburg but instead focused on the Foxes' performance after they slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Hull on the opening day.

He said: "I don't know (whether they were penalties). I am not a manager who says 'oh, there was a penalty'. For me it's okay. The referee made a very good performance and a penalty happens when the referee whistles. He didn't whistle and there wasn't (a penalty).

"It was a good performance. The result is good and we deserved a little more but it's okay. They kept more possession and were very dangerous but without a clear chance. I am happy for the spirit and union of the team.

"I watched our spirit in a very good performance against a good team."

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