Wenger will rethink his spending if Arsenal miss top-four spot
Saturday 04 February 2012
Arsène Wenger has indicated he will review his transfer policy this summer if Arsenal fail to finish in the top four for the first time in his 16-year reign at the club.
Arsenal's current standing in seventh place, five points below fourth-placed Chelsea and the lowest they have been under the Frenchman at this stage of the season , has thrown focus on the perceived weaknesses of the current squad, as well as raising the prospect of the club failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 1997.
The manager has steadfastly rejected claims he should spend more freely and target more experienced, established players despite his side's failure to land a major honour since 2005, insisting his preference for nurturing youthful talent better supports Arsenal's long-term future.
Criticism of his failure to act decisively, however, has resurfaced after another transfer window during which his budget was left largely intact. Anything but victory over Blackburn Rovers at the Emirates Stadium today will provoke further discontent after a run that has brought just one point from the last four league games, particularly amongst those supporters planning a protest at the lack of transfer activity. A draw or worse against Steve Kean's struggling team would leave the top four an even more distant target and should Arsenal fail to recover ground, Wenger admits he will review his strategy.
Asked if that might mean spending heavily, he said: "We'll make that analysis at the end of the season."
Wenger described his team's recent run as a "little crisis" but claims there were enough signs in Wednesday's scoreless draw at Bolton Wanderers and the second-half recovery to win 3-2 against Aston Villa in last Sunday's FA Cup tie to suggest the worst is over.
"The competition is very interesting and I am confident that we will come back into a strong position," he said. "The fact that we have never been in this position is rather a credit to me in 16 years so I do not take that as a blame."
Andrei Arshavin has recently been a target of frustrated supporters but Wenger does not expect the midfielder to leave despite interest from Russia. "I have a huge respect for Andrei Arshavin and if you would see him behave every day you would have one as well," he said.
Latest in Sport
Frank Lampard was RIGHT not to celebrate Manchester City's equaliser against Chelsea
All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Five reasons why Louis van Gaal is a worse Manchester United manager than David Moyes
Comment: Louis Van Gaal struggled at start of Bayern reign, but Manchester United's problems run deeper and Premier League is less forgiving
- 1 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 What are your fingerprint words?
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God