Arsene Wenger promises to find ‘right balance’

Arsenal manger defends policies amid mounting anger from supporters

Arsene Wenger: “You cannot look all the time in life at what others do.”

Arsene Wenger: “You cannot look all the time in life at what others do.”


Arsene Wenger suggested he did not care what Tottenham do in the transfer market or, indeed, any of Arsenal’s rivals in the Premier League as he mounted a strong defence of his policies and promised he would finish a testing summer with the “right balance” to the squad.

The manager is preparing for the pivotal Champions League play-off first-leg with Fenerbahce to a backdrop of deep supporter unrest. They are frustrated that the club has not made a cash signing so far this summer and what has amounted to a crisis of confidence was sparked by the 3-1 home defeat by Aston Villa on Saturday, in their opening Premier League fixture.

Wenger shrugged off the result as “accidental”, claiming it had come under “special” or unlucky circumstances and he pointed out that it was his team’s first loss since early March. But what irked him in particular was the mention of Tottenham’s ambitious spending.

“I cannot listen every minute to every state of mind for everybody,” Wenger said. “You cannot look all the time in life at what others do. You do what is right for you. I would just like to reiterate to you that in the last 16 years we have been very successful with transfers. What is important as well is to rate what you have and our fans have to understand that as well.”

Responded to claim
Wenger also responded to the Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew’s claim that Arsenal had been “disrespectful” with their £10 million bid for the midfielder Yohan Cabaye on Monday, before their 4-0 defeat at Manchester City. “You can’t reproach us for not buying and when we try to buy, reproach us as well,” Wenger said. “We don’t want to hurt anybody. Not Newcastle, not anybody. I won’t explain to you what happened [with the Cabaye bid]. It’s not down to me to explain to you everything I do. It’s impossible.”

Wenger said that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s knee ligament injury would keep him out for “at least six weeks” and would probably not need surgery while Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs, Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey have travelled after injury scares. Nacho Monreal is back in the squad after back trouble.

Match-fixing scandal
Meanwhile, tonight’s opponents Fenerbahce are embroiled in the match-fixing scandal that has connections with organised crime and allegedly runs through to the top of the club. They have been ousted as the top Turkish team by Galatasaray, who have returned to the force of old and are favourites for the Super Lig title after their dominant victory last season.

On the eve of their Champions League qualifier the future for Fenerbahce is uncertain. Allegations of match-fixing that first surfaced in 2011 will draw to a conclusion when the court of arbitration for sport (Cas) makes a ruling either in favour of the club, which denies the charges, or Uefa, on August 28th – the day before the Champions League group stage draw.

To avoid a major headache, Uefa will surely hope that Arsenal can overcome their Turkish opponents and advance from the qualifying round. If Fenerbahce are victorious over the two legs and are then found guilty, the ramifications for the tournament will be serious.
Guardian Service