December 8 2013 Latest news:
By James Cunliffe
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Arsene Wenger maintains his squad will still be stronger that Tottenham’s and insists that direct comparisons between the two north London rivals cannot be drawn just on spending alone.
The two neighbours will face each other at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday in the first derby of the season with Spurs having strengthened significantly over the summer even despite the impending departure of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.
The Lilywhites yesterday alone completed a triple swoop for Vlad Chiriches, Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen to add to Paulinho, Roberto Soldado, Etienne Capoue and Nacer Chadli.
Three times the White Hart Lane outfit have broken the transfer record in recent months but Arsenal are yet to splash the war chest promised by chief executive Ivan Gazidis, having recruited just two free agents in former midfielder Mathieu Flamini and French Under-21 striker Yaya Sanogo.
While Wenger remains “confident” that he will add more new faces before Monday night’s transfer deadline he insists he will not play over the odds despite the size of sums fees spent across Europe this summer.
Asked if he felt Arsenal would still be stronger than Spurs come Tuesday morning, Wenger took his time to consider his answer before replying: “Yes.”
He continued: “I think about ‘does my squad have a chance to fight for the Premier League or not?’ We don’t compare to Spurs especially.
“Last year, if you had looked at Chelsea’s squad at the start of last year, would you have said they had a squad to fight for the Premier League last year? Yes.
“However, they finished two points ahead of us and it is in the last game that it [third place] has been decided.
“So you let people talk and you try to analyse the quality of the game you have.
“I just can say one thing, in the last six months we have lost one game.”
Wenger even thinks Spurs have taken a risk in making so many new signings.
He said. “In our job there is a technical risk when you buy more than three players because you unbalance a little bit the stability of your squad. I know that in England it’s very well seen [to buy players], but it’s always difficult when you bring so many players in to predict how well they will do.
He added: “You have to find a way to integrate more. And your squad is always a balance, and there’s a bit more risk. It [signing players] can work as well. It can click fantastically well, but there is a little risk in the stability of the squad and on the technical consistency.
“Honestly I must confess that I am not too much worried about their [Tottenham] risk [to Arsenal] and what they do. I believe you win games when you focus on yourself and the quality of our game. It’s not a special statement for Tottenham. For us it’s exactly the same. It’s always difficult to integrate players together.”