Wenger Fights Back At Project Youth Criticism
Arsene Wenger has fought back at criticism of ‘Project Youth’ by reiterating Arsenal’s need to consolidate their position during the move from Highbury to Ashburton Grove.
Wenger has since been criticised for not signing experienced players to complement Arsenal’s young talent but he believes that luck has not been on his side in a season of fine margins.
“We decided to develop our own players because we can’t buy players like Ronaldo,” said Wenger. “He scored the winning goal the other night [to win the Copa del Rey for Real Madrid], but he cost £85million and we can’t do it. So the way to fight against these teams is to build our own team with our philosophy.
“I feel that recently we have been a bit unlucky as we have had many injuries. For example, Fabregas and van Persie missed many games. Van Persie has played 15 games and scored 14 goals. That means that he missed 18 games so that makes a massive difference.”
The Arsenal Boss again justified his philosophy in keeping with the financial constraints of the club, and also expressed his frustration – as well as that of the supporters – at recent disappointments.
“Our target was to build a new stadium without dropping from the top. Of course at the start people said we knew it will be a difficult period for four or five years so we had to make a decision how can we maintain the top with less money available?
“For me we did well. Now, of course, people become impatient. I can understand that completely because I am impatient as well. That is why you see me agitated.”
Wenger’s frustration has been clearly evident of late both in the technical area and in press conferences, yet he believes that calls for a major overhaul in the summer is a consequence of media pressure for not winning silverware.
“We are there but because we have not won trophies people destroy us completely. We live in a world where if you are the second best by a little everybody says you are rubbish. It is not true. That is the modern world, but it is not the reality. So that is what I have to take into consideration.
“I feel there is always a need to improve the team but if you look at our season you cannot come to the conclusion we need a massive change. That would be completely stupid because just without speaking about the 4-0 at Newcastle, the Sunderland and just if we beat Liverpool and Tottenham we are two points behind Man United and we play them at home.
“You cannot come to a conclusion this team needs a massive change. We lost against Barcelona just, with 10 men.
The financial stability of the club and the safety of not having to rely on one single owner have been, and still are, at the forefront of Wenger’s mind – a major factor for not throwing money around in the transfer market.
“What is good in our world is that everybody is bankrupt but the guy who doesn’t spend is an idiot.” Classic Wenger.