Arsenal has all the players it needs, claims Wenger. Eh?
‘We have a good squad,' says manager as Gunners face Swansea in all-important FC Cup tie
IT MAY come as news to Arsenal fans, but according to manager Arsene Wenger the Gunners are in good shape and in no need of reinforcements.
Despite a string of disappointing results in recent weeks, and the fact that Arsenal lie 21 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United, the man known in some circles as the Nutty Professor is confident he has all the players he needs.
"We have a good squad," he said. "I know we swim against the stream a bit because people don't believe that [but] I say we have a very good squad."
Some Gooners may not agree with Wenger that the likes of Andre Santas, Sebastien Squillaci, Gervinho and Andre Arshavin represent quality, but the Frenchman believes so. "The number is right. We have a good balance," he said.
Asked if he intended to make any purchases in an attempt to salvage something from what is shaping up to be an eighth consecutive season without silverware, Wenger replied: "We are trying very hard to close the deal with [Theo] Walcott. Once we have done that, we will certainly do something else. At the moment I cannot tell you more."
Arsenal host Swansea City tonight in the FA Cup third round replay and Wenger is expecting a torrid encounter in the competition that represents the Gunners' last serious hope of winning a trophy this season.
Describing the FA Cup as "pure football", he said: "It is where the fate and the destiny of the teams are decided as well. Sometimes a cold night out in London or in Sheffield, that is where the team has to turn up to win the game."
So anxious is Wenger to beat Swansea that he's confirmed Jack Wilshere will play despite admitting the 21-year-old needs a rest as he continues his comeback from a 17-month injury layoff.
Arsenal play Chelsea on Sunday in a crucial league match but Wenger knows the club's priority is to beat Swansea at the Emirates. "Not in this period, [but] at some stage I will do it," said Wenger, when asked if Wilshere would be rested against Swansea.
"We have a good approach taking the physical analysis and statistical analysis between what the player feels and what the medical department thinks… At the moment, all these three are positives so I don't think at the moment I will rest him immediately. But it will happen."