AW: ‘Stupid’ changes not needed

Although the Gunners extended their unbeaten run to 16 Barclays

Premier League games following a pulsating 3-3 draw at north London

neighbours Tottenham, they have won only three of the last nine.

Those missed opportunities have seen Arsenal now slip down to third

place on goal difference behind Chelsea, trailing leaders

Manchester United by six points. Wenger has again been forced to

defend the make-up of his young team in the wake of another

capitulation, having led 3-1 at White Hart Lane just before

half-time. However, although the Arsenal manager is reported to

have £40million available should he wish to improve the squad

this summer, Wenger insists major surgery is not necessary. “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,” he said. “We live in a world

where when 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. “We are there, but because we have not won

trophies people destroy us completely.” Wenger added: “What is good

in our world is that everybody is bankrupt, but the guy who doesn’t

spend is an idiot.” Arsenal, who moved to the Emirates Stadium in

2006, may not currently have the financial muscle of the likes of

Chelsea and Manchester City, both bankrolled by wealthy owners, but

Wenger’s men have remained competitive on the pitch as they look to

qualify again for the Champions League. “We decided to develop our

own players because we cant buy players like Ronaldo, who cost

£85million,” Wenger said. “The way to fight against these

teams is to build our own team with our philosophy and then try to

make them.” Wenger continued: “Our target was to build a new

stadium without dropping from the top. “We knew it would 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 has certainly been

animated on the touchline recently – having a heated exchange with

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish at the final whistle last weekend

and heading onto the pitch to confront officials over the amount of

added time when his side had conceded a late penalty moments after

netting one themselves. While the 61-year-old admits he can never

switch off from football he insists he has no thoughts of calling

quits just yet. “I am stressed of course, you cannot care about

things and not be stressed – your stress as well is linked with the

uncertainty level, and in football, the uncertainty level is very

high, so that creates of course a tension,” he said. “But I am

perfectly happy in my job when I see my team play football on

Wednesday night, I cannot be enjoying the game. “I am not as much a

prisoner of the whole tension created by the media. I can take a

distance with that quite easily.” Arsenal head to Bolton on Sunday

afternoon, by which time they could have fallen further behind both

United and Chelsea. Wenger, though, is convinced if his men can now

win each of their remaining fixtures – which include a showdown

with United at Emirates Stadium on May 1 – then that will be enough

for a first title since the ‘Invincibles’ season of 2003/2004. “In

our plan, we have to beat Manchester United, but not even for sure

because they can drop points as well. “However, you would consider

that is a certainty and that is where we can show it – but let’s

win the next game and that is when we go to Bolton.”