Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Arsene Sure He Will Hang on to French Star Duo

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Arsene Sure He Will Hang on to French Star Duo

Article excerpt

Byline: STEVE STAMMERS

ARSENE WENGER is convinced he can keep Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira at Arsenal despite the disappointment of Wednesday's Champions League exit against Bayern Munich.

According to reports in France today, the long-term futures of the pair will be in doubt unless Arsenal spend heavily to improve the squad during the summer.

But Wenger said today: "I don't accept that and I am not worried. We have the financial potential to do what we want to do. You don't jump out of the boat if it is not going as well as you want it to go. I am confident they will stay.

"I can understand their frustrations but who can plan at the beginning of the season that we would be going into the FA Cup game at Bolton tomorrow without Edu, without Gilberto Silva, without Thierry and without Sol Campbell. It is difficult to plan for that.

"I feel that Thierry and Patrick are totally committed to the club."

Wenger also backed under-fire Jose Reyes saying the club record signing striker will emerge from his difficult spell to make an impact. In his last two matches - both legs of the Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich - [pounds sterling]17million signing Reyes has been well below his best.

"It is a concern for me because you don't want him to lose confidence," said Wenger.

"In the last two games he has lost the belief that is needed and that is where we have to help him. And I still think in the long-term he will be a success."

Reyes, in the absence of the injured Henry, is a potential starter in tomorrow's quarterfinal at Bolton.

A definite in the line-up is 20-yearold centre-half Philippe Senderos, who was outstanding against Bayern. Wenger said: "I believe in him.

Another Tony Adams? You have to be careful because Philippe has played only three or four games while Tony played, what, 600?

"The only thing to say is that Tony is a good example to follow. Philippe has a lot of the style of Tony, he has that gritty determination."

A season that promised so much for Arsenal now has only the FA Cup left as a realistic target.

Arsenal's match at Bolton must be won otherwise Arsenal are left with the prospect of finishing the season without a trophy. …

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