Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wenger Is on the Defensive; Gunners Didn't Want to Hurt United, Says Boss

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wenger Is on the Defensive; Gunners Didn't Want to Hurt United, Says Boss

Article excerpt

M ANAGER Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal must be allowed to go about their transfer business away from public scrutiny - and defended his record in landing quality players as he prepared the depleted Gunners squad for the crucial Champions League play-off first leg away to Fenerbahce tonight.

Wenger has found himself under increasing pressure from both media and fans alike as the north London club have failed to strengthen this summer, despite having money to spend and targeting several high-profile players such as Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez.

Matters came to a head when Arsenal were beaten 3-1 at home by Aston Villa on the opening day of the new campaign, when a knee injury to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ruled the England midfielder out for up to six weeks and the team left the pitch to boos, as well as calls for Wenger to quickly spend some of the PS70m transfer war chest.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew condemned Arsenal for the way they lodged a formal bid for midfielder Yohan Cabaye, believed to be PS10m, and claimed it played a major factor in their 4-0 loss at Manchester City.

However, the French coach, now the longest-serving manager in the Premier League, went on the defensive as questions on his transfer policy again dominated the agenda at the pre-match Press conference in Istanbul ahead of such a key game.

Wenger said: "I live in a public job where there are opinions of everybody. I do with full commitment what I believe is important for the club and the team and prepare for the next game. There is nothing to explain (about Cabaye).

"First of all, you don't know what we have done, you don't know if we did bid and you have come to a conclusion without knowing everything that has happened.

"It is quite amazing that all of the people don't know and yet they always have opinions about things they don't know. I won't explain to you what happened. It is not down to me to explain to you everything I do. It is impossible.

"If we do a transfer we will announce it. …

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