Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Winning Arsenal Might Still Spring a Surprise; ARSENAL 1 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Winning Arsenal Might Still Spring a Surprise; ARSENAL 1 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0

Article excerpt

MANAGER Arsene Wenger revealed Arsenal could yet spring a "surprise" in the fi-nal 24 hours of the transfer window after watching his team beat bigspending Tottenham 1-0 in the north London derby with a first-half goal from Olivier Giroud at the Emirates Stadium.

Spurs may have been without Real Madrid-bound Gareth Bale, but their PS100m-plus summer spree saw plenty of talent in Andre Villas-Boas' match-day squad, with PS26m man Erik Lamela starting on the bench following his transfer from Roma that was finalised on Friday.

However, it was Arsenal - having so far brought in only two free transfers - who earned the bragging rights after Giroud tucked home his fourth goal in five appearances after 23 minutes which proved enough to settle an entertaining, but also heated, contest.

Wenger had seen bids for Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and Yohan Cabaye all fail to come off earlier this summer. But with Bale's mega-money move to Madrid having finally being confirmed at 7pm on Sunday evening, Arsenal could now up their interest in Karim Benzema, Mesut Ozil and Angel di Maria before the window closes at 11pm on September 2. "I am not against spending money, but I want to add super quality to our squad - or not," said Wenger, who moved to allay fears over the fitness of England midfielder Jack Wilshere after he was substituted just before half-time with what transpired to be stomach problems.

"Tottenham got a lot of money for Bale, they have to invest it - I understand that. The need is different for us, we need one or two super players and we will try to add that. We have 24 more hours, so maybe we can surprise you. Maybe not, but I am confi-dent."

Wenger feels now Bale's 100 million euros (PS86.3m) switch has been completed, other projected transfers could now into place.

He added: "It is a little bit like a domino game. Maybe something will happen in the last 24 hours, maybe not. It is very difficult to predict."

Arsenal may be sitting on a PS70m warchest, but Wenger insists the club will not be held to ransom as the lastgasp shopping dash begins. …

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