Belfast Telegraph

Wenger demands Gunners unity

Arsene Wenger has called for Arsenal to produce a "united front" on and off the field when they run out at the Emirates Stadium for Tuesday night's Champions League play-off first leg against Udinese.

The Gunners have seen their captain Cesc Fabregas rejoin Barcelona after reluctantly letting him return to the Nou Camp in a £35million deal, bringing an end to the long-running transfer saga.

Wenger, though, remains steadfast in his belief all is not yet lost as the squad prepares for an early test of their credentials in order to make it through to the lucrative group stages of Europe's elite club competition once again. He said: "I just expect my team to have a good game and that will encourage their belief and strengthen their belief. At the moment that is the most important thing."

He added: "I understand everybody's worry, but I believe as well a club is a united front.

"Our players need the support from our fans. It is an important period for this club, but I am confident we will get over it in a very successful way.

"We need to remain united and not let the media manipulate our fans in a way they should not."

Arsenal have been linked with a string of players this summer, from England defensive duo Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill to Manchester City's wantaway striker Carlos Tevez.

While Wenger insists Arsenal are "not frightened to spend money", the Gunners boss is not about to lay out millions of pounds just for the sake of it.

"To spend the money on a top player is defendable, but just to spend the money is like you are worried," he said.

"Our fans can be proud of the way we run this club, of the quality of player we have and of the financial situation that is existing at the club."


From Belfast Telegraph