By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger is determined to end his four-year wait for a major trophy but he won't sacrifice Arsenal's budget in the process.
The Frenchman takes his team to Cardiff on Sunday with a place in the last 16 of the FA Cup at stake. If you believe the bookies, the famous old cup represents Arsenal's best chance of silverware this term. Wenger may disagree with that - he has designs on three big prizes - but he admits that the clamour for success is growing.
However, on the day the UK officially slipped into recession, Wenger reiterated his desire to win trophies while keeping Arsenal on a sound financial footing. It's a juggling act he has just failed to carry off since 2005 but the Frenchman is confident of getting it right as his young players grow into big stars.
"The interesting thing in football is to work with a balanced budget, within your resources and build a big team," said Wenger.
"We have gone with a different policy to many clubs but we have a balanced budget, we are in a strong position financially, and we have a strong team that is very very young but with quality.
"When you don't win trophies it gets harder to resist the media and fans’ demands – of course you have to win trophies. But you must have perspective and the real quality is in the Premier League and Champions League. People forget how young we are.
"We have more and more players who are only 20 or 21 who have already beaten Manchester United and Chelsea and have already handled Premier League games whereas other haven’t kicked a ball in the Premier League.
"Don’t forget that you become really mature at 23 at that level so they will be ahead of that. That’s why I believe that we have to show now that we have the mental quality to win trophies and the mental quality required is consistency."Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 23 Jan 2009