By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger believes Arsenal have punched above their weight this season by competing for the Premier League title with a host of big-spending rivals.

While Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham have splashed out huge sums on the likes of Owen Hargreaves, Nicolas Anelka, Fernando Torres and Darren Bent, Arsenal have made a net gain in the transfer market.

Indeed, Arsène Wenger's biggest deal last summer was the sale of his club captain, Thierry Henry, to Barcelona. Despite Henry's departure and relatively minor investment in the squad, Arsenal are still in with an outside chance of the title.

The success of the move to Emirates Stadium means Wenger will have a significant transfer budget this summer - should he wish to spend it. So does the Arsenal manager take a sense of satisfaction from achieving so much with so little? Not necessarily.

"It's not so much a sense of satisfaction, it's a sense of reality because you speak about teams who have the money and the funds available to buy players of £25 million and £30 million," said Wenger.

"Personally I believe we do not get the credit we deserve because in recent years we could not afford that. But soon we will be in a position where we can afford that so we will rectify that.

"We had to make do with less funds available and we are fighting until the end of the season with everybody who has spent much more money. Some teams lose over £100 million but we get slaughtered. It's not easy to take."

Arsenal's poor run of results has prompted criticism of Wenger's decision not to recruit during the January transfer window. The Frenchman defended his actions when the issue was raised at his pre-match press conference.

"Well, we were top of the League, the team was doing well so why disturb the team?" asked Wenger.

"We have been hit very hard with injuries and with decisions from referees. That is part of football, we have to swallow that and take the criticism, but I don't think personally that we have been wrong [with our transfer policy]."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
Chris Harris 11 Apr 2008