By Richard Clarke
Big names mean little to Arsène Wenger.
Saturday’s defeat at Fulham has seen the media clamour rise even higher for a major signing at Emirates Stadium. But the Arsenal manager remains defiant that his squad is strong enough to compete at the highest level and one new addition will not make a major difference on his own.
The Frenchman is still chasing a defensive midfielder before the transfer deadline closes on September 1. But, speaking at Tuesday’s press conference ahead of the Champions League tie with Twente, Wenger was straight to the point.
“There are no names and there is no news,” he reported.
“We do not have to worry about too many other players. I believe we have the needed squad and a strong squad. I believe in the players I have instead of always looking at who might be coming in.
“It is not one player who makes a difference. It is up to us as a team to show personality, strength and belief. If we can find one more, we will do it, if not we will not limit our ambitions because of it.
Wenger added that he was “not on the case” of highly-rated Portsmouth midfielder Niko Kranjcar. And while Manchester United and Chelsea are being linked with mega-money moves for Dimitar Berbatov and Robinho respectively, the Arsenal manager does not feel the need to sign players with weighty reputations.
“I do not know why we are always under pressure to buy £30 or £40m players,” said the 58-year-old.
“I am under pressure to buy good players - it is as simple as that. And good players are not always necessarily linked with the price.
“We have no complex with the names,” he went on. “The names don’t impress me. What is impressive for me is the attitude, the quality. All the rest is part of the media.
“There is only one thing that's important and that is what you do on the pitch. I agree that what we did on the pitch on Saturday was not good enough, but to compare [the team] with names is not very interesting and not very useful.
“I focus on my players, I believe in my players. I don’t focus on the names of other players at other clubs.
“I believe what I see in training and the most important thing is to transfer what we see there into the games.”Copyright 2013 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 27 Aug 2008