Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Arsenal’s season starts now, says Wenger

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LONDON:The morale at Arsenal is high with the new players at the club ready to get the season up and running, manager Arsene Wenger said on Friday before his team look for their first Premier League win of the season against Swansea City on Saturday.

Arsenal were crushed 8-2 at Manchester United in their last game on Aug.28 and with just one point from their opening three games are currently 17th in the 20-team table.

Wenger, though, told the club’s official website (www.arsenal.com): “We were very disappointed (after losing to United) and we were absolutely down after the game but putting things into perspective, we were really weakened on the day.

“We had a very demanding game on the Wednesday against Udinese and then conceded four goals in the last 20 minutes when we were down to ten men.

“Of course it was difficult, but maybe the international break came at a good time. In between we could buy some players and could get some players back from injury. The real start of the season, where we can get the whole squad together, is now.”

Unusually for a man who rarely deals late in the transfer window, Wenger brought in defenders Andre Santos and Per Mertesacker, midfielders Yossi Benayoun and Mikel Arteta and forward Park Chu-young just before the deadline closed.

He said he did not react purely because of the United defeat.

“What really incited me (to buy) was knowing that (Jack) Wilshere will be out for longer than expected, that (Thomas) Vermaelen needed surgery, that (Kieran) Gibbs having the whole season on his shoulders at left back with (Armand) Traore leaving would be very difficult.

“With (Nicklas) Bendtner going out the possibility to buy another striker was also there. “I wanted as well some more experience in the squad because on the bench at Manchester United we were very, very young. In a game of this stature of course it’s very difficult for the players.”

Wenger will be hoping for an immediate return from his new faces at home to Swansea, who have yet to score in three league games since winning promotion. (Agencies)

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