Wenger: Judge Arsenal on the pitch

Arsene Wenger believes the "real value" of Arsenal must always be measured by their Premier League performances.

Last Updated: 02/03/13 at 13:44 Post Comment

Arsene Wenger: Confident of strengthening Arsenal

Arsene Wenger: Confident of strengthening Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes the "real value" of his side must always be measured by their performance in the Barclays Premier League rather than on the balance sheet.

Earlier this week, the club's parent holding company announced half-yearly figures which revealed a profit of £17.8million generated by player sales - and cash reserves of £123million.

There have been calls for the Gunners boss, who brought in Spain international full-back Nacho Monreal for £8.5million on January transfer deadline day, to spend big next season as he looks to bring the squad back into contention for a long-overdue sustained assault on the title.

While Wenger accepts simply splashing the cash is no guarantee of a quick fix, the Arsenal manager does believe with some further additions, his squad can go on to deliver a first trophy since 2005.

"There is only one trophy and that is the championship. The real value of the team is where you finish in the championship," said Wenger, who takes his team to Tottenham on Sunday looking to reduce the gap in the race for Champions League qualification.

"Let's see where we finish and then let's see how we can strengthen the team.

"But if it was just sorted out by the numbers, you would always have Chelsea or Manchester City champions every year.

"Chelsea finished sixth last year, and that is the real value of the team for me.

"What is important now is to see where we finish and after that strengthen the team and come back and fight for the championship.

"I think we have the basis. If you are really interested in deep analysis of the team's potential, I can sit down with you and show you why we have the potential to do it and then we can have another discussion again."

Despite Wenger's continued confidence in a group of players who have again failed to deliver this season - crashing out of the FA Cup to Blackburn and then soundly beaten by Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 clash - Arsenal at least seem to finally have found some form in the Premier League.

The Gunners head across north London defending a five-match unbeaten run, with three victories on the bounce.

"In the last 12 games, we have won eight, drawn two and lost just two, so our record in the Premier League is quite good," said Wenger.

"What we want to do is maintain that in the last 11 games. I said after the Chelsea game that we cannot drop points.

"We go into every single match like it is a must-win game and we will have exactly the same approach (for the rest of the season)."

While victory for Arsenal would blow the race for a top-four finish wide open again, if Spurs were to win, they would open up a seven-point lead over their arch-rivals - whom they have not finished above in almost 20 years.

Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski, however, insists nothing will be settled either way on Sunday.

"They are a very good team, very strong. I like derbies, it will be a tough match, but we have the quality to win there," said Podolski, who scored in Arsenal's 5-2 win over 10-man Spurs at the Emirates Stadium in November.

"It is something special when it is a derby, for the fans and for the club. When you play away at your rivals you must fight for the three points."

Podolski added on Arsenal Player: "It is a big game, but it will not decide who will play in next season's Champions League.

"We have 11 matches to go and every match is like a final and we must fight to get into the Champions League next season."

Meanwhile, both clubs have warned any offensive chanting and anti-social behaviour will be clamped down on.

A message on the Arsenal website read: "Arsenal football club does not tolerate discrimination of any sort and will be working closely with Tottenham Hotspur and the Metropolitan Police in order to take action against anyone heard using abusive, offensive or obscene language."


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