Wenger snaps back at his critics after latest blank

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Wenger insists he did not need to sign a striker in the transfer window
Wenger insists he did not need to sign a striker in the transfer window

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger rejected fresh criticism of transfer policy after his side's 0-0 draw against Southampton dented their title hopes.

Wenger opted not to bolster his squad in the final days of the January transfer window and his side's lack of cutting edge in the forward line was a source of frustration once again.

Arsenal have taken just one point after failing to score in the their last three Premier League games, with Wenger in no mood to analyse his side's latest blank that saw them slip five points behind leaders Leicester.

"I don't know why you say same old Arsenal. For 20 years we have been at the top of the Premier League," said a clearly agitated Wenger.

"At the moment we have to say that we have dropped points but we have to keep fighting and believing.

"We produced quite a good performance, especially in the second half when we cerated 10 goal chances. At the end of the day we came out with no goals.

"I believe the performance we wanted to produce was there, but we can not be happy with the way we finished our chances.

"I think what’s most disappointing is some players missed some chances that usually they would take.

"Our finishing is very bad at the moment – we have played three (league) games now without scoring a goal.

"In all those three games we had chances that we didn’t take. At that level it’s important."

Wenger was then asked whether he regretted failing to sign a striker in the January transfer window and he offered this swift response.

"If you knew a world-class striker who could have strengthened our team, you should have told me before the transfer deadline was over," he added. 

"They do not walk in the street and say ‘please, here is a world-class striker, can you take me?’ They are all at big clubs and are under contract. There were none available.

"We have Walcott, we have Giroud, we have Ozil, we have Alexis, we have Welbeck, who is coming back.

"If tonight we think a miracle man could have scored the goal for us, I think it’s better we think how can we score the goals with the players we have? We can score goals, we have shown that before.

It’s true that we’ve had a stuttering start in 2016. Our January was bad, starting from the last minute at Liverpool, and then at Stoke.

"Where we especially have a big deficit is in our two home games. We played with 10 men for the whole game against Chelsea and today we created 10 chances and didn’t score. That’s where we have the deficit at the moment.

"We have to catch that back and we have a difficult programme, especially away from home. We need to respond now."

This was the view of Southampton manager Ronald Koeman, on a night when his keeper Fraser Forster turned in a sparkling display: