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Jun 28, 2011

Wenger seeks end to defensive woes

Arsene Wenger has spoken of a need to invest in his defence this summer but said it is imperative Arsenal act with financial responsibility.

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• Blog: Forwards in spotlight

With Cesc Fabregas seemingly close to a move to Barcelona and both Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy yet to extend their contracts, Arsenal fans will have growing cause for concern at the club's failure to announce any big-name signings at this stage.

Gervinho, Juan Mata, Ricardo Alvarez, Gary Cahill and Christopher Samba have all been linked with a move to the club, and Wenger has accepted that changes are needed, but in a letter addressed to a disillusioned Gunners fan that has been reproduced in The Sun, he has stressed that the market must be approached with due caution.

"We have shown that we have the technical quality to win the league but certainly not the defensive solidity to do it," he wrote. "We have learned that we have the quality, despite what everybody is saying, but of course we need to gain some strength in some areas of the team.

"We are frustrated and disappointed but we should not go overboard. We have to rectify things in the areas that we need to improve. Mentally, of course, I hope that the team has learned a lot this season because we could not cope with the number of games, nor the pressure in the important moments of the season."

He added: "Fabregas has played 22 games, Van Persie 18 or 19 games and Vermaelen has played four of five games. In decisive moments, we have never had the team together.

"We have to rectify some things in our squad and we will try to do it. But it is not easy, even with money. We will try to do the right thing. I don't know how much we have spent in recent years. We will try to buy the right player.

"We will spend the needed money but you first have to find the right players and then turn up with the money. If we find the right players, we will spend the money. I think it is the responsibility of a football manager to behave in a responsible way.

"Even if people say we have to spend money, we have to be realistic. We cannot buy players for £50 million and, even if we try to strengthen our team and spend money if needed, that is fact."

Wenger also highlighted the fact that, although Arsenal finished fourth and again ended the season empty-handed, they showed their quality with victories against Barcelona and Manchester United in 2011.

Wenger said: "We have enough quality to beat anyone in the world, even with the current squad. You had a Champions League final and only one team has beaten both of them and that is Arsenal."

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