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Aug 22, 2011

Wenger: I'm not stubborn

Arsene Wenger again stressed finding the right players to fit into his Arsenal squad has been difficult, but maintains he is not stubborn when it comes to recruitment matters.

The Gunners suffered a 2-0 home defeat against Liverpool at the weekend, when Emmanuel Frimpong was sent-off and centre-half Laurent Koscielny suffered a back problem, which is likely to keep him out of next week's Champions League play-off second leg against Udinese.

Wenger is already without several first-team players because of injury and suspension, and the Emirates Stadium faithful once more called for their manager to spend big before the transfer window shuts in 10 days' time.

Arsenal have been linked with a number of players this summer, including recent Chelsea acquisition Juan Mata, while rumours around a move for Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila and Real Madrid star Kaka continue. Wenger, however, insists it is not just about getting out the cheque book.

"Overall we will buy. Maybe people feel I am stubborn, but I am not, I just want to do the best for the team and buy the right players," Wenger said.

"If I have shown one thing in the last 15 years, it is that I have bought good players. We will bring as well experienced players, but people just say 'buy' - but it is to buy the right player which is difficult."

While Wenger has brought in fresh talent this summer, they have not been the experienced players which many Gunners fans crave. It is an assessment of the club's circumstances that does not stack up for the Arsenal manager.

"I look at the players and if they are good enough," Wenger said. "You forget we have bought players - Gervinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson, Ryo [Miyaichi] - and you will see over the season they are top-quality players, but at the moment we have to give them some time."

As well as starting with 19-year-old Jenkinson at full-back, Wenger was forced to give Spanish teenager Ignasi Miquel his Premier League debut when Koscielny pulled up.

It was a clearance from Miquel which cannoned off Aaron Ramsey and into the Arsenal net which handed Liverpool the lead, before substitute Luis Suarez knocked in a second in the final minute. Wenger rejected suggestions inexperience had proved costly - pointing instead to a marginal offside call in the build-up to Liverpool's fortunate opener.

"I don't think the decision of the offside for the first goal depends on our players," he said. "I agree we were a bit young, that we looked a bit naive in some situations, but we have shown a great spirit and were unlucky. We did not deserve to lose this game.

"I feel we have a more negative environment and that is more difficult for the team. That is why the results are so important to get the confidence back."

Arsenal will be able to field both Alex Song and Gervinho in their European tie as the duo's bans are only for domestic games, while centre-back Johan Djourou could recover from his hamstring injury. Wenger also revealed England midfielder Jack Wilshere was close to a return from his ankle problem.

"He has a chance to play, yes," the Arsenal boss said. "He has trained Thursday, Friday and Saturday."

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