Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger apologised to the club’s
supporters after the Gunners lost 3-1 at home to Aston Villa
on the first day of the Premier League.
Wenger’s side were booed off at half-time and full-time,
with chants for the Frenchman to strengthen his squad
before the transfer window closes.
“What hurts me is to disappoint people who love the club,”
“I’m here to make them happy and when I do not
I can only say sorry, come back and make them
happy in the next game.”
Earlier this summer, chief executive Ivan Gazidis
revealed that Arsenal were ready to spend big
after an “escalation in our financial firepower”.
But the only arrival so far is 20-year-old striker
Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer from Auxerre,
with numerous players leaving Emirates
Wenger confirmed on Thursday that he will
attempt to make signings right up until the
transfer deadline 23:00 BST on 2 September, and
his team looked in need of reinforcements as
their were beaten by Villa.
Olivier Giroud gave Arsenal an early lead but Christian
Benteke equalised and then put the visitors 2-1 ahead
before the Gunners were reduced to 10 men when Laurent
Koscielny was sent off for a second yellow card.
Antonio Luna, one of six new signings by Paul Lambert,
scored a third to complete Villa’s victory as sections of the
crowd turned on Wenger by calling for him to spend some
money and singing: “You don’t know what you’re doing.”
Lambert later said: “It’s never nice to hear it, you need the
fans to stick with you. Mr Wenger certainly knows what he’s
Wenger felt the side he named was
good enough to win the match and
confirmed he is willing to invest in
“I’m there to buy players, if we find
them we’ll do it,” he explained. “I’m
not the only one working on that –
it’s not my money, it’s the money of
club and we’re ready to spend it if
we find the right players.
“We could have won the game today
with the players on pitch, I’m
convinced of that. We started well
but after that everything went
wrong – injuries, decisions, going
down to 10 men and the chances
“It was a bad day, not on the quality
of our display but everything went
against us. That [injury to Alex
Oxlade-Chamberlain] did disrupt us
at half-time already and especially
when we went down to 10 men.
“It was difficult but I must praise the
spirit – until the last minute the
players gave everything and the
team showed great quality. It’s a great disappointment but
the spirit and attitude of the players was fantastic.
“I’m unhappy with the spirit the referee let the game [go
in], I was quite amazed. But it’s not my job to talk too
much about that, I have to take care of the team and,
despite that, we could have won the game.”
Arsenal turn their attention to Wednesday’s Champions
League qualifying play-off first leg at Fenerbahce and travel
to Fulham on Saturday.
“We’re not happy, we’ve got to look at ourselves,” said
Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere. “We’ve got a big qualifier
coming up and there can be no mistakes now – we’ve got to
push on. We’ve got to pick ourselves up.
“It [the crowd reaction] is understandable, they pay their
money to watch us and we need to put in better
performances and win games. My message to them is to
stick with us – it’s a long season.”