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Misfiring Gunners will bounce back to challenge title rivals, vows boss Wenger
Published : 11 May 2009 09:19:46
Arsene Wenger maintains it is not all 'doom and gloom' at Arsenal - and that his team's shortcomings will not necessarily be solved just by spending big money. The Gunners crashed out of Europe in midweek and will now finish fourth in the Barclays Premier League after their 21-match unbeaten run was unceremoniously ended with a 4-1 home thrashing by Chelsea, and so will have to go through qualifying to reach next season's Champions League group stages. Arsenal major shareholder Alisher Usmanov has claimed the club must "step up" their transfer dealings this summer if they want to compete. Wenger, though, insists the Gunners - whose last trophy was the 2005 FA Cup - are heading in the right direction. 'We have to take some distance, because it was not a 4-1 game,' said the Frenchman. 'Our chances to finish third are over, but this result will not have any other influence other than that. 'We had a small opportunity to come third - but three months ago everybody said we would finished 10th, so I would have signed at that point to finish fourth. 'I don't feel we have to be too disappointed with that, but what is very disappointing for us is in the games that mattered in the last three or four weeks we couldn't win. That is where we have to analyse.' Wenger, however, remains adamant his side are not far off being genuine title challengers once again. 'At the moment I do not know what funds will be available. I will be told by the club, but I don't think the squad needs major investment,' he said. 'I believe we need to continue to improve. I am not as doom-and-gloom as everybody wants to make it after a defeat. 'Of course we play in a strong league against top quality opponents and some teams who have come up are chasing us from the back. 'We need to improve in the areas that are right - that does not mean quantity, not even quantity of money. It is just the right type of players. 'We conceded four at Liverpool, three against Manchester United and four to Chelsea. We have to improve the way we defend. However, you wouldn't like to come out when you lose 4-1 and say "listen, we are going to buy four defenders". 'It is more a case of balancing the team defensively than the quality of our defenders.'