Arsenal lack balance in transfer dealings says Manchester United's Alex Ferguson

23 February 2009 10:17
Arsenal v RomaKick-off: Tue Feb 24, 7.45pm; Emirates Stadium, LondonTV: ITV4, Setanta IrelandRadio: BBC Radio London

As Arsenal battle to avoid finishing outside the top four for the first time since the 1995/96 season, Ferguson has called into question why Wenger has not sought out players to fill to gaps left by last summer's departures.

He also queries why the Frenchman pursued Andrey Arshavin so resolutely when bolstering his midfield and defence appears more of a priority.

"He believes profoundly in his youngsters, he doesn't like to blend them too much with older players," Ferguson says in the Independent


"What astonishes me is that he always buys attacking players, like [Andrei] Arshavin. He is a good player but [Wenger] already has [Samir] Nasri, [Emmanuel] Adebayor, [Robin] Van Persie, [Nicklas] Bendtner, Eduardo and [Theo] Walcott.

"I don't think he likes buying defenders. That lacks balance."

Wenger meanwhile has said quite the opposite ahead of Arsenal's Champions League clash with Roma. With five of their more attacking players – Adebayor, Eduardo, Walcott, Van Persie and Rosicky all ruled out with injuries and Arshavin cup-tied, he is feeling the pressure up front and said Arsenal will play a largely defensive game.

With just one goal in their last four games, Wenger said: 'It's difficult to be bolder because I don't see what more gambles I can take.'

As the knockout stage gets under way this week, Ferguson has backed the three other Premier League contenders, Inter Milan and Barcelona as United's toughest competition. Dismissing Real Madrid as having "no chance" Ferguson believes that if United can beat Jose Mourinho's side at the San Siro there is no reason they cannot go all the way to the final.

"[Real] lack pace," he said. "They have great players but they are not fast. There is [Arjen] Robben. He is the only one who can give them some tempo but he is not a very courageous player.

"We are one of the favourites," he continued. "A very difficult match awaits us [but] if we go through we can go far."

Source: Telegraph