Wenger: We must not abandon our footballing principles

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists his side do not require major changes in the Summer transfer window, in order for them to become title challengers next season.

The Gunners failed to challenge for the Premier League for the duration of the season, and ended up in 4th position, meaning the club will need to return from their Summer break early in order to qualify for the Champions League proper. However, Wenger, 61, is sure that his side are nearly at the level that he is aiming for:

“We get it 95 per cent right, but we must gain that five per cent because it’s so frustrating to flirt with success like we have done. The fans are unhappy that we didn’t win the Premier League, but we are close,” Wenger told Arsenal TV. “But what was disappointing was that when we needed to push on, we could not show the nerves to deal well with some games.”

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Wenger is also sure that the team does not need to abandon their footballing principles: “The criticism has been sharper this year because of the impatience of people. For our fans the frustration was that we were so close to convincing everybody of how football can be great, but in the end not being able to deliver.

“I would call it disappointed love. It was cruel and sometimes you get excessive responses to that. I share that and understand it. But that doesn’t mean we have to change our philosophy or the way the club is run.”

The Frenchman was however optimistic about improving a defence that leaked 12 goals in the last six games of the season: “‘We conceded very few goals from open play, most of them were from set pieces in a way you don’t want to concede goals. It’s something that’s easy to correct. We need to improve the size of our squad. We need a bigger variety in the height of our players.”

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