Arsene on signings, Europe, money and winning… (p.s. It's West Brom today!)

Before the ball kicks off, we'll be top of the league (due to our name), let's extend our lead to three points before the others get going...

There is a match preview here and of course, news today is that Toure may start in place of Djourou… we’ll know closer to kick off…

But yesterday, it was all about Arsene, who let loose on various topics. He’s a shrewd man and talks about the difference between us and United and Chelsea. We all know we work in a different budget. We’re trying to do things the “right way” and we’re we sooo close last season, it hurts.

So let’s see what Arsene has been talking about…

“Every season is a season when you have to win something. But the difference between winning and losing is very small at the moment. For me the two massive trophies are the Premier League and the Champions League. We were close in both competitions [last season]. So let’s go and try again. We want to win things. But had we made 70 points and won the Carling Cup people would have said for me it is not satisfying. We will not play every year like last year and lose out in the end. We have to reconsider and play exactly the same. What is dreadful when you are a big club is to be out of the title race in September. That is why it is so important to get a good start.”

And I’d agree with the big man. But of course, even a Carling Cup win would have been nice. The Emirates trophy cabinet is still empty and I’ve kind of forgotten what it’s like to win something. And that’s a bad thing. When the fans accept second / third then so do the players. We need to win a trophy and this year we have to do it. If Arsene really is going to bring in someone soon and the player will be good enough to play alongside Cesc, then we will have a chance. We have a defence, a midfielder and a good strikeforce. We play the right way, but we’re lacking the Gilberto of three seasons ago. Someone who can intercept and keep the defence out with those long balls.

“I think you always want to buy the players at the right price. When you want to move a club forward, as I think I have done here in the last 10 years, some investment is needed. Not only to buy players but to spot players when they are not necessarily stars. The quality of a manager is as well to develop players. Big signings reassure the fans, but performances are better. When we bought Adebayor who was thinking that he is a great player? We bought him for what you can call at the time a reasonable price. But it is not necessarily linked with the price of the players, it is linked with the how well the player develops, how good he becomes, and then you assess the situation of the player once he plays. I am able to make signings at high prices but you have to have a cohesion as well in the way you buy. Manchester United are in the £20-30 million bracket of the market, Chelsea are in an unlimited bracket, and we have to be in our own bracket – reasonable, but shrewd. Of course I have made mistakes. There are players I should have done, but none at £30m.”

But if we didn’t spend £12m on Walcott and £12m on Hleb and instead bought someone like Ribery in, would we have won the title last season or the season before? Don’t get me wrong, I love young Theo and I’m very excited about the kid, but all the future buying – does it hinder our current performance?

“Basically, we balance the budget in the way we run the Club. I have the money available to buy the players, but we go into the competition with that target. I think every manager should do this. We have gone three or four years into a different policy [of bringing on our own players] which we have to see through. But I am convinced we have opted for stability with young players, who have spirit of our game, the spirit of our Club. And I believe we will show we are more united and that we have the needed belief to be successful. That should be one of the advantages we have in this.”

Anyway, it’s not time to dwindle on our transfer policy right now… we can do that tomorrow.

Today it’s all about a good start against West Brom. It’s a perfect game for us considering our injury woes at the moment. A newly promoted team, first game of the season, at home!

Here’s to a resounding victory – a hattrick from Adebayor and a 6-0 start to the season… fingers crossed…

More tonight…]]>