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Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Friday, 28 November 2008

Arsenal promise cash for signings


Chelsea win puts us back in title race - Wenger

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood says manager Arsene Wenger has money to spend in the January transfer window.

The Gunners are fifth in the Premier League having already lost five games and slipped 10 points adrift of leaders Chelsea, who they play on Sunday.

Wenger prefers to develop young players than spend but Arsenal are without a trophy since 2005 and supporters have called for Wenger to bolster his squad.

"He certainly has money if he wants to spend it," Hill-Wood told Arsenal TV.

"There have been suggestions we keep stopping him from buying - that is not the case.

"He's very sensible with the way he approaches the transfer market, he's not going to buy anybody just because the press or fans say he should.

"He's only going to buy somebody if he thinks they're going to improve what is a young squad but a very talented one."

We've played pretty well in Europe on the whole so far and to win the Champions League would be very nice

Peter Hill-Wood

Wenger has spent modestly since his arrival in 1996 but especially so since Arsenal's move to the Emirates Stadium in 2006.

Last summer saw Mathieu Flamini, Alexander Hleb, Gilberto Silva and Philippe Senderos (loan) leave the club, while Samir Nasri, Aaron Ramsey, Amaury Bischoff and Mikael Silvestre were brought in.

Wenger, who was disappointed to lose the out-of-contract Flamini, admitted Bischoff was a "gamble" and revealed at the club's Annual General Meeting in October that he was frustrated in his search for an additional centre-half.

Earlier this month Wenger said of his plans for the transfer window: "It's far from decided.

"We will make a check at the end of December and we will see. We have had many players out and showed we have a great squad that can win the big games."

Arsenal have conceded 18 goals this season, compared to Chelsea's four, and have a goal difference of +7, compared to Chelsea's +28.

Their position suggests the Champions League, in which Arsenal have qualified for the knockout stage with one group game remaining, may be a more realistic target.

Wenger's men reached the final of Europe's elite club competition in 2006 when they succumbed to two late Barcelona goals in a 2-1 defeat in Paris.

"I certainly want to finish in the top four in the league, and perhaps (win) the Champions League," said Hill-Wood.

"We've played pretty well in Europe on the whole so far, and that would be very nice.

"We got to the final in Paris. We've been up there, and it would be wonderful to win that."

Flamini, who was part of the AC Milan team that drew 2-2 at Portsmouth in the Uefa Cup on Thursday, has backed Arsenal to bounce back from their early-season troubles, which included William Gallas being stripped of the captaincy after criticising his team-mates in public.

"Big clubs can have difficult periods but Arsenal have a lot of quality so I'm sure they will go forward," said the Frenchman.

"They have amazing players and the important thing is to keep going, work well and I'm sure they will be ok.

"It's never easy in the Premier League; it is hard, physical and every game is like a big battle. It is important to trust Arsene Wenger, he has done great things and we'll see.

"I understand William, he wanted a reaction from his team-mates and I hope it will lead to a positive reaction from the team and I hope that will start against Chelsea.

"They are a big team but against big teams Arsenal always produces a big game."

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see also
Chelsea v Arsenal
27 Nov 08 |  Premier League
Arsenal name Fabregas as captain
24 Nov 08 |  Arsenal
Walcott ruled out after surgery
20 Nov 08 |  Arsenal
Defiant Wenger rejects exit talk
08 Nov 08 |  Premier League
'Unfair' treatment angers Wenger
06 Nov 08 |  Arsenal
Wenger admits to Arsenal weakness
02 Nov 08 |  Premier League
Impatient fans disappoint Wenger
23 Oct 08 |  Arsenal
Wenger 'can spend 30m on player'
29 Aug 08 |  Arsenal
Arsenal sign Man Utd's Silvestre
20 Aug 08 |  Arsenal
Wenger targeting new midfielder
23 Jul 08 |  Arsenal
Wenger no closer to new signings
24 Aug 08 |  Arsenal
Wenger signs new deal at Arsenal
07 Sep 07 |  Arsenal

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Western Telegraph Hill-Wood backs Wenger with cash - 26 mins ago