Arsene Wenger says that his ambition for the coming season is to fight for the Premier League title and the Champions League, and he believes that Arsenal can do that despite the money available to other clubs to spend.
Speaking to Time Out magazine ahead of Arsenal’s trip to the far east, the boss was asked of his goals for the new season.
“The priority is again to fight for the championship and Champions League,” he said. “To finish the season as high as possible. What is as high as possible is to finish first. It is as simple as that.
“The competition is of a high level and many aspire to that so let’s continue to play the game the way we want to play it and I believe we can show that we can compete. Our ambitions are exactly the same in Europe.”
The manager again stressed the importance of the Premier League and Champions League ahead of the domestic cup competitions, saying, “There are two basic trophies for me that signify a team’s quality in England – the Premier League and the Champions League.
“All the rest, they are trophies of course and they are important but they do not really reflect the deep quality of a team. The championship does. We want to win it and we believe that we can with the resources available to us and with our approach.”
Although Arsenal cannot compete with the financial clout of Manchester City – still the most likely destination for wantaway skipper Robin van Persie – or Chelsea, Wenger refuses to accept that his team will be also-rans.
“Firstly, I must say that not being able to match the spending of the richest clubs does not mean that you can’t compete with them on the pitch. When I first came to England, this question did not exist. Every club was run within its resources. The Chelseas and the Man Citys are new problems.
“But with this new financial environment, what has not changed at all is our policy that we will be as ambitious as ever and spend the money that we have available, if possible in an intelligent and wise way. We have always spent money because we are ambitious for top-class players and if you look at the history of our last 15 years, we have always had top-class players.
“It does not mean you can’t win the title if you can’t compete financially.”
And having already signed Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, Wenger was keen to stress the mistakes of last summer would not be repeated and hinted further signings would be forthcoming.
” I won’t say any more than that at the moment but we are always looking to add quality to our squad. Last year was terrible for us to be completely honest, because we finished on August 31 at 11.55pm and we certainly do not want to repeat that.”