MANCHESTER, England, August 29 – Arsene Wenger has vowed to end Arsenal’s miserable start to the season by splashing the cash in the aftermath of his side’s humiliating 8-2 defeat at Manchester United.
Wenger saw his makeshift team put to the sword as a Wayne Rooney-inspired United inflicted one of the heaviest defeats in Arsenal’s history at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The woeful Gunners conceded eight goals for the first time since 1896 in a craven capitulation that served to highlight Wenger’s need to bolster a side that has been ravaged by injuries, suspensions and departures since the start of the season.
Arsenal have failed to win any of their first three Premier League matches, losing to United and Liverpool, in a disastrous start which has confirmed the worst fears of Gunners fans.
However, Wenger, who insists he has no intention of resigning, has money to spend and is poised to act by signing Monaco’s South Korean striker Park Chu-Young, with more deals in the pipeline before the transfer window shuts on Wednesday.
“We are working hard to sign players. If we find the right players, we sign them. We have the money to sign them if they strengthen our team,” Wenger said.
“We have 20 people to work on that. We have as well plenty of players out at the moment.
“At the moment we have not found the solutions to our problems. It’s difficult to find excuses after a game like that, but wages-wise of course we are behind the other teams.
“We are close to signing a striker, but we still look for a defender or a midfielder as well.
“I have to make the right decision for the club and I will continue to that.
“The defeat at Manchester United was under special circumstances given the amount of players we had out. But we have played just three games. I think you should give me more time to say I have completely done it wrong.”
Wenger hasn’t been helped by the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, but even he will have been surprised by the gulf in class that threatens to separate them from their rivals at the top of the table.
However, Sir Alex Ferguson, the United manager, backed his old foe to come through the toughest spell of his 15-year Arsenal reign.
“I think the criticism is unfair. I think the job he has done for Arsenal over the years, by keeping his philosophy, has given the team some fantastic players,” Ferguson said.
“He has sold well which has always helped the Arsenal coffers. Maybe people forget that. He deserves respect.
“But we live in a terrible, cynical world now and when you lose a few games the judge is out and you see managers going early in the season many, many times over the past few seasons – unfairly. But it keeps on happening.”
While Wenger contemplates a dispiriting start, United head into international break at the top of the Premier League, just ahead of neighbours Manchester City.
Arsenal had no anwer to Ferguson’s side as Rooney claimed a hat-trick, Ashley Young scored twice while goals from Nani, Ji Sung-Park and Danny Welbeck completed the rout.
It was a day Rooney won’t forget in a hurry. After scoring two free-kicks and a penalty to complete his treble, the England striker has now netted 152 Premier League goals for United.
“I was aware of the statistics before the game and many of my milestones have come against Arsenal,” Rooney said.
“My first ever goal for Everton was against them and so was my first Premier League goal for Manchester United and now the 150th has come against them.”