Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has joined a growing number of pundits who believe that Arsene Wenger needs to spend big in the coming days, but the BBC pundit is confident that the manager should not be sacked.
Arsenal fell to an 8-2 defeat at the hands of Manchester United on Sunday. In comparison, while United have spent up to £60 million on new talent this summer, the Gunners have outlayed around £25 million, without signing any players with Barclays Premier League experience.
And Keown believes that while Wenger is the right man for the managerial post at the Emirates, the Frenchman needs to part with a large amount of the £50 million collected from Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas’ sales for fans to feel satisfied at this point of the season.
“Arsenal's fans were unbelievably supportive at Old Trafford. But there is a feeling of 'spend some money and we can all get right behind you for the season',” Keown told the Daily Mail.
“They understood that Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri had to go, but they feel aggrieved that other clubs are managing to sign players. The fans are desperate for new faces - they want to embrace exciting new stars.
“A new arrival creates a buzz of expectation and reinforces a belief that your team is equipped to compete.
“They might have to pay a bit more money for a new signing than they'd be comfortable with - and perhaps a higher wage - but if the new signing gets an extra 10 per cent out of three or four team-mates, that has to be worth it. “
Keown singled out Arsenal’s back line as a factor desperate for attention over the coming days.
“At the back, Arsenal are not getting [reliability] from Laurent Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen and Kieran Gibbs, so new recruits are merited.
“Signing someone like Gary Cahill from Bolton would work. He's got good technical ability, has hardly missed a game for Bolton and has vast experience."
But Keown also called to silence those who believe Wenger should be sacked, with the man who made over 300 appearances for the Gunners insisting that Frnechman simply needs to make an investment in the club’s spending.
“Wenger is a proven builder of teams - he just needs new faces,” Keown said.
“There is no magic wand to make everything OK in a few days. Six of the 11 who beat Barcelona weren't available against United because they'd either left, were injured or suspended.
“Arsenal have to rip it all up and start again, but Wenger is, without doubt, the man for the job.”
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