Arsenal fans have often lamented Arsene Wenger for his reluctance to spend money in the transfer window.
After the Gunners became the only club in Europe's top five leagues not to buy an outfield player this summer, some seemed ready to give up on their frugal Frenchman completely.
But having guided his team to the top of the Premier League after 12 games – joint top of the table alongside Manchester City – Wenger feels more pride in his methods than ever.
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In a heartfelt admission, the 66-year-old has explained why he often thinks two or three times before signing off on every transfer deal.
Wenger said: “I’ll give myself merit for one thing: I’ve always treated Arsenal as if it belonged to me. I have sometimes been criticised for it — because I am not enough of a spender, not carefree enough.
“I credit myself for having had the courage to apply my ideas and fight for them. Aside from that, I can understand why people might not agree.
“My great pride will be to be able to say the day that I leave, that I am leaving behind a good team, a healthy situation and a club capable of performing in the future.
“I could have said to myself: 'I am here for four or five years, we win everything', [then] I leave and leave the club on the verge of bankruptcy. For me, consistency at the highest level is the true sign of great clubs.”
Wenger maintained that he was ready to sign a world-class star this summer if one became available and fans had pined for a recognised striker to challenge Olivier Giroud. A report in the Daily Mail claims Arsenal made tentative £50million bids for both Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller.
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema was the popular choice amongst fans, but Wenger chose against signing a 28-year-old with no Premier League experience and it seems he made an excellent decision.
Benzema is currently embroiled in a sex-tape scandal in his native France while Arsenal have the fourth-best scoring record in the Premier League. Giroud, Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez seem capable of scoring all the goals they require.
If Wenger delivers his first title since 2004, plenty of Arsenal fans, including Piers Morgan, should prepare to eat some humble pie.
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