Arsene Wenger is suffering in silence over his failure to snare silverware for Arsenal, says former Gunners hero David O’Leary.
Emirates chief Wenger has come under scrutiny because of his inactivity in the transfer market so far this summer, which has lead to critics claiming the club will endure a ninth year without a trophy.
The Frenchman has chosen to accentuate the positive and remind frustrated fans that Arsenal have qualified for Champions League football for the past 16 years, backed up by his claim that fourth place “is a trophy”.
But O’Leary, who holds a club record of 722 appearances, says Wenger is a born winner and knows he must recruit new signings to challenge the top teams once more.
He said: “He knows he has got to buy players. He’s a winner and behind the scenes he will be hurting big time. I never thought I’d see Arsenal go eight years without winning anything. That has amazed me a great deal.
“Arsene himself is a winner. He wants to win things. They were celebrating after the Newcastle match last season when they secured a Champions League place but he wants more out of Arsenal than that.”
O’Leary was speaking after Wenger’s side virtually grabbed a place in the Champions League proper with a 3-0 win over Fenerbahce last night in the first leg of a play-off tie.
And he added: “I think he knows he has to buy players. I thought they would do well last night. I didn’t think they would win 3-0, but I definitely thought they wouldn’t get beat and would go through this tie. But he won’t be kidded by that.
“I am sure he has seen what Chelsea have done over the weekend and what Manchester City and Manchester United have done and if he is going to challenge those teams again he knows he has got to bring in quality players.”