AW: I'll buy to replace RVP

Hard-hitting stuff from Arsene Wenger in this morning’s papers as he has a dig at the Dutch FA over the injury which sees RVP out of action for five months. And his absence means AW says he wants to sign a replacement for injured striker van Persie during next month’s transfer window.
The Daily Mail reports that our manager has seen his side’s season run into trouble with two successive Barclays Premier League defeats and key attacker Van Persie forced to undergo surgery on ruptured ankle ligaments.
And apparently Wenger is furious that the Dutch Football Federation initially claimed Van Persie’s injury – suffered during Holland’s friendly against Italy – would heal in six weeks and without surgery. Asked by the tabloid whether it would change his approach to the January transfer period, Wenger said: ‘It has to. It has to because I didn’t feel we were in the need to buy anybody but we will be out on the market, that is for sure. But we will only make a decision if it suits us.’
As we know, Wenger has been repeatedly linked with Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh but his club’s president said yesterday there is no question of the 25-year-old leaving the French champions before next summer.
The Arsenal boss is said to have been watching England’s Carlton Cole before the West Ham man suffered knee-ligament damage last weekend. If Cole recovers before the end of January, he could yet be a target, although Liverpool and Manchester United have also followed his recent improvement with interest.
The Mail adds that Arsenal have rubbished any suggestion they will turn to Real Madrid’s disaffected Ruud van Nistelrooy (thank heavens), while reports in Italy yesterday make the unlikely claim that Arsenal will offer £20million for Inter’s teenage front man, Mario Balotelli.
Meanwhile, AW says he will pick a ‘typical Carling Cup side’ against Manchester City tonight and adds that he believes the international break has cost his side dearly. He is also angry that because Van Persie thought he did not need an operation, the striker instead went to Belgrade for controversial treatment using horse placenta.
He said: ‘The interruption was not welcome and we paid with a very hard price because we lost Nicklas Bendtner, Abou Diaby and Van Persie. I think we have not been told the truth by the Dutch Football Federation, which is a real regret.
‘If they had not made a mistake in his diagnosis he would not have gone to Serbia to get that kind of treatment so there’s a lot for us to cry about. In such an important season for us, we lose the players in friendlies on tackles like that. It is really difficult to accept. We will not accept that situation to go on like that. A player like Diaby goes away and is injured and you cannot even get him back because they decided to keep him. It is disrespectful to the clubs.
‘The players come back, they are injured, they are not properly treated. For political reasons, they keep the players in the squad and we do not have a say. How can that work? And three days later, you have to play a game and you have to win it. They don’t care. And you pay the players. Something has to change in there. In every other sport, it is the club who decide if the player stays in the national team when he is injured. Only in our sport, it is the federation who decides to keep the player if they want to keep the player.
‘What do we do? You can do nothing because they have the rule in their favour. The French federation decided to keep Diaby for political reasons. They knew from the first day that he would never play for them but they didn’t want to call another player up. So they decided to keep him and make everybody think he’d play. The result? He comes back, the next day tries to have a little run and gets a setback. We have to deal with the consequences.’
Wenger says English youngsters Jack Wilshere and Craig Eastmond will definitely play against Manchester City at Eastlands in a game between two sides desperate for a win. He said: ‘I believe that draws in our league are like defeats, especially when you play at home. I believe both teams at the moment are not productive and so it’s a very open tie.’
The paper points out that Arsenal are 11 points behind Chelsea in the Premier League, but Wenger claims he can detect weaknesses in Carlo Ancelotti’s leaders. He said: ‘It is not over and I believe on what I have seen of Chelsea that this team can drop points. First, it is down to us to respond quickly and in a positive way in the league games. We lost two games without scoring a goal which is not our habit at all. That’s why we want to come out in a more positive way.’
In this morning’s Sun, Andrey Arshavin has his say on the current form of the glorious Gunners.
He said: “What I feel bitter about is that we lose in all the big matches. That is disappointing and lets doubts creep into my mind. Chelsea are now 11 points ahead of us, although we played one game less. At the moment, they look the strongest team.
“They have attacking players who can make use of opponents’ slightest defensive mistakes. Didier Drogba, for example. If we only take pure strikers, he is the strongest in the world. He and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.”
The tabloid says Wenger has been reluctant to spend too much of Arsenal’s money in recent transfer windows but Arshavin says that must change in January. He added: “Arsene Wenger needs to buy new players – and expensive ones too. Why? Because all the talented and inexpensive players are already with us at Arsenal.”
The redtop claims Arshavin feels the Gunners’ best chance of clawing back Chelsea’s huge advantage will come in the New Year. That’s when the Blues will be without the likes of Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and Salomon Kalou, who will head off to the African Cup of Nations.
And Arshavin said: “Chelsea are going to lose points. They stand to suffer from it most of all.” Wenger has challenged his latest generation of young Gunners to follow in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas and use the Carling Cup as a springboard to the first team.
Looking to tonight, the Sun says the Carling Cup has been a breeding ground for future Arsenal stars, with Fabregas making his debut against Rotherham in 2003 aged just 16 years and 177 days.
Wenger said: “The number of kids who have come here and progressed to become top-class players is considerable. And one of the reasons is we have played these youngsters in the Carling Cup. This policy has been successful, not necessarily in terms of winning the tournament, but because it’s good preparation for the players to play in the Premier League.”

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