Sagna: Buy in January, Arsene

The fall-out from that miserable defeat to Chelski on Sunday continues in this morning’s paper with assorted Arsenal bods having their say on the 3-0 hammering.
In the Daily Mail, Bacary Sagna has urged Arsene Wenger to sign a replacement for Robin van Persie while in the Sun Tomas Rosicky has admitted their title hopes are all but over following the loss.
Defender Sagna conceded Arsenal are struggling to cope in the absence of striker Van Persie, who is out for five months with ankle ligament damage.
He says a new man must be bought in January if Arsenal are to stand any chance of closing the 11-point gap on leaders Chelsea.
Sagna said: ‘Robin van Persie’s absence is weighing heavily on us and we need to find a solution. There was too much of a gap between ourselves and Chelsea. They were better in the individual battles and kept the ball and passed it better than we did.
‘The game was a mirror image of our 1-0 defeat at Sunderland. We did not really create chances. Chelsea brushed us aside and we are very disappointed.’But we must not give up, or else we face dropping even further down the table.’
Czech star Rosicky, 29, said: “Now we have to show our mental strength. Letting our season fall apart would be the biggest mistake. We have to show a reaction in the next game.”
Thousands of gutted Gooners walked out with a quarter of an hour to go on a day that saw their title hopes left in tatters, says the paper. Rosicky added: “Of course I understand their frustration. If Chelsea continue to play like they did against us until the end, then it will be difficult for anyone to stop them. But everything can still happen – they will lose some players to the African Nations Cup, injuries can come, so it’s still a long way to go.”
Looking ahead to to tomorrow night’s Carling Cup clash with Manchester City, the Mirror tells us that Mark Hughes has given Emmanuel Adebayor the thumbs-up to face us – despite causing a near-riot the last time they met.
And the City boss, desperate to win some silverware, is ready to remain defiant and risk an explosive evening by putting out his strongest team, says the paper.
That would mean a starting role for the man who scored in City’s 4-2 league win on September 12 before running the length of the field to taunt the travelling Gunners fans who reacted by throwing objects at him and trying to get on the pitch.
But Hughes said: “There’s no feeling Ade won’t play as a consequence of what happened last time. In fact, he’s more likely to play because he had such a huge impact on that match.
“I think he’s made a statement in that regard. It was an emotional time and it has been well documented. I don’t think it will happen again.”
Meanwhile, also in the Mirror, AW admits the Carling Cup is not on his radar as Arsenal bid to bounce back from the defeat by Chelsea.
The Frenchman appeared to hand City a golden chance to reach the two-leg semi-final by revealing he will again field fringe players and youngsters in the live TV contest, says the Mirror.
He added: “We will go to City to win the game. Some of the younger players who play there will play in the Champions League as well because we are qualified. But it’s important to win in the Premiership. We’ve lost two games on the trot and that’s a massive disappointment. Two games where we didn’t score.”
Wenger refused to rule out buying more experienced players in January after two goals from Didier Drogba and an own goal from Thomas Vermaelen left the Gunners 11 points behind leaders Chelsea. Robin van Persie, Nicolas Bendtner, Kieran Gibbs and Gael Clichy are among the first-teamers out.
Arsenal maintain an interest in powerful Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh, who has just six months left on his contract with the French club.
The Gunners are also keen on Udinese midfielder Gokhan Inler, a Swiss international of Turkish descent, says the paper.
But Wenger said: “I would rather have all our players back. I’m not in the mood to say I will buy players. We have to deal with the disappointment and respond by trying to win our next game.”
Arsenal play Stoke at the Emirates on Saturday. But Wenger has refused to concede the title race is dead. He went on: “I don’t think it’s all over. We are fighters and we have to show that in our next game. The problem we will face now is that people will not believe in us. We have to make sure that lack of belief doesn’t diminish our own belief. Until now, we had some credit that we’d earned. But we’ll lose that.”

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