'Wenger still the right man to lead Arsenal'
Former Gunner Silvestre believes the Frenchman remains one of the best managers in the EPL
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger's signing of a new two-year contract has not gone down well in some quarters, especially after the Frenchman's failure to secure Champions League qualification for the first time since 1996.
But ex-Gunner Mikael Silvestre believes that the 67-year-old still has it in him to fire Arsenal to their first English Premier League title since the 2003/2004 season, when they went through an entire league campaign unbeaten.
But Silvestre, who made 26 appearances for Arsenal between 2008 and 2010, also said that Wenger needs to spend big if he is to have any chance of success.
Speaking at the Masters Football Asia press conference yesterday, he said: "Football is Arsene's life.
"He watches a lot of games and he is one of the top and most innovative managers (in the Premier League).
"I am backing Wenger (to prove his critics wrong). Last season, I saw a part of him I did not expect; which was anger.
"However, Arsene has got the backing of the board and it looks like he has the finances to go after expensive targets.
"He is the man in charge and he makes the big decisions. Time is not on his side though, because this may be his last contract."
The Gunners have been linked with big-money moves during this transfer window.
The names of Monaco's teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe and Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette have been bandied about recently.
Silvestre, who also played for Manchester United, Inter Milan and Werder Bremen in his career, declined to say which players Wenger should sign, but he pointed out that there doesn't need to be a squad overhaul.
Silvestre, 39, said: "I don't want to speculate because it is early days and there are going to be meetings and turnarounds where players don't come.
"There were enough goals from Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud (throughout the season) but, maybe, the midfield players can lend a bit more (to the attack).
"The quality is already within the squad.
"But I would like to see the midfielders getting on the scoresheet more often," added Silvestre, who highlighted English players Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott, and Welshman Aaron Ramsey as the standout midfielders in the team.
Silvestre also feels that their FA Cup triumph - they beat Chelsea 2-1 in the final last month - puts them in good stead for next season's challenges, particularly in the Europa League.
He said: "If you look at Man United lifting the Europa League trophy in Stockholm, there is definitely a good chance for Arsenal to do the same next season. They are going to be the favourites.
"What will be difficult for Arsenal is that they have to figure out how to play between Thursday and Sunday.
"Arsene has to figure out how to handle the Premier League and Europa League commitments simultaneously."
Silvestre will be part of the Arsenal Masters side who will play the Liverpool Masters at the National Stadium on Nov 11.
Tickets for the Liverpool Masters v Arsenal Masters presented by Masters Football Asia are available from today at www.mastersfootball.com and www.sportshub.com.sg/sportshubtix. Tickets prices start from $20.