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Wenger: Arsenal not vulnerable anymore

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that his club have lost the vulnerability that once made their players easy prey for this Sunday’s Community Shield opponents Manchester City.

Bacary Sagna became the third player to join City from Arsenal in recent seasons when he swapped the Emirates Stadium for the Etihad Stadium in June, but Wenger’s side are now operating on something approaching an equal footing in the transfer market.

Having signed Mesut Ozil in a club-record deal a year ago, Arsenal bought Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona in a move reportedly worth around £30 million (S$63.2 million) last month, and Wenger feels they can no longer be considered the poor relations among the Premier League’s leading sides.

“It looks like we are a bit closer,” he told journalists at the Emirates on Thursday.

“We are less vulnerable, that’s for sure. Because in the last two years we bought Ozil and Sanchez. Five years ago we would have lost Ozil and Sanchez!”

Jekyll and Hyde team

Arsenal crashed to a 6-3 defeat at City last season and also fell to heavy losses at Liverpool (5-1) and Chelsea (6-0).

Asked if he was shocked by Arsenal’s record against the other heavyweights in the Premier League, Wenger replied: “Concerned. Shocked by the number of goals we conceded.

“Because we had Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde defensively. We had 18 clean sheets, but when we didn’t have a clean sheet, we really let them score.

“I think it was a loss of confidence. Overall we looked quite sound defensively. We have a good opportunity to improve that.” - AFP 

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