Arse­nal: ‘no more ex­cuses’

Weekend Witness - - Sport -

LON­DON — Jack Wil­shere in­sists Arse­nal are des­per­ate to put an­other dispir­it­ing pre-sea­son be­hind them and fi­nally end the club’s eight-year tro­phy drought.

Last sea­son fin­ished promis­ingly as Arse­nal claimed fourth place on the fi­nal day ahead of ri­vals Tot­ten­ham.

But the Gun­ners re­main with­out sil­ver­ware since 2005 and boss Arsene Wenger’s fail­ure to land any ma­jor sign­ings has added to the grow­ing sense of un­ease ahead of to­day’s Pre­mier League opener against As­ton Villa.

The frus­trat­ing bar­ren spell helps ex­plain the dis­con­tent among the club’s sup­port­ers dur­ing pe­ri­ods when the team strug­gled last sea­son and that will un­doubt­edly resur­face if Wenger’s side again fail to chal­lenge for ma­jor hon­ours.

But Eng­land star Wil­shere says there can be no more ex­cuses for un­der­achieve­ment be­cause Wenger’s squad have the tal­ent and de­sire to restore the club to its for­mer glory.

“We un­der­stand the fans’ frus­tra­tion, be­cause we care as well,” Wil­shere said.

“Arse­nal used to be a team that won ev­ery­thing, you know, tro­phies and ti­tles. But now we haven’t won any­thing for eight years, so we know what we have to do.

“It’s time to start pro­duc­ing tro­phies and be­ing closer to the top of the league at the end of the sea­son.

“We don’t just want to be fight­ing for fourth place — we want to be up there with the likes of Chelsea, Manch­ester City and Manch­ester United. We feel we’re good enough to be there.”

Wil­shere has been eased into ac­tion dur­ing pre-sea­son, but should start against Villa af­ter ap­pear­ing for Eng­land against Scot­land this week, al­though Theo Wal­cott is a more sig­nif­i­cant doubt af­ter limp­ing out of the Wem­b­ley clash.

Wenger needs ev­ery weapon at his dis­posal ahead of a test­ing open­ing week, with the first leg of their Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fier against Fener­bahce fol­low­ing four days af­ter the Villa clash.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.