Wenger calls for unity
Arsene Wenger hopes the sale of Samir Nasri will galvanise Arsenal and has backed his summer signings.
By Soriebah Kajue
Last Updated: 24/08/11 7:37am
Arsene Wenger hopes the sale of Samir Nasri will galvanise his team and he has backed his summer signings to shine this season.
Arsenal have reluctantly agreed to the sale of Nasri to Manchester City; however the timing of it could not have been more disruptive.
Wenger takes his team to Italy where they will face Udinese in the second-leg of their UEFA Champions League qualifier on Wednesday.
The Frenchman is urging his remaining squad members to show strength in the face of adversity and believes their unity can see them through this difficult period.
He admitted the loss of his skilful midfielder was definitely a concern but insists it will not be used as an excuse if they are beaten in Italy.
"There is also a concern but not an excuse, you are always concerned of the consequences that it can have on the team," he told Sky Sports News on the departures of big-name players.
"It can also have a positive consequence. If you are strong mentally you can increase the solidarity knowing that you have to fight more.
"And that's what you ideally want from mentally strong players."
The departures of first Cesc Fabregas, and now Nasri, has left the Arsenal midfield shorn of quality and numbers.
It has left the Arsenal team without two of their most recognisable players but despite the defections, Wenger is hopeful new signings Gervinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can emerge to become great players for Arsenal.
"I bought some great players as well," he added.
"We have bought in Chamberlain and you will see that he will be a great player, Gervinho as well.
"But ideally you want more, we are short in midfield at the moment and that is where we need to strengthen."
It has emerged that Wenger will be banned from the touchline for the return leg, as he was in the first having breached the rules about how he could communicate with his team.
Arsenal had sought clarification from Uefa on this before the game and thought they had acted within the realms of the law, but it now appears Wenger will miss the second leg too.
He continued: "I think the most important thing is to prepare the team before the game, and after that we will speak about all the possible decisions we can make during the game.
"I already don't know why I have been banned for the first time, and naively I still don't know why I have been banned for the second time."