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Sunday, July 8, 2012
Wenger's not for turning

ESPN staff

Arsene Wenger has insisted he has no plans to rework his philosophy of developing young talent to turn Arsenal into a big-spending club.

• Sol urges Wenger to spend
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Arsenal's frugal ways is one of the major reasons behind Robin van Persie's decision to abort talks over a new contract with less than 12 months to run. The Dutch striker is concerned at a lack of ambition being shown by the Gunners.

Despite this Wenger does not feel it is just cause to deviate from his current plan of action - modelling his team on Johan Cruyff's Ajax from the 1990s which was built on their famed academy.

But Wenger also launched a thinly veiled attack on those players who have chosen to desert his troops.

"I totally agree with Cruyff  and I won't change," Wenger is quoted as saying by the Sun. "The only sad thing is that sometimes your work is destroyed by others. You want to see a player in his prime doing it for your club. But it does not work like that all the time.

"I am a victim of that. I lost Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy and Cesc Fabregas at an age where they should have been playing their best football for Arsenal. But I never left the club when I could have.

"I could have left 10 times to join another club but I didn't because I have worked with the same vision and philosophy at Arsenal for the last 16 years - and that won't change.

"Besides, money was never a motivation for me. And, in a similar way, people like Cruyff don't put all their energy in building football teams with young players just for the money. We all do this because we want to give something back to football."




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