Big spending doesn`t guarantee success, says Wenger
London: Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal`s surge to the top of the Premier League proves he doesn`t need to match title rivals Manchester City pound for pound in the transfer market.
Wenger`s side head to Eastlands for the early kick-off on Saturday looking to extend their five-point lead at the top, while a victory would also take them nine points clear of fourth placed City.
That would deal a huge blow to City`s title hopes and strengthen Wenger`s belief that he was right to ignore the temptation to construct a team solely focused on expensive superstar signings.
Although Wenger smashed Arsenal`s transfer record on deadline day with the £43 million signing of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid, that deal was still dwarfed by the outlay of City boss Manuel Pellegrini and the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham.
That trio are all struggling to keep pace with Arsenal in the title race and Wenger is adamant his squad now stands comparison with City despite his relatively cautious approach in the transfer market.
"City have a very strong squad, I don`t deny that. But I look at my squad and I don`t envy them," he said.
"They have gone a different way. I believe what our policy shows is that we have consistency in our attitude, consistency in our results. The way we see the game brings you consistency and spirit," Wenger said.
"For years, we were restricted with our finances.
"We have still the same plan and we respect our income and expenses, but we have better, stronger resources."
While Arsenal hope to cement their position at the top, City can`t afford to lose their 100 percent home record if they want to stay in touch with the leaders.
Despite winning all seven of their home league matches and scoring 29 goals in the process, Pellegrini`s team are already six points behind Arsenal thanks to some disappointing results on their travels.
But the City boss doesn`t believe this weekend`s clash represents a make or break moment for his side because there are still a host of teams capable of winning the title.
"It is our opportunity to take three important points from the best team at the moment in the Premier League," Pellegrini said.
Elsewhere, second-placed Liverpool, five points behind Arsenal, travel to Tottenham with goalkeeper Simon Mignolet demanding his team-mates step up in the absence of inspirational captain Steven Gerrard.
England midfielder Gerrard will be missing with a hamstring injury and Mignolet said: "We have other leaders in the team as well.
"We have a decent enough squad to deal with injuries, to cope with those kind of things.
"Every game we go into hopeful of getting three points. We will go to Tottenham and be positive."
Jose Mourinho repeated his call for more goals from his strikers ahead of third-placed Chelsea`s meeting with Crystal Palace.
Mourinho`s side are five points adrift of the Gunners following last weekend`s surprise loss at Stoke and they were less than impressive again in a midweek win over Steaua Bucharest.
Demba Ba got the winner against Steaua but Mourinho has demanded more from the Senegal striker, who has just three goals in all competitions this season.
"Could get more," said Mourinho of Ba. "He has two goals in the Champions League, which is nice for him. More goals in the Champions League than in the Premier League."
Manchester United, without a win in their last four league matches and 13 points behind Arsenal, have no margin for error as they head to Aston Villa on the back of two successive league defeats.
United manager David Moyes has come under fire for his role in the champions` struggles, but winger Ashley Young insists the players should shoulder their share of the blame.
"Of course. We are the players who go out on the pitch," Young said when asked whether they felt responsibility should be shared.
"Everyone is in it together; manager, staff and players. We win together, we lose together."
Saturday (1500GMT unless stated)
Cardiff v West Brom, Chelsea v Crystal Palace, Everton v Fulham, Hull v Stoke (1730GMT), Manchester City v Arsenal (1245GMT), Newcastle v Southampton, West Ham v Sunderland
Aston Villa v Manchester United (1330GMT), Norwich v Swansea (1330GMT), Tottenham v Liverpool (1600GMT)