Wenger hails match-winner

Arsene Wenger hailed the efforts of Olivier Giroud after the France striker’s first half goal settled the north London derby in Arsenal’s favour, ensuring Tottenham began life without Gareth Bale with a painful defeat.

The victory eased the pressure on Wenger, whose failure to recruit significantly in the summer transfer market had been compared unfavourably with Tottenham’s recruitment policy that has attracted eight new players to White Hart Lane.

But while Wenger insisted he was still hopeful of making signings before the transfer window closes at 11pm tonight, he heaped praise on his side, singling out the efforts of Giroud and Mathieu Flamini, saying the latter had an “exceptional” game, given he hadn’t played since May.

“Other people have said we are looking for a new striker and maybe that woke something up in Olivier,” said Wenger. “I liked what we did today, technically it was good, he had a huge physical presence, he gave an exceptional quality display of a real centre forward.”

Wenger will step up his efforts to sign Karim Benzema, Mezut Ozil and Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid, hopeful the Spanish club’s world record signing of Bale will help secure at least one of his targets. Wenger is also hopeful of signing Newcastle midfielder Yohan Caboue.

“You know I am always confident, and I delivered very little until now, I am confident yes,” said the manager.

“I am ready to pay what we can afford. Even if it is a bit over the market as long as it is not crazy. I am not against spending.”

Jack Wilshere was forced out of the game yesterday before half time with stomach cramps, the same ailment that forced Bacary Sagna to drop to the bench.

Tottenham suffered a much more serious loss though, with midfielder Etienne Capoue stretchered off with a suspected broken leg.

Villas-Boas insisted Spurs would not be making any more signings following the weekend arrival of Denmark playmaker Christian Eriksen from Ajax although he acknowledged there may be movements out of the club with Emmanuel Adebayor and Benoit Assou-Ekotto expected to leave on loan.

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