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Arsenal chairman: This is who calls the shots at Arsenal – not me

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Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick told reporters that Arsene Wenger is the man that calls the shots at Arsenal - not himself, the board or the fans.

The Arsenal chairman, once again, backed Arsene Wenger with complete faith at the Gunners’ AGM meeting, telling shareholders that the controversial failure to buy another defender during the summer would have no impact on Arsenal’s faith in their manager.

He went on to reveal that Wenger is the person that calls the shots at the club, and his decision is the one the club move on.

"Don’t let’s be in a muddle about who calls the shots about football at Arsenal,’’ said Keswick.

"It’s not the chairman, it’s not the fans, it’s Mr Arsene Wenger. If he has a plan, we back him. If he doesn’t have a plan, we keep quiet.

"Our board backs him 100 per cent."

Wenger, who responded to the criticism not to add another defender to the squad in the summer, declared that he is very much in the market for one and will try and do business in January.

"I agree we could have bought one more player but we didn’t find," said Wenger.

"We will try in January to rectify that because we are a bit short because of the injuries we have had. Overall I think we will rectify that in the transfer market in January."

Arsenal, who published accounts showing a cash reserve of £173 million, have been said to have a transfer budget of £40 million for January but Ivan Gazidis was quick to play down that amount.

"There is quite a lot of inaccurate and superficial analysis about the cash that we have available,’’ said Gazidis.

"That leads to stories we are hoarding a vast cash balance and that is simply not the case. We do try and keep a reasonable amount of cash available for future investment in the team.

"We don’t publicly disclose that amount because it is obviously commercially and competitively sensitive but I am afraid it is nowhere near the numbers quoted."

Arsenal made a number of high-profile signings in the summer but don’t really seem to have pushed on enough to battle the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea for the title.

Seven games in and it already looks like an unclimbable mountain for Arsenal; they sit nine points behind leaders Chelsea and four away from last season’s title winners Manchester City.

A tough ask, especially when given the strength of the Premier League's current top two. 

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