Former Arsenal star and scout Gilles Grimandi says Arsene Wenger does not deserve to be criticised for his transfer policy at Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger who is known not to splash huge sum of money on players surprised Arsenal fans when he decided to make a record signing to bring Mesut Ozil to the Emirates and very recently the signing of Chile international Alexis Sanchez.

But Grimandi, who made over 100 appearances in five seasons with the Gunners and is now the club’s chief scout in France, believes Wenger deserves credit rather than criticism for his approach.

“Recruitment is judged in the long term,” he told L’Equipe. “Nobody gets it 100 per cent right. But when you compare the money spent and our performance, I don’t think we do too badly.

“We have suffered in several positions through injuries but we are through to the knockout stages of the Champions League for the 17th time and we have already overcome some very complicated moments.

“That is thanks to stability. Now we have to be very ambitious. And for that reason the knockout tie against Monaco is very important for us.”

Grimandi also voiced his opposition to the growing importance of statistics in football, arguing that greater scrutiny of numbers is changing the behaviour of players on the pitch.

“Stats take a greater and greater role,” he insisted. “You really have to put your case forward to argue against the numbers. In a club, stats give the possibility to exist to people who have a very limited knowledge.

“These numbers give security to people who don’t make brave decisions. That really annoys me. The other thing is that players are conscious of this change.

“Sometimes I wonder how much they are playing for the numbers: how many tackles they have won, how many kilometres they have run. It is not necessarily positive. I can win 100 per cent of my tackles if I don’t go in for ones I risk losing.

“I see more and more players run away from tackles and I think that is something that will carry on until stats start counting pulling out of tackles.

“Some young players who are very talented don’t have tackling in their armoury.”


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