English Premiership

Almunia on what Arsenal need

2009-05-07 18:17
Manuel Almunia (AFP)

London -  Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia said Thursday that the squad needs to be strengthened with more experienced players after a fourth straight trophyless season.

The Spaniard said the Gunners are going through a "difficult time" after the last hope of a first title since the 2005 FA Cup ended on Tuesday when Manchester United eased past them to reach the Champions League final.

While Arsene Wenger's side has secured a spot in next season's competition, simply finishing in the top four of the Premier League isn't seen as good enough for the side with so many promising young players.

"Many people say we need more experience. But maybe at this time, which is a difficult time for us, maybe we do. Or some help from other players who can come in for next season," Almunia said on UEFA's website on Thursday. "The Arsenal team is a good team, a good squad. But fans expect more from us. And who knows, maybe we need some changes to the squad in the summer.

"But the responsibility is with the boss who understands what the club needs most and which decisions need to be taken."

Gael Clichy won't return to the team until next season as the defender continues to recover after injuring his back a month ago.

"We would have put a little pressure on the recovery period had we gone to the Champions League final," Wenger said on Thursday. "But now we will not take a gamble."

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