Title challenge is out unless we bring in new faces says Wilshere

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Booed off at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon, Arsenal’s current situation is not getting any better.

The transfer sagas of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri remain ongoing, and while Sunday’s clash with the New York Red Bulls should’ve been a welcoming home for Thierry Henry.

Instead Arsenal made hard work of the game and a late Kyle Bartley own goal meant the Arsenal side left the Emirates pitch to a chorus of jeers – not the biggest confidence boost just 12 days until the start of the new Premier League season.

Wilshere lasted just seven minutes and the ankle injury that forced him off has almost certainly ruled him out of England’s friendly with Holland next Wednesday and he faces a race to be fit for the start of the league season.

While Wilshere’s injury is a blow to Arsenal, the bigger blow comes in the form of his comments after the game.

“We are not a spending club but we still managed to stay up there with the top teams,” said Wilshere. “And we have to win things this year.

“Maybe if we had a few more faces we could really push on. If we get a few more players we can really challenge for the title.”

Wilshere may not have said Arsenal’s title challenge hinges on Arsene Wenger pulling out the chequebook but his comments can be read that way.

At 9/1 Arsenal are already long shots in the title betting and Wilshere’s comments would suggest they are priced correctly.

Gunners fans may not want to hear it but Arsenal are struggling in this pre-season period and the disruption surrounding their two best players isn’t helping.

A poor performance rather than the result was the reason behind the booing on Sunday and while too much shouldn’t be read into pre-season performances, Wilshere’s comments are a worry for punters who have backed Arsenal for the title.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.