18 Aug 2013

Problems for Wenger as Arsenal lose opener

1:21 pm on 18 August 2013

After Arsenal suffered a shock 3-1 home defeat by Aston Villa in their Premier League football season opener, the Gunners face a growing injury list as they head into Thursday's Champions League playoff clash with Fenerbahce.

The weight of an unspent transfer kitty also hangs heavily over Arsenal, who now have injuries to Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bacary Sagna, Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey, while influential midfielder Mikel Arteta is already out for around six weeks with a thigh problem.

Injuries also kept Nacho Monreal, Thomas Vermaelen and Abou Diaby out against Villa, who came back after Olivier Giroud's early goal for the hosts at the Emirates Stadium, with Christian Benteke scoring twice from the spot, and left back Antonio Luna grabbing a debut counter-attacking late goal for the visitors.

Despite having up to 70 million pounds to spend on new players, Arsenal have only brought in French youth international striker Yaya Sanogo in the close season.

Manager Arsene Wenger has also seen high-profile pursuits of Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and Luiz Gustavo, who made a strong debut for German club VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday, fall through.

Wenger again said he would splash some cash before the transfer window shuts on September 2, but Arsenal fans made their feelings clear with calls of "spend some money" at the Emirates.