Football: Big spending doesn't guarantee success, says Wenger

Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger waits for the start of a Champions League match against Napoli, at the Naples San Paolo stadium, Italy, on Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013. Wenger insists Arsenal's surge to the top of the Premier League proves he does not nee
Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger waits for the start of a Champions League match against Napoli, at the Naples San Paolo stadium, Italy, on Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013. Wenger insists Arsenal's surge to the top of the Premier League proves he does not need to match title rivals Manchester City pound for pound in the transfer market. -- FILE PHOTO: AP

LONDON (AFP) - Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal's surge to the top of the Premier League proves he does not need to match title rivals Manchester City pound for pound in the transfer market.

Wenger's side head to Eastlands for the early kick-off on Saturday looking to extend their five-point lead at the top, while a victory would also take them nine points clear of fourth placed City.

That would deal a huge blow to City's title hopes and strengthen Wenger's belief that he was right to ignore the temptation to construct a team solely focused on expensive superstar signings.

Although Wenger smashed Arsenal's transfer record on deadline day with the £43 million (S$88 million) signing of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid, that deal was still dwarfed by the outlay of City boss Manuel Pellegrini and the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham.

That trio are all struggling to keep pace with Arsenal in the title race and Wenger is adamant his squad now stands comparison with City despite his relatively cautious approach in the transfer market.

"City have a very strong squad, I don't deny that. But I look at my squad and I don't envy them," he said.

"They have gone a different way. I believe what our policy shows is that we have consistency in our attitude, consistency in our results. The way we see the game brings you consistency and spirit," Wenger said.

"For years, we were restricted with our finances.

"We have still the same plan and we respect our income and expenses, but we have better, stronger resources."