Arsenal’s annual AGM stirred up a number of interesting discussion points at the recent Emirates assembly, including Robin van Persie, Luis Suarez and Mesut Ozil.
Arsene Wenger sat next to majority shareholder Stan Kroenke and chief executive Ivan Gazidis in a wide-reaching Q&A session with the club's shareholders.
Alongside chatter of an eventful year that saw Van Persie leave, bids for Suarez rejected and the acquisition of Ozil, the club's philosophy and spending of rivals were high on the agenda.
As reported by Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail, Wenger began by highlighting his belief that spending huge amounts of money is not the best way to sustain the club.
The number of clubs with money is getting bigger, that's why I believe developing our own players is the best route. But when we have to use big numbers we will, but that's not the basis of stability.
The Frenchman confirmed Arsenal’s three-point philosophy that prioritises the development of young players, the scouting of lesser-known talents (such as Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud) and the occasional spend on a world-class player.
Per Mokbel’s report, attention turned to Ozil, who falls into the third category: "You don't need a scout to sign Ozil just the money and we proved we aren't afraid to spend money with Ozil."
Wenger was also questioned about the sale of Van Persie to rivals Manchester United. He admits the Dutchman's move created an air of distaste at the Emirates and that the team was forced to bounce back. "We lost Van Persie, created a lot of unrest and destabilised team. But from November to May team showed fantastic mental strength," Wenger said, per Mokbel.
As confirmed by John Cross of the Mirror back in August, Wenger's bid of £40 million plus one pound to land Suarez caused many to question the club's ethics during the summer.
Chatter surrounding the Liverpool striker—who was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra in 2011, per BBC Sport—was aimed at chairman Sir Chips Keswick. As Mokbel’s report suggests, Keswick responded with confidence about the club's ethics policy.
Is your opinion of Arsene Wenger more positive now than it was at the start of the season?
"Any player must adhere to our standards. Our ethics are as strong as ever," Keswick said.
Arsenal currently lead the Premier League with five wins in seven games. The Gunners' opening-day loss to Aston Villa caused many fans to call for Wenger's head, but an unbeaten run of 11 games since then has hushed many doubters.
Wenger and his team are enjoying an excellent spell of form. With previous AGMs focusing on Arsenal's lack of success, they will have exited the recent discussion with full knowledge that the club is heading in the right direction.