Wenger relying on Rosicky & Eduardo effect

LONDON - After agreeing more big-name departures, Arsene Wenger will hope the return to fitness of Tomas Rosicky and Eduardo da Silva can spur his young Arsenal side to silverware this season.

The desire of the fans for manager Wenger to end years of high-profile exits by making expensive close-season signings grew when defender Kolo Toure and striker Emmanuel Adebayor moved to Manchester City.

However, the Frenchman's only signing has been Ajax Amsterdam centre back Thomas Vermaelen and he will instead put his faith in Czech Republic midfielder Rosicky and Croatia striker Eduardo, who almost represent new players after injury-ravaged spells.

Rosicky has been sidelined by a troublesome hamstring injury while Eduardo is back after a groin problem that followed a horrific broken leg in February 2008.

A Champions League semi-final appearance last season was testament to the talent Wenger's teenage army possess but a fourth-placed Premier League finish indicates consistency remains an obstacle.

Rosicky's return alongside captain Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Andrei Arshavin will increase creativity in the midfield and the side will be helped further by having a classy partnership in Eduardo and Robin van Persie up front.

"I don't see why we should be scared ... I see the offensive potential we have," Rosicky told the club's website.

"Of course we know we have to do better, we are not blind to that, but we can see it's positive."


Arsenal's last league title came in 2004 after an incredible unbeaten campaign. However, none of that squad remain at the club.

The Londoners have not won anything since the 2005 FA Cup although they have continued to compete well in the Champions League, reaching the 2006 final before losing to Barcelona.

A highlight this season is likely to be the emergence of 17-year-old midfielder Jack Wilshere, who has outside hopes of an England World Cup call-up.

"Jack reminds me a bit of (Wayne) Rooney when he started, in his belief and his positive attitude to go forwards," said Wenger.

The diminutive left-footer is rapidly becoming a fan favourite and will join the ranks of talented youngsters such as Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs and Carlos Vela in the first team.

"He has benefited a lot from special treatment," added Wenger. "The only problem in England, knowing the impatience of the people, is it will be difficult to keep the right pace in his progress."

Asked what would be an acceptable level of success this season, Wenger said: "To win the league championship and to win the Champions League, anything else is a disaster according to our fans."