Arsene WengerArsene Wenger has received his usual dose of criticism this pre-season for continuing his miserly ways. “Sign a bloomin’ defender!” bellow drunkards and taxi drivers across the land. “A good old English centre-half’s what we need!”

Unperturbed, the Arsenal manager’s attention this summer has been focussed on an altogether different project – one which ‘Le Professeur’ believes holds the key to breaking his six-year Premier League hoodoo.

Rather than focussing on his defence, Wenger is busy researching the finer points of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and told BBM Live yesterday he’s already half way through the 224 page 19th century gothic novel.

“I’m going to finally bring Theo Walcott to life,” he boasted, with a crazed look in his beady eyes. “I’ve discovered the perfect way to kick-start the little nipper’s career.”

The Frenchman excitedly unfurled some roughly sketched blueprints, entitled ‘Samir van Walcott’, which reveal an ambitious plan to merge his frail attacking trio into one – injury free – super player.

“Once I’ve surgically removed Robin’s glass ankles, Theo’s wobbly shoulders and Samir’s annoying face I’ll be left with the perfect components!” Wenger excitedly announced. Funds for his next research compendium, Dracula, will also be raised for selling off the useless parts to Owen Hargreaves.

Jude Ellery