The 2012/13 began with so much promise for Arsenal. The quick integration of new signings, the continuation of a free flowing style and even the luxury of a stable back four meant there was plenty of optimism for the fans.
Despite the sale of key player Robin van Persie initially being a bitter pill to swallow, there was a glimmer of hope that the likes of Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and hopeful striker Theo Walcott could fill his big shoes.
However, the consistent loss of big games over the course of the season and a lack of fulfilled potential from certain players meant the clubs ambitions suddenly became limited to a top four finish.
It's yet another season that has failed to live up to the expectations of the Arsenal fans who are becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of silverware over an eight year period. With Wenger's obsession being based around a consistent top four finish, it begs to question whether the club is truly going in the right direction.
The current twenty one point gap between themselves and Manchester United is something which needs to be amended and without the ambition of wanting to finish as champions, as opposed to assuring a top four finish, the club is going to continue to fall behind the progression of their rivals.
As with football in general, the chances of success are largely dependent on financial strength. With many tipping Arsenal to spend big in the next transfer window, figures of a £70million war chest being rumoured to be available, it seems to be a make or break period for Wenger. Impending failure could question his legacy at the club.
A historic sponsorship deal from Puma is set to offer Arsenal a substantial sum of money over a five year period. Contributing £30million a year to Arsenal's finances as they are set to become the clubs kit sponsor. This vast sum, along with acquired funds over a period of years, will allow Wenger to establish Arsenal as a big hitter within the transfer market.
With players such as Stevan Jovetic, Gonzalo Higuain and even Wayne Rooney being linked with the club, it could become apparent that Wenger is set to alter his philosophy from buying young and cheap, to purchasing players of experience with a hefty price tag. All Wenger has to do is look at Manchester United. Their acquisition of former Arsenal fans favourite and 29-year-old Robin van Persie has allowed the club to progress from narrow runner up, to runaway and deserved champions. It is unfortunate that Wenger has to witness this realisation through the loss of his own player, who has since gone on to achieve bigger and better things with Manchester United.
Unfortunately for Arsenal, it is not only themselves who are seeking to bridge the gap with Manchester United. The likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and even the unthinkable Tottenham are seeking to become eventual title challengers and see next season being a substantial opportunity, especially without the presence of Sir Alex Ferguson. Manchester City will have a new manager, who will certainly receive the financial backing of their oil rich owners.
Chelsea will be a resurgent force, particularly with the acquisition of a certain Jose Mourinho. Even Spurs have the potential to establish a title challenge, especially if they manage to keep Gareth Bale and subsequently build a squad around his unquestionable talent.
This shows that the importance of establishing a title winning squad at an early stage is a necessity for Arsenal. By signing high calibre players early on in the transfer window, it offers them time to integrate with the squad. High-class players such as Jovetic, Higuain and Rooney would certainly take Arsenal a strong step in the right direction. This combined with current indispensable players such as Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla and the removal of fringe players, such as Bendtner, Chamakh and Arshavin, it will allow Arsenal to truly challenge for silverware both domestically and in Europe. A status both Arsenal and the fans fully deserve.
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