With the dismissals of many top-flight managers and coaches this season, and the retirement of the great Sir Alex Ferguson, it should come as no surprise that Arsene Wenger is being placed under the spotlight once again.

Many fans have questioned his ability to lead Arsenal to domestic and European glory against the Premier League superpowers.

He arrived at Arsenal in 1996, much to the surprise of the footballing world. He then won his first double in the 1997/98 season, winning the Premier League and FA Cup.

Arsenal's reign at the top of the Premier League had begun. Between 1997 and 2004, Arsenal won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and four FA Community Shields, including the classic 2003/04 unbeaten season - a record unmatched by any other club.

However, things went downhill from here, with Arsenal winning no silverware since the FA Cup in 2005.

The main reason for this downward spiral is Wenger's self-expressed dislike towards spending big in transfer windows. His ability to spot future talent is unrivalled: Thierry Henry, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all great examples of this.

World-class striker Robin van Persie was brought to Arsenal in 2004 for the tiny sum of £3m, selling him on to Manchester United £24m. This talent-spotting is a great asset for making money, but his lack of big-name stars is keeping Arsenal behind the rest of the big English teams.

There are already rumours of Radamel Falcao, Robert Lewandowski and even Cristiano Ronaldo coming to the Premier League, with Arsenal lagging behind. Although they have spoken about signing Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid and Stevan Jovetic from Fiorentina, their lack of experienced and serious talent will cause them to slip slowly down the table, the same fate as the previously European champions Liverpool.

Without the signatures of some big names this summer, Arsenal don't stand a chance of competing with the big three: Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.


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