Arsenal paying price for Arsene Wenger's summer failure

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Another game, another defeat, another day where Arsene Wenger looks jaded and clueless on the touchline. The New Year brings with it resolutions and changes but, after an inconsistent 2014, the early signs are this year could be a difficult one for all involved at the north London club. 

Ronald Koeman's Southampton were meant to be languishing in the relegation zone after a summer of change at St Mary's, but now sit firmly above the Gunners in the hunt for Champions League football after a stunning victory on New Year's Day.

Mr Wenger, take note. The Dutchman's shrewd transfer business back in the summer is now spearheading their ambitions of joining the big boys at the top. 

Summer failings

The summer window was, on paper, a success. Alexis Sanchez was signed from Barcelona and has since shone, sparkled and scintillated in his new surroundings. Danny Welbeck touched down from Manchester United and has been worth the gamble, even if his consistency leaves much to be desired. 

Callum Chambers is one for the future though has struggled on occasions this season. Too many games, according to his manager. David Ospina starred for Columbia and will hope Wojciech Szczesny's error against the Saints opens the door for a run in the first team. 

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But the reality is that Wenger failed in strengthening in the positions that needed it. Per Mertesacker is beginning to resemble the player that struggled upon moving to England in 2011, leading to much mocking amongst opposition fans. A holding midfielder was needed, but still the Frenchman overlooked his side's most glaring flaw. 

Big mistakes

Mertesacker is not alone in struggling in defence, with Laurent Koscileny also missing the confidence and solidarity of lack season. With only Chambers in reserve, the centre-back area is one that is in sore need of change. Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund would solve that problem, but already looks bound for Louis Van Gaal's Manchester United. 

Morgan Schneiderlin was actively pursued in the summer and, despite the player taking to Twitter to express his frustrations over not being allowed to leave the Saints, has remained to play a key role under Koeman. It is now ironic that his current club lie above the one he was so desperate to join in the summer. 

January additions appear unlikely given Wenger's past record. Nacho Monreal and Sol Campbell are the only two players to have joined the Gunners at this stage of the season in the past six years. 

Paying price

Arsenal are paying the price for their summer mistakes and could pay the ultimately penalty if they fail to finish in the top four at the end of the season. 

Failure to do so could see Wenger finally leave north London. The only question is, who could replace him?


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Arsene Wenger
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