Arsene Wenger's transfer inactivity justifies Gary Neville criticism

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Arsene Wenger may have been angered by Gary Neville's criticism of him, but the former Manchester United defender has found himself justified by the Frenchman's lack of activity this transfer window. 

Wenger was labelled as "either naive or arrogant," after his side's stalemate with Liverpool last week, with Neville citing his lack of midfield steel as a prime reason for Arsenal's failure to win the Premier League since 2004. 

That, coupled with the Gunners' inability to sign an established centre-forward, means another season of missing out on England's biggest domestic prize may now lie in store, unless Wenger can coax the best out of his current striking department. 


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When Arsenal announced a deal to sign Petr Cech early on, many expected the Gunners to continue to strengthen, having enjoyed a fine second half to last season that saw them finish just adrift of Manchester City and champions Chelsea. 

With Manchester United and Liverpool spending lavishly themselves, the Arsenal supporters were convinced their manager would land another marquee name after the arrivals of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez the two years previous. 

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However, Wenger allowed the window to pass him by - without strengthening in the areas the side needed improving in the most. A holding-midfielder remains a necessity despite the form of Francis Coquelin, whilst a forward was also wanted given the inconsistencies of Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck. 

Possible options

Instead, the Arsenal manager seems content with what he currently has, even though it now means the club face an uphill battle to qualify for the Champions League and to mount an assault on the league title. 

Stunning strikers such as Mario Mandzukic, Jackson Martinez and Carlos Tevez all moved clubs this summer - but if reports are to be believed Wenger spent too long chasing Edinson Cavani and Karim Benzema, who were never going to leave Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid. 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was on the market at one stage, but the Gunners refused to take a punt on the mercurial Swede, whose experience and ruthlessness in front of goal would have made it a win-win for the club. 

With regards to the midfield dilemma Wenger did fancy Morgan Schneiderlin, but was left angered as Louis van Gaal intervened to bring him to Old Trafford. He then failed to pursue a secondary target and has instead put all his faith in Coquelin. 

Welbeck and Giroud reliance

Wenger is known to trust Giroud - despite Thierry Henry's criticism of his compatriot - but the striker continues to fluff his lines in the big games and hardly instills Arsenal fans with confidence. 

It will also be a big year for the injured Welbeck, who a year on from leaving United struggles to get into the first-team even when his injury problems subside. 

Theo Walcott has been used up top in the past, sometimes to devastating effect, but the Englishman still looks short of the player he was meant to be during his time at Southampton. 

Arsenal fans, do you think Wenger was wrong to not sign more players in the summer? Let us know in the comments box below.

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Theo Walcott
Arsene Wenger

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