The 2015/16 Premier League season will no doubt go down as one of the most memorable after Leicester City made history by winning the title.
Arsenal fans must also wonder how they finished second behind Leicester when they were level on points with the Foxes at the turn of the year.
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Arsenal can do so much better and here are four ways they can challenge for the Premier League next season.
Arsene Wenger’s constant use of the 4-2-3-1 formation and lack of a plan B, no matter the opposition, is something that will need to change if they are to be more successful.
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While many other teams will change tactics or formation when needed, Arsenal don’t. This has been their undoing.
Also, he has brought in players that often do not fit the system. Oliver Giroud’s lack of pace in a formation that requires the striker to be fast and strong is one example.
Perhaps by changing their formation to a 3-5-2 away from home or a 4-4-2 at home and shifting Alexis Sanchez or Danny Welbeck alongside the French international might make a difference.
Ruthlessness in the transfer market
Arsene Wenger was heavily criticised, when in response to Liverpool’s asking price of £40 million for Luis Suarez, the Frenchman offered a measly pound.
This reluctance to invest heavily in quality has been the reason Arsenal have missed out on big signings.
The signing of Granit Xhaka for £30m is a good start, but more reinforcements are badly needed, especially in midfield following the departures of Mikel Arteta and fan favourite Tomas Rosicky.
Play players on form
Arsene Wenger’s loyalty to players who are not in form has been of concern to many fans.
Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey, and Theo Walcott have each had disappointing seasons but have played many games despite this.
The north Londoners have looked better when these three players have not been on the pitch. The introduction of Alex Iwobi and Joel Campbell in place of Theo Walcott and Mohamed Elneny for Ramsey has made the team more balanced and solid in midfield.
Playing Danny Welbeck in place of Oliver Giroud means more pace up front.
Be tougher mentally
For many years now, whether in key games or whether in the title race, Arsenal have relinquished winning positions to the opposition, and easily so.
One of the hallmarks of champions Leicester this season was their mental toughness and dogged determination and it led to their success. Too many times this season, Arsenal have folded under pressure.
Alexis Sanchez alluded to their lack of mental toughness in March after their shocking 2-1 defeat at home to Swansea City. He told DirecTV: "Sometimes we lack the hunger, the mentality that we are winning 1-0 when we go out on to the pitch.
"Sometimes we lack this hunger to believe that we can be champions. To go out on to the pitch feeling that we are already winning 1-0.”
The Chilean’s scathing comments came as no surprise to Arsenal fans and pundits alike and they will need to show more bite and determination next season.
Next season will be even more challenging and if improvements are not made, the Gunners might fall further behind their rivals. For a club with the history and status of Arsenal, this will be unacceptable.
How many signings do Arsenal need to make this summer in order to challenge for the title? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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