Arsene Wenger's lowered standards is damaging Arsenal

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Following a series of unconvincing displays in recent weeks, was Jose Mourinho correct in his statement to suggest Arsene Wenger had become a specialist in failure?

A living legend in the ranks of the Premier League, it seems the Arsenal manager has struggled to recapture the form of the early 2000s, which saw the Gunners as one of the most dominant teams in the country.

A series of unconvincing signings and a string of weak top four finishes, has put a huge question mark over Wenger and Arsenal being seen as genuine title contenders.

Consistently finishing within the top four should not be seen as complete failure, however for a club of Arsenal's magnitude it simply is not good enough.

Excuses of injuries and the attempt of balancing the books, have cast a glaze over the Arsenal community from the harsh truth. They are not good enough.

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One prime example which shows the meteoric decline in Arsenal's success came towards the end of the 2012/2013 season. After ensuring a place in the top four with a win over Newcastle United, the players then proceeded to take a group winning pose in the dressing room as though they had won the title. There was of course one key thing missing, the title!

Transfer failures

Wenger's transfer recruitment has also left much to be desired over the last ten years. Following the departure of Thierry Henry, he captured Croatian Eduardo as his replacement.

Although an adequate finisher, Eduardo could never have filled the colossal boots of Henry. This was only the beginning, failure to spend finances in the correct areas meant for a detrimental set of signings such as Park Chu-Young, Andre Santos and Sebastien Squillaci.

This begs the question, which of Wenger's signings over the last five years have come anywhere near the greats of the club? The simple answer is none.

Selling Van Persie to one of your rivals further undermined the club

The focus on balancing the books has weighed heavily on Wenger's mind. This has led to decisions such as the sale of Robin van Persie and Alex Song in 2012, two of the clubs best players at the time, in order to fall into profit for the calendar year.

Selling Van Persie to one of your rivals further undermined the club and showed a change in the club's focus from success on the pitch to success off it.

The role of Wenger has changed from club manager to accountant it seems. Comparing his expenditure to Jose Mourinho, it is clear the Portuguese coach has spent a treasure chest of cash particularly when first arriving in England in 2004.

In fact, his net expenditure during his career stood at £310 million , prior to the 2014/2015 summer window. Astounding considering Wenger has spent roughly £116 million since his Highbury introduction 18 years ago.

Sceptics may argue this shows Mourinho to have bought success. On the other hand success is still success. He has been fully focused on winning football matches and trophies for his club, rather than doing the job of those higher than him. Something which Wenger has clearly struggled to do over the last decade.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Now this may seem harsh to seemingly scould the holders of the FA Cup but in reality, the cup simply does not carry the same distinction it had in prior decades. It merely bought Wenger time to rebuild his squad, as he began over the summer.  

Alexis Sanchez in his early stages at the club has already displayed the qualities that I believe Arsenal can utilise to begin their climb back to the summit.

The improved form of Jack Wilshire and the performances of Aaron Ramsey also shows great prospects for the club nonetheless.

Wenger must be willing to put his hand further in his pocket to improve the team's defence, add steal to the midfield and world class quality at the top of the pitch. Then, and only then, will we see Arsenal elevate themselves to successes of the past.

Until that day has come, it is very difficult to argue against the point of Mourinho.

Arsene Wenger
Premier League

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