The FA Cup is over. Its been won. Fairly comfortably. Too comfortably, some would say. But there you go, it was a nice day out and a handsome 4-0 win for the team.
A historic 12th FA Cup has been added to Arsenal's list of achievements. But as May has slowly bled into June, thoughts will also inevitably turn to the impending summer transfer window and the business that Arsene Wenger needs to get done in order to turn this team of pretenders into genuine title contenders.
As good as this FA Cup win has been, it doesn't cover up the fact that Arsenal finished a massive 12 points off the pace in the Premier League. For a team that has spent in excess of £70 million on two players in successive summer windows, this is unacceptable.
A poor start to the season is now being blamed as the main reason as to why Arsenal didn't challenge. Draws to teams such as Everton, Leicester, Hull and Tottenham coupled with defeats to Swansea, Stoke and Manchester United were detrimental to Arsenal's title tilt and the team was never fully able to recover. Such mistakes cannot find their place back into the team for next season.
The question now is, how do Arsenal and Wenger go about rectifying their mistakes?
Changing the guard
When Arsenal were presented with the FA Cup, both Per Mertesacker and Mikel Arteta jointly lifted the trophy, a nice gesture which showed the respect Arteta has within the team.
However, are either of them going to make the cut if Arsenal are to push on and go for the title? Both are on the wrong side of 30 with the latter missing the majority of the season with a serious calf injury.
Mertesacker has also divided opinion amongst fans throughout this season, brilliant at Wembley to shackle Christian Benteke, yet his deficiencies were ruthlessly exposed against a slick Monaco in the Champions League. Surely both need to be cut if the Gunners are to move to the next level.
In goal, Wojciech Szczesny somewhat redeemed himself for the Southampton debacle with a dominant performance in goal, however, this writer wonders whether it was his farewell appearance in an Arsenal shirt.
Once touted as one of the bright young goalkeepers in England, he was thought to have the ability to be Arsenal No.1 for many years to come.
However, erratic performances in goal along with various off-field distractions seem to have spelt the end of his time in the capital.
With rumours becoming more and more common of Petr Cech's potential arrival to the Emirates, you'd have to think it would be the Polish international ho would give way for the experienced Czech.
As the first half wore on at Wembley, many fans were beginning to dread it. They had seen this horror movie countless times before. Last time it was Swansea City's Bafetimbi Gomis who turned out to be the villain.
Dominating possession, mesmeric passing and creating chances, the game was still poised at 0-0 with the half drawing to a close, not being able to capitalize on this momentum would have been criminal and thus the need for a lethal, world-class striker was becoming glaringly prevalent.
Even after his goal, Theo Walcott had chances to increase his personal tally but failed each time. Did he do enough to earn a new contract? Maybe. Enough to play week-in, week-out as a centre-forward? No.
Wenger must go out and now try to sign a striker such as Gonzalo Higuain or even Karim Benzema. Someone who will be able to put those chances away and bridge the gap to Chelsea.
Many fans will look to this season as progress. finishing third and another FA Cup do look good in the end-of-season report, but if we look into the facts the team has not progressed to the level we hoped that it would.
This season Arsenal took six points off the fellow top four teams from a possible 18, the same as last year.
They were only able to get a win on one occasion, the same as last season. Although the performances have been better, the 0-2 win at the Etihad being a prime example, failing to beat Chelsea or United will go down as a failure on Wenger's part.
Even during the fantastic run of wins Arsenal put together post-Christmas, they still lost in the two 'big' games, Tottenham away and Monaco at home. That showed the lack of maturity and experience that this team has and what it needs to find over the summer.
Time for ruthlessness
Wenger has been renowned for being loyal to his players, but the time for that is over. With the stadium debt no longer an issue and a reported £138 million in cash reserves in the bank, Wenger must be ruthless to be successful.
When Jose Mourinho returned to Chelsea, he targeted and then offloaded Juan Mata, Chelsea's player of the year for both 2012 and 2013, because he didn't fit into the system.
David Luiz, Romelu Lukaku, Andre Schurrle, Mohamed Salah and Kevin de Bruyne were the other casualties as the Portuguese sought to bring in world-class players in the form of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, both of whom were instrumental in the success of the team this year.
Even long-serving Petr Cech had to give way to the younger, better Thibaut Courtois.
Gone are the days when Wenger has to haggle over £1 million with Fulham over the signing of Mark Schwarzer or has to try and find a loophole on Luis Suarez's that never existed.
This summer, Wenger must become ruthless to bring success to Arsenal. He must disregard personal loyalty to players for the betterment of the team.
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