Arsenal is Failing on Multiple Levels and There's No Quick or Easy Fix
It all seems to be falling apart at Arsenal after just three games of the new season, and with the transfer window still open and players seemingly queuing up to leave the club, it could soon get even worse.
It's hard to look at the situation with any sympathy as so many of the problems are self-inflicted; whether it be the board giving Wenger a new two-year contract or allowing so many players to get near to the end of their contracts.
No fewer than seventeen Arsenal players will be out of contract either at the end of this season or the 2018/19 campaign, including Sanchez, Ozil, Wilshere, Cazorla, Ramsey, Gibbs, Giroud, Walcott, Welbeck, Monreal and Cech.
This is unbelievably poor management from the club, creating huge uncertainty within the squad and leading to the risk of losing many of their best players on free transfers. It seems impossible to plan for the future if the club has no real idea of what players will be at the club in a couple of seasons.
The contract situation is a sorry state of affairs, and Arsenal's transfer dealings aren't much better as the initial hope earlier in the summer has swiftly descended into dread and frustration once again.
Alexandre Lacazette has arrived for a fee in the region of £52m and Sead Kolasinac has also joined on a free transfer, so Arsenal certainly haven't matched the spending of those at the top of the Premier League.
Kolasinac, the Bundesliga's best left-back last season, has been given two starts at centre-back and then dropped for the game away to Liverpool as Bellerin was chosen at left wingback due to Wenger's insistence on squeezing Oxlade-Chamberlain into the side.
Even more bizarrely, Lacazette also found himself on the bench against Liverpool as Danny Welbeck was preferred as Arsenal's striker. To the surprise of no-one, it didn't work as Welbeck proved to be as clumsy as ever and Arsenal failed to register a single shot on target.
As for the outgoings from Arsenal this summer, once again there are questions that have to be asked. Szczesny was sold for just £10m to Juventus, and yet he would surely have been a better option than Ospina and could also have challenged Cech to be first-choice.
Arsenal went into the summer keen to sell certain player, and on that front it's been an absolute disaster. Perez, Debuchy, Campbell, Gibbs and Ospina all remain, Jenkinson could only be sent out on loan and Calum Chambers seems set to neither be sold or given a chance with the first-team.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain seems certain to leave for Chelsea, making a mockery of Wenger's decision to play him out of position for the first three games of this season to the detriment of the side as a whole. Bellerin and Kolasinac have both suffered from Wenger's faith in him this season.
There has also been no clarity on the contract situations of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. While Wenger has publicly insisted both will stay this season, it seems unlikely that Arsenal will be willing to let both leave for free next summer, especially if either push for a move over the next few days.
Manchester City desperate to sign Alexis Sanchez and we're told he is "desperate to move to Manchester City because he wants to win titles"— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) August 29, 2017
All of this uncertainty has fed onto the pitch, and Arsenal's refusal to properly invest and improve the squad in essential positions, such as midfield and central defence, has caused them to have yet another dreadful start to a season.
Wenger should not have even been offered a new contract, yet alone actually accept one, as he has proven over the last few years that he isn't able to get the best out of his squads anymore. Far too regularly, Arsenal have had big away games and suffered heavy defeats.
Had the 4-0 defeat on Sunday been a one-off, an anomaly after a strong summer of business, Arsenal fans would not be chanting for Wenger to leave or scrambling to blow the dust off their banners.
The meltdown from the fans is the culmination of several years of embarrassing defeats and pitiful performances, as Wenger refuses to set his side up to contain the opposition and instead adopts a gung-ho attitude for every game that his side plays.
This is not a situation that can be solved in the transfer market over the next few days, as these are serious failings that exist at every level of the club. The board have not put enough pressure on Wenger, and the manager himself is repeatedly unable to get his side to perform when it matters.
"The Board (Arsenal) bottled making a decision in the summer," Jamie Carragher.— Jim White (@JimWhite) August 27, 2017
Of course the players need to take more individual responsibility, as the defeat at Anfield on Sunday was as much to do with uninterested performances and a complete lack of effort as it was a tactical failure on Wenger's part.
Most worrying of all is Arsenal's refusal to learn from their mistakes. They have failed to address the gaps in their squad again, they have placed too much trust in the manager again and they have paid the price on the pitch. It is hard to see how anything can improve over the next couple of years, with things set to get worse before they get any better.