For all of his prowess in the transfer market, Arsène Wenger has also made his fair share of mistakes in the past, with some questionable signings scattered throughout his 16 year reign at Arsenal.
The current Arsenal playing squad is seen by many to expose some underperforming individuals that illustrate some of these poor dealings. Players such as Marouanne Chamakh and Sebastien Squillaci have played hardly any part at all in the last season, having both joined in the summer of 2010.
Then there are those who have come through The Gunners' academy and youth setups. The likes of Nicklas Bendtner, Johan Djourou and Henri Lansbury, have all had more than their fair share of opportunities in the first team, and it's time Wenger became more ruthless and showed some of these underperformers the door.
At times in the past season, Arsenal's lack of strength in depth was brought into question. January saw the emergency two month loan of club legend Thierry Henry from New York Red Bulls, while Nicklas Bendtner stayed on loan at Sunderland and Carlos Vela at Real Sociedad. Maybe Wenger realises these players aren't up to scratch, and sees their 34 year old former club captain more likely to bring success to the Emirates.
A lack of ruthlessness by Arsène Wenger is something that Arsenal fans, by now, must be all too familiar with and prove to be an immense source of frustration. Not only in the transfer market, but also in an inability to wave goodbye to those who have shown the do not cut the mustard at the Arsenal.
By becoming more assertive, Wenger's side will inevitably reap the rewards. Clearing out some of the underperformers and bringing in those more worthy of a shot at the first team brings greater levels of competitiveness and those who are underperforming in the first team will have a greater run for their money, rather than being called up regardless of poor form because there simply isn't anyone better. For example, Thomas Vermaelen's poor form this season was not met by being dropped from the team, as neither Djourou nor Squillaci could provide any improvement following Per Mertesacker's injury.
This is not the first time a clearout has been called for at the end of a season. Last summer, a clearout never happened, and talk surrounding the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri occupied the Arsenal board and manager for three months, resulting in a poor start ot the season.
This year, players have already stated their intention to leave the club. Midfielder Denilson has already expressed his desire to stay in Brazil with Sao Paolo, and Real Sociedad seem intent on keeping Carlos Vela. With this being the case, Wenger needs to be ruthless in pushing players out. They aren't content on staying with Arsenal and, in most cases, have already shown they do not have enough quality to improve the current Gunners team and turn them into contenders for major trophies.
Amidst all the speculation and contract negotiations in trying to keep Robin van Persie with the club, Arsenal should also look to be more ruthless and terminate the contracts of those players who have scarcely contributed despite their chances.
Written By David Donnelly
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