5 key issues with Arsenal FC at present
Alongside season previews and transfer assessments, it now seems obligatory for football journalists everywhere to write an annual dissection of the latest instalment of the 'crisis' brewing at the Emirates. This term, it was the 4-0 thumping by Liverpool on Sunday which has left supporters and neutrals alike questioning the very foundations of Arsenal FC.
Gunners legend Ian Wright was one of the most recent to come out and lambast the club for what he described as "an absolute shambles" of a performance at Anfield.
Pundits have naturally been quick to point the finger at Arsene Wenger, who only signed a two-year contract extension in May, but it appears there are multiple issues on and off the field for Arsenal. In an attempt to drill beneath the passion and frustration clouding the situation, I have taken a step back to logically assess what are the key problems currently facing Arsenal as the season starts to unfold...
The Wenger Power Dynamic
Having attained the titles of Arsenal's longest serving and most successful manager, it's fair to say that Arsene Wenger is entitled to decide when and how he departs his beloved club and the contract extension in May emphasised that reality. That said, the control the Frenchman has over every aspect of how the club is run is, quite simply, unhealthy and damaging.
When the now 67-year-old arrived at Highbury just over twenty years ago, he introduced strict dietary regulations for his players and aided the club's transition to London Colney training centre, where his playing system could be better implemented. These were early signs of a man who liked power and now he quite simply has too much.
The departure of former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein in 2007 can be pinpointed as the beginning of the end; the moment Arsene established absolute power over everything from transfers to ticket prices. There is not another club worldwide where one man has so much power and it's not a beneficial set-up for the club or for Arsene himself. The veteran manager needs to begin delegating so that the club can operate efficiently in every department, on and off the field.