I think the key to Arsene Wenger's future at Arsenal is him promising to the board that he will spend big money on big-name players. If he does, then I think he has a future at the club.
What Wenger cannot do is take any more gambles on unproven talent - players like Marouane Chamakh and Olivier Giroud. If you sell a player like Robin van Persie you have to replace them with someone like Falcao. You can't keep allowing the quality of the squad to drop with every successive transfer.
When they sold Cesc Fabregas you could see that they had Jack Wilshere coming through. When Samir Nasri went to Manchester City it was because he wanted to leave the club and he only had a year left on his contract. You can't argue with either of those decisions.
However, the key comes in bringing in replacements of a sufficient quality, and that is what Arsenal have failed to do in recent seasons. They have a lot of average players on very good wages, which help eat up the budget.
But the time has now come to spend really big fees on players who will guarantee a return. Top clubs come knocking on Arsenal's door to buy their best players - why can't they do the same? Why can't they ring up Everton and offer £30 million for Marouane Fellaini?
Wenger needs to spend the money Arsenal have got, and spend it on players who are ready now. No more potential, no more looking to the future. Unless he is prepared to do that then at some stage you have to ask whether it's time to say enough is enough.
I don't think he is finished at Arsenal though. If you can convince him to sign four players then maybe he will turn things round in the summer. Certainly the club have the money to spend now they are no longer constricted by the move to Emirates Stadium.
A lack of investment shows in the team. If you look at Arsenal at the moment, a fair few of them are not good enough, and they are desperate to go out and buy players.
I didn't learn anything new on Wednesday, but you look at Bayern Munich and the players they have invested in over the past three years and there is a clear contrast with Arsenal. The likes of Dante at the back and Javi Martinez in midfield are big men, finished products who can play now. You don't have to wait - they improve the team immediately.
But sometimes you get the feeling with Wenger that he thinks paying full price for a player is almost cheating. He'd rather bring through his own than go and spend big money on signing a player from a rival.
But the problem is that you can't do that any more. I'm not saying he had the market to himself in the 90s but he had great knowledge that gave him a big edge over other clubs. That's no longer the case: if there is an Under-10s game in Brazil going on then there will be scouts watching.
Wenger has lost the advantage he once had but still persists with the same transfer policy, which is wrong.
Results have obviously been poor this season but I think there is a lack of accountability at Arsenal. You wonder how much authority Ivan Gazidis has over Wenger, because it certainly looks as though Stan Kroenke keeps quiet and offers near unconditional support to the boss.
You have to have a hierarchy of authority and I think Arsenal lack that. It's because they have put so much faith in a man who completely transformed the club at every level.
But now is the time to take the club back to an extent and take a harder line with Wenger.
- Sports & Recreation
- Arsene Wenger