How Arsene Wenger can fix Arsenal's problems if he decides to remain as manager

Matt Lewis

Arsene Wenger is thought to be keen to remain at Arsenal in an attempt to restore the club to its former glories.

The depressing 3-1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday added more weight to arguments suggesting he should leave the club this summer.

Wenger is out of contract at the end of the season but is said to be sitting on a two-year deal prepared by the club some months ago.

He told reporters at the Hawthorns in the aftermath of the Baggies loss that he had now made his mind up over his future at the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger revealed he would announce his decision ‘very soon’ and Monday’s back pages are filled with claims he is going to extend his reign into a 22nd year.

There will be plenty of Gunners fans disappointed to read those stories as protests against his leadership are overshadowing events on the field.

But what needs to change if the Frenchman remains the one constant in north London and attempts to rebuild the club from the rubble he has created.

Yahoo Sport UK has taken a look at how Wenger can go about sorting out the mess at the Emirates.

READ MORE: Wenger confirms Arsenal future not dependent on top-four finish

READ MORE: Premier League winners and losers from the weekend

Add steel to the spine

A weak core is one of the main reasons Arsenal find themselves battling to make the top four and way off the pace in the title race.

None of Wenger’s current strikeforce are capable of banging in 30 goals a season in the Premier League.

There is no Sergio Aguero, no Diego Costa, no Zlatan Ibrahimovic or no Harry Kane at the Emirates.

Alexis Sanchez has the star quality and swagger but is not a natural centre forward and looks like he would rather be almost anywhere else most weekends.

Patrick Vieira’s towering presence and aggression has never been replaced in the middle of the park.

Wenger had hoped Granit Xhaka could be the answer but he is far too volatile and not the long-term solution for the Gunners.

Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all good ball players but he need to find a balance.

The days of 1-0 to the Arsenal are also long gone with the complexion of the defence at the Emirates – no leadership, no substance.

Petr Cech is perhaps the exception but was bizarrely dropped for the humiliating Champions League exit to Bayern Munich.

READ MORE: Arsenal deny approach for Dortmund manager Tuchel

READ MORE: Secrecy over contract will do little to silence Wenger’s detractors

Help with recruitment

Wenger is often criticised for being too tight with the purse strings and seems to treat his transfer budgets like he is spending his own cash.

During the construction of the Emirates Stadium, Wenger had an excuse for a lack of outlay on players as building work ate up the budget.

That stopped being an issue many years ago but the 67-year-old can no longer point to that investment in infrastructure.

His frugal approach to player recruitment is used as a stick to beat him with and he has nobody to share that blame with.

He possesses total control and there lies another problem. Adding a sporting director to the staff would ease some of the burden on the manager.

Dick Law, Arsenal’s transfer negotiator, has acted as a sounding board for Wenger but someone with added responsibility is required.

Sir Alex Ferguson managed to run Manchester United at all levels until his retirement but that model is no longer seen as a viable option.

Enquiries have been made across Europe as the Gunners look to modernise their structure on the recruitment front.

READ MORE: Wenger set to extend Arsenal stay

Shake up in the boardroom

Wenger has been a lightning rod for criticism at Arsenal but those who leap to the defence of the manager believe anger should instead be directed at the board.

Arsenal have lacked leadership at the very top since David Dein, a close friend of Wenger, left the club.

Majority shareholder Stan Kroenke and chief executive Ivan Gazidis appear more interested in making money than building a team capable of delivering silverware.

Although it is looking increasingly unlikely they will make the top four this term, the Gunners have always qualified for the Champions League under Wenger’s stewardship and that has kept the top brass satisfied.

But for fans of the club, rather than those merely looking to make a profit from it, this is not enough. Arsenal supporters have had a taste of genuine Premier League success and want more of it.

Ruthless Russian Roman Abramovich is often slammed for being too hands on with operations at neighbouring Chelsea – but his appetite for attractive football and results on the field is an example for stagnated Arsenal to follow.

A strong leader is required in the dugout, however Wenger must not stand alone if the good times are to return to the Emirates.

Hire a new assistant coach

This piece has already touched on Ferguson’s legacy at Manchester United – but there is another thing the north Londoners can learn from his unprecedented success at Old Trafford.

Despite staying in the same Manchester surroundings for so many years, the Scotsman ensured the landscape around him was consistently re-shaped. Those changes extended beyond those on the pitch.

He always ensured he had someone to challenge his methods. In fact, Ferguson had seven assistants between 1986 and the day he finally hung up his hairdryer in 2013. That was key to his longevity.

Wenger’s number two, Steve Bould, was a fearsome competitor but has failed to transfer that influence to the squad since replacing Pat Rice in 2012.

Basic defensive errors have been a hallmark of Arsenal’s game during that period, none more so than at West Brom, so questions must be asked of the former centre-half.

Arsenal must look to fresh faces to provide new ideas if the board wants to stick with the same old head at the top of the management pyramid.

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes