Arsenal: 7 Key Areas Arsene Wenger Must Address for Next Season
While Arsenal appear as though they will be able to once again perform their magical resurgence into the top four, this has not been a season to remember for Gunners fans.
Arsene Wenger's men have endured one of their most dismal campaigns in recent memory.
Early eliminations from the League Cup, FA Cup, Champions League and Premier League title race have made this final stage of the season a quest for Champions League qualification, but little else.
If the North London side are to improve next season, and actually win a trophy, Wenger is going to have to address some issues.
Perhaps the most noticeable difference in the Arsenal squad this season has been the absence of a true defensive midfielder.
Mikel Arteta has bravely and admirably stepped in for the departed Alex Song, but he doesn't have the strength and ability that the Cameroonian enforcer did.
Emmanuel Frimpong has also suffered numerous injuries this season, and let's not get started on Abou Diaby.
Arsene Wenger is going to have to help shield his defense if his team are going to secure a trophy next season, and the best way to do so is to acquire a defensive midfielder.
Another nice improvement that Arsenal fans would welcome next season is the installation of an official No. 1 goalkeeper.
Granted, Wojciech Szczesny was Arsenal's throughout most of the season, but a run of impressive displays by his compatriot, Lukasz Fabianski, has seen Szczesny's position called into question.
Arsenal have not had a true top-quality goalkeeper since the departure of Jens Lehmann in 2008.
Another great way to help improve the confidence of the back four would be to install a quality goalkeeper capable of putting in match-winning displays.
There is no doubt that the signing of such a keeper would immediately improve Arsenal's chances at securing a trophy next season.
Bolster the Attack
Just a quick note before I go on. I am an adamant supporter of Olivier Giroud. I believe that he's a class forward and a great option going forward. But Arsenal's attack needs help.
Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Giroud have been far too inconsistent this season. The Gunners' most consistent goalscorer is Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla. But he cannot be relied upon, as he is an attacking midfielder first and foremost.
Arsenal have not fully replaced Robin van Persie, and it shows. The Gunners have looked hopeless in attack in multiple instances this season.
Wenger is going to have to find a way to increase his side's goals scored total if the North Londoners are to secure any silverware in the near future.
This is arguably Arsenal's worst trait. The Gunners have an ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory that can only be rivaled by West Ham.
Perhaps it's the anxiety that I feel all Gooners experience when watching their team, but Arsenal seem to always concede at the worst possible times.
The mental strength of this team has been questionable, at best, throughout the season. The Gunners appear unable to rise to the big occasion, unless they have already been written off.
Arsenal will have to learn how to play like a side that deserves to win a title, and in order to do so, they must believe that they can win a title.
Depth at the Back
Arsenal have always been about one injury away from being bare bones at the back. If Bacary Sagna does leave the Emirates this summer, a rumour which seems to be credible, Wenger must strengthen the back four.
The winter transfer window saw the arrival of Nacho Monreal from Spanish side Malaga. Monreal, having been in England just two months, appears to be slowly adapting to the Premier League.
Next season should be much better for the Spanish left-back.
But this does not mean that reinforcements are not needed. Ignasi Miquel needs to start proving his worth, and if he fails to do so, the Gunners could do with another centre-half.
With fixture congestion and constant injuries, four quality centre-backs will find a way to get playing time. But three leaves the Gunners too vulnerable at the back.
This is the area in which Arsenal could have benefited most this season. The squad was rotated so rarely because injuries made it difficult to do so.
A bolstering of the squad would be nice, but if a spending spree is not imminent (and history would suggest that it's not), Wenger needs to start rotating the squad more often.
Tomas Rosicky is an example of a great player whose ability has suffered due to his lack of action.
In the Bayern Munich away match, Rosicky was chasing the ball and pushing onward, but he was not sharp and gave away far too many misplaced passes.
Squad rotation would also have prevented Jack Wilshere from being cut out of Arsenal's most recent matches.
Regardless of all of these changes, though, there is one area that Arsene Wenger absolutely must address next season.
The Gunners have to win a trophy next season if Wenger hopes to remain manager of Arsenal Football Club.
I have yet to jump on the "Wenger out" bandwagon. I think that the move to the Emirates really put a lot of strain on the club, and I believe that this summer and next season will be the best we've had in recent years.
But if the Frenchman fails to secure a trophy for Arsenal Football Club next season, most would assume that he will be leaving the club shortly after the season's conclusion.
Arguments could be made for hours about whether or not he should be in charge at the moment. But the bottom line is that he is, and he will be for the foreseeable future.
So regardless of what happens during the summer. Next season a trophy must be secured.