Andrey Arshavin suggests what Arsenal's dependence on Arsene Wenger does to the club

Wenger

The former Gunners midfielder believes the club's reliance on Wenger's philosophy could be serving as a hindrance.

Former Arsenal winger Andrey Arshavin has suggested that over-reliance on the footballing philosophy of Arsene Wenger could be acting as something of a hindrance to the club, as quoted by Sky Sports.

Former Russia midfielder Arshavin scored 31 goals in 144 appearances in five seasons at the Emirates Stadium before returning to his former club Zenit St. Petersburg in 2013.

His £15 million transfer fee in 2008 saw him become the Gunners' then-record signing, and Wenger has only spent more on three other players - Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, and Danny Welbeck - since that deal.

Arshavin believes the lack of world-class signings and an over-dependence on Wenger have had a hand in the club seeing yet another title challenge go up in smoke this season.

The 34-year-old said, as quoted by Sky Sports: "It's a conservative club. Over the last few years, Arsenal have bought two world-class players in Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, while the goalkeeper Petr Cech has also joined. Apart from that, there have not been any major changes.

"Arsenal have had the same head coach for a long time and he has his ideas. The whole team depends on the viewpoint of Arsene Wenger and his views towards football. I don't know if this conservatism is a hindrance.

"This season, Arsenal had every chance to become champions given the squad they have. All their main rivals, Chelsea, Manchester United and even Manchester City have not been looking bright. Everyone was saying that the Gunners would be battling it out for the title, but as you can see, there is no comparison to Leicester this season."

Wenger's job is under as much pressure as it has ever been due to their slide in 2016, with the club having gone from challenging for the title to being in danger of missing out on a place in the Champions League for the first time in 19 years.

The Gunners are currently just a point ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United, although they can extend that lead to four with victory in their game in hand over West Bromwich Albion tonight.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch