Merson jokes what Arsene Wenger will now be telling Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Paul Merson is worried about Arsenal's second place finish.

Former Arsenal star Paul Merson is worried that the club's second place finish is simply papering over the cracks at the club.

Merson told the SkySports Fantasy Football Club podcast that the celebrations at finishing above North London rivals Tottenham could distract them from their own failure to mount a serious title challenge.

With misfiring striker Olivier Giroud finding his form in the final two games of the season, scoring four goals, Merson expressed worry that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will now decide he is happy with the squad's striking options, and call off any big transfer plans.

He said: "I don't think they deserved to do that [finish above Tottenham], it probably papers over the cracks.

"Arsene will get a five year contract, he's probably rung up Zlatan and said 'oh no, don't bother', Benzema, 'oh no we don't need you, we've got Giroud'".

There are some sections of the Arsenal support which would have begrudgingly welcomed a finish below their rivals, in the hope it would finally force the club to shake things up, and not rest on their laurels.

Arsene Wenger's biggest error from last summer was to place too much trust in his current squad, and players like Giroud, who played well in patches but also went 13 league games without scoring at a crucial stretch of the season.

He surely cannot afford to make the same mistake again, and will realise after the criticism he has faced this season he needs to be seen to try and make it right. With Danny Welbeck suffering an injury, his hand may have been forced already.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch