Rarely has Arsene Wenger aimed such staunch criticism at his side in the aftermath of a game the way he did following Arsenal’s collapse at Milan on Wednesday night.
Wenger saw his men collapse when slipping to a 4-0 defeat at the San Siro, and the Frenchman is now prepared to allow several squad players to leave the Emirates in the hope of attracting some added quality to North London.
Following a training ground meeting on Thursday, in which Wenger was believed to have once again lambasted his squad, he has made it clear that he will not be tolerant of similar performances in future, and is ready to wield the axe on some big names.
The most notable of these is regular starter Theo Walcott, who was substituted at half-time during the Champions League knockout clash.
Walcott has long been condemned for his seeming lack of development, with many feeling he should have progressed to a higher level of consistency by now that would befit an Arsenal player.
Other Gunners squad members who are reportedly facing the cut are Andrey Arshavin, Tomas Rosicky, Sebastien Squillaci and Marouane Chamakh, as Wenger aims to prove to his skipper Robin Van Persie that the club can progress as he looks to tie the Dutchman to a new long-term contract.
Incoming transfers could be as important as the players who leave the Emirates in terms of making up Van Persie’s mind whether or not to stay or go, and he will be encouraged by the names being linked with a switch to London.
Along with French striker Olivier Giroud, who was linked earlier in the week, Wenger is reportedly locked in a battle over the signatures of Eden Hazard, Mario Gotze and Lukas Podolski.
The potential signings of the likes of these players will ultimately decide the fates of Walcott, Van Persie, and perhaps Arsenal.