Paul Hayward told the Sunday Supplement that Arsenal's new transfer policy is the reason for their malaise.
The Gunners lost 2-0 at home to Swansea on Saturday to slip to 10th in the Premier League and five points off the Champions League spots that they have finished in at the end of each of Arsene Wenger's 16 years in charge.
Wenger was famed for his ability to harness the talents of young players and create a winning formula, but Telegraph writer Hawyard believes the Frenchman's recent trend of buying more experienced campaigners is backfiring.
"There is a clear change at Arsenal," he said. "The team was built in Wenger's image with home-grown, home-developed players, but they have been ransacked every, summer most notably by Barcelona and Manchester City
"As a result of that, Wenger lurched into another type of management and that was emergency buys. He has filled gaps and solved problems by going into the market and, as a result, I think the original Wenger vision is dead
"About 18 months ago, he wanted experienced players and he went and bought some - but the problem is that he has bought sub-standard players and ones that are not capable of challenging for the title or the top four
"Guys like Park Chu-Young, Marouane Chamakh, Andre Santos and Per Mertesacker have come in and now there is a fundamental lack of cohesion and Arsenal look like 11 individuals thrown together and they don't have the fighting spirit to come through tight games.
"The top-class Arsenal players - Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, and possibly Kieran Gibbs if he develops - will now start to look around the team and think: 'We are in trouble here as we have five or six players that won't get us where we want to go'. That could cause a deeper panic to set in.
Daily Mail man Martin Samuel rubbished the rumour that Wenger is refusing to spend and says the money to sign top players is simply not there at the Emirates - but he says the Gunners cannot keep offloading key men every year and hope to be successful.
"There was a figure last week saying Wenger had £70 million to spend. He hasn't. If he had that sum, he would have spent it by now and Robin van Persie would be his centre forward!," said Samuel.
"Before Cesc Fabregas was sold to Barcelona couple of years ago, I was told by someone at Arsenal that this notion that he didn't need to get some money before he made new signings was not true and that the Fabregas sale financed other those buys
"But you can't keep selling your best player every summer as if become a selling club - as Arsenal have become - that comes round and bites you on the backside.
"The old Wimbledon eventually got relegated because they had a business that only functioned If you sold players and even though they were good at identifying players, they eventually sold to many
"Arsenal are never going to be in that sort of trouble but for a team that expects to finish top four every season, they have fallen."
However, Hayward had high praise for the side Arsenal succumbed to this weekend.
"Pound for pound you could argue that the best run club in the Premier League isn't even in England, it is Wales at Swansea," he added.
"I went down there last season and was so impressed with everything they do; Brendan Rodgers leaving could have started an implosion but they have bought a really good player in Michu, who is arguably the buy of the summer, and they are there again.
"They are a club with really strong foundations and they have this idea about how they want to play and how they want the youth team to develop.
"The whole club is united and clear in its thinking and they are getting the rewards."
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