If Arsene Wenger wasn't taking enough heat from the media and demanding Gunner supporters, the Arsenal boss is now the target of thinly veiled shots by the newest addition to local rival Chelsea.

Midfielder Juan Mata, a top Arsenal target this summer, didn't seem to hide his reasons for choosing Chelsea over Arsenal.

I want to come to England to win trophies - and that's why I accepted Chelsea's offer,'' Mata said on Tuesday. It was also a question of sporting achievement, not money. Arsenal and Tottenham were both interested in me but they did not compare with the Blues. I want the Premier League title and this is possible at Chelsea. 

Chelsea bid £27 million for the Spaniard, according to Daily Telegraph. Ten days ago, Wenger said: We will not do a deal for Mata - I don't have to give a reason why. 

That reason may have been that Mata wasn't happy with the direction of the club. It also may have had to do with Mata's valuation.

The Guardian valued Mata at £17.5 million in late July. Chelsea, with deep pockets, may have had no problem overbidding. Though it's also possible Daily Telegraph's £27 million bid was inflated, and The Guardian under-valued the late-July price tag.

At any rate, it looks quite bad for Arsenal to lose out on Mata, especially to a London club that finished better than the Gunners last season, and while Wenger has has yet to find replacements for Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri and with a heavy war chest.

Mata's Chelsea compliments underscore the perception that Arsenal are no longer in the class of the Blues, Manchester United, and now Manchester City and Liverpool. Over a month ago, even Wenger addressed the faltering image of Arsenal.

Imagine the worst situation - we lose Fabregas and Nasri - you cannot convince people you are ambitious after that, he said, on July 12th.

And even if you lose Nasri, to find the same quality player, you have to spend again the same amount of money. Because you cannot say, you lose the player and you do not replace him.

I believe for us it is important the message we give out. For example, you talk about Fabregas leaving, Nasri leaving.

If you give that message out, you cannot pretend you are a big club, because a big club first of all holds onto its big players and gives a message out to all the other big clubs that they just cannot come in and take away from you.

We worked very hard with these players for years to develop them, and now it's a time for us to keep them together.

Arsenal have lost Fabregas and Nasri, so now what?

As gloom and doom as it may currently seem, Arsenal may be better off without their star midfielders. Fabregas was plagued with hamstring problems, and Nasri appeared to be fatigued towards the later part of the season. Though Fabregas and Nasri are excellent players, Arsenal still failed to take home silverware last season, so new blood might be the best remedy for the club to return to glory.

Wenger would receive a lot of disagreements that Arsenal are not a big club if players like Mata arrived at Emirates. The Gunners remain in the hunt for somewhat similar players to Mata, like Eden Hazard and Marvin Martin.

The possibility of landing one of those two midfielders, let alone both, is quickly fading with the transfer deadline just a week away.

In other words, it may not look quite as bad that Nasri and Fabgregas have departed and that Mata spurned Arsenal for Chelsea, if only the Gunners had top quality players to replace them.

The fate of the 2011-2012 season may rely on how fast Wenger can act to land talent after players like Juan Mata slip away.