Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has all but conceded defeat in the English Premier League title race after revealing to reporters that his side are struggling to compete with the top sides in the league.
Wenger's side was comprehensively torn apart by an impressive Manchester United outfit on the weekend raising questions from fans and critics alike about their composure at the back. After all, it was a shaky clearance by captain Thomas Vermaleen which proved the catalyst for Robin van Persie's opener against his own club.
Despite finding the back of the net late on through Spaniard Santi Carzola, the Londoners lacked penetration going forward, re-fueling calls to bring a world-class striker to the club. Their build-up play throughout the match seemingly slowed right down on the edge of the United penalty area and against a side of United's stature this was simply not good enough.
However, it would seem that fans and critics are not the only ones who have acknowledged Arsenal's shortcomings.
According to Goal.com, Wenger believes that the nine points that sit between the Gunners and league leaders Manchester United (who defeated them 2-1 over the weekend) is impossible to bridge. When asked about how he sees Arsenal's position on the table,Wenger said:
"We're very far behind now.
"We've played away at United, City, Liverpool and Stoke—so we've many difficult away games.
"Here (United match), I just think we were not on full cylinders and looked much more vulnerable defensively than we did at the start of the season.
"They score goals against everybody and they are better than us. It's as simple as that.
"Away to Manchester City we drew 1-1, a good result, and didn't suffer by comparison."
Wenger also touched on the Jack Wilshere red-card incident which nullified any hope of an Arsenal comeback against Manchester United:
"It was very harsh. To me it looked a regular challenge, we had to attack and I had no offensive central midfielders on the bench as well. I thought I would leave him a bit longer."
Wilshere recently returned from a long stint on the sideline due to injury and although he was sent off proved to be one of Arsenal's best players on the pitch.
Arsenal currently sit in sixth position in the English Premier League with four wins thus far. They play Fulham at the Emirates in a week's time, with The Cottagers breathing down their necks on the table.