Loss to United Highlights All the Gunners' Problems

Manny OtikoContributor IIINovember 5, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03:  Referee Mike Dean shows Arsenal books Tom Cleverley of Manchester United following his challenge on Santi Cazorla of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on November 3, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

If you had the misfortune to watch the Arsenal-Manchester United game over the weekend, then you have my sympathies. The game, which Arsenal lost 2-1, is pretty much indicative of everything wrong with Arsenal's season.

Although the Gunners lost 2-1, the score is not indicative of the game, which was totally dominated by United. In fact Arsenal's largely ineffective forward line barely managed one strike on goal, and that was Santi Cazorla's goal in extra time.

United had the run of the game, and Arsenal looked as if it would never trouble the Red Devils' defense. In fact it's a wonder that the score wasn't as bad as the 8-2 mauling handed out last season.

As I looked over the team, I saw the reason why Arsenal is currently outside the top four and have zero hope of winning the EPL title. The current squad is a shadow of the great Arsenal teams of the 1990s and 2000s.

The main problem is that there are few world-class stars who frighten opponents. The Invincibles side was chock-full of players who inspired fear in opponents because they were so good. But you simply can't imagine teams shaking in their boots at the thought of facing the likes of Mikel Arteta, Olivier Giroud and Per Mertesacker.

Ironically one of the few fear-inspiring players, Rob van Persie, was playing for Man. United! To add insult to injury, Theo Walcott, one of Arsenal's few top-class players, started the game on the bench. (If Arsenal ends up losing him during the transfer window, it will be like rubbing salt into the fans' wounds.)

United has a host of world-class stars such as Wayne Rooney, Nani, Patrice Evra, and Rio Ferdinand. Arsenal simply can't compete with them, and it does not look like this is improving as the season progresses. The Gunners' bench is even more woeful.

I know this sounds like sacrilege, but it's time to look at getting rid of St. Arsene Wenger. The team has simply not progressed in the last seven years. Only qualifying for the Champions League might make the bank manager happy, but it still leaves the trophy cabinet empty.

Wenger's policies of allowing over 30 players to leave, and signing young talent simply haven't worked. It's time to bring in some new blood before Arsenal slides out of the top four and has nothing to show for its season.

The way the Gunners are playing, I can easily see that happening.