Lessons Learned from Arsenal's Humiliating Defeat at Old Trafford

Toni OkikeSenior Analyst IIAugust 31, 2011

Lessons Learned from Arsenal's Humiliating Defeat at Old Trafford

0 of 10

    Arsene Wenger sleeps on his bed and hears his radio say,

    “It’s 9 o’ clock already.”

    He suddenly wakes from his slumber and screams,

    “I thought it was only 8 goals we conceded?!”

    He bumps his head somewhere and fails to return to sleep…

    If Arsene Wenger didn’t have such a nightmare, I’m pretty sure that one of the fans who made the trip to Old Trafford did.

    How would you feel if you brought your 7-year-old son all the way from London to Manchester only for him to witness his team get obliterated in grand style in the hands of the old enemy?

    I remember when I laughed so hard when Feyernoord’s 10-0 loss to PSV Eindhoven made them shut down their website temporarily. It was one of the marvels football offered the world last season.

    Arsenal visited Old Trafford on Sunday and 10 goals were dished out like hot food on a plate, but Arsenal opened the floodgates to receive eight and they managed to dish out only two to the opponents.

    This debacle also brought out the creativity in Arsenal’s enemies and quotes like this surfaced from thin air:

    “I’ll 8-2 be an Arsenal fan right now.”

    “Gooners, I’ll 8-2 to break it to you guys but its gonna be a long season ahead.”

    It even sparked my creative juices:

    “Szczesny refused dinner because he already ’8′ at Old Trafford.”

    Manchester United resigned Arsenal to the club’s biggest defeat in the 21st century and a lot has been learnt in the aftermath.

Arsenal Is Nowhere Near Ready to Challenge for the Premier League Title

1 of 10

    With just three matches gone, Arsenal is already eight points off the pace with the clubs from Manchester setting the standard for others to follow.

    Manchester United has shown down the years the importance of having a large squad in the worst injury crisis. If Arsenal played with its full squad, it might have been a different story, though.

Wenger’s Philosophy and Project Has Failed in the Worst Possible Manner

2 of 10

    Despite being touted as the alchemist of world football who turns young talent from lead to gold, Wenger had a lot of eggs thrown on his face when his young guns were spanked comprehensively by his smarter rival, Sir Fergie.

Arsenal Has Clearly Struggled After the Loss of Fabregas and Nasri in the Middle

3 of 10

    Arsenal sells its talisman and another want-away French midfielder to generate £60 million-plus, but the squad was clearly lacking in creativity. This tweets explains it all:

    “@cesc4official 2 games, 2 goals, 1 assist. @Nanas08 1 game, 3 assists. @Arsenal: £60m, first 2 games, 0 goals, 0 assists”

    When Fabregas and Nasri were in the squad, the forwards were supplied with through passes that were good enough to unlock defenses.

Arsenal’s Squad Is Very Thin and Something Has to Be Done

4 of 10

    You lose Alex Song to suspension due to his stupidity, Frimpong emerges from the shadows.

    You lose Emmanuel Frimpong due to his inexperience and carelessness, you…

    hand a debut to young Francis Coquelin.

    Let me give you the same instance in Manchester United’s present squad,

    You lose Anderson, you get Tom Cleverley, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Darron Gibson, Ashley Young, Park Ji-Sung, Phil Jones. Even Hugh, Giggs and Hefner can play in that centre midfield position.

    Attempting the same analysis with Liverpool,

    You lose Steven G, you get Charlie Chaplin, Necky Henderson, Raul Meireles, Lucas, Maxi Rodriguez, Joe Cole, Alberto Aquilani, Cristian Poulsen, Jonjo Shelvey, Jay Spearing.

    That’s enough written on this particular issue.

There’s No Self Motivation Within the Squad When the Chips Are REALLY Down

5 of 10

    Going 3-1 down at Old Trafford was the perfect score line for Manchester United to get sloppy and Arsenal to wake up.

    As the second half began, Rosicky sent a teasing ball to young Aaron Ramsey in Man United’s box. He dallied on the ball and the chance went begging. If he made it 3-2 that early we would have had a game on our hands.

Arsene Wenger’s Tactics Proved to Be His Undoing Once Again

6 of 10

    As bad as you feel Coquelin was in his debut, he played pretty well against Anderson and Cleverly in that midfield.

    Mr. Wenger withdraws him for the Chambered Ox and Manchester United pump in five more goals.

Johan Djourou and Laurent Koscielny Do Not Deserve to Start Week in and Week out

7 of 10

    Thomas Vermaelen stands out as Arsenal’s best defender, but when he’s not on the pitch the defense lacks coordination. At times without number on Sunday, the Arsenal back line pushed too high and was exposed.

    Arsenal has signed Per Mertesacker from Werder Bremen and he'll definitely bring a new dimension to the club's defense with his height.

    Djourou and Koscielny will provide adequate back up in the worst injury crisis.

Andrey Arshavin Needs to Be Flogged or Sent Back Home for Therapy

8 of 10

    It’s unfortunate to know that Andrey Arshavin has become mediocre and has not shown signs of improvement, despite the fact that he’s regarded as one of Arsenal’s senior players.

    It’s high time Wenger gives Miyaichi or the Chambered Ox a run for the their money.

Robin Van Persie Needs a Creative Midfielder Who Will Supply Killer Balls

9 of 10

    With the likes of Fabregas, Nasri, Walcott and Wilshere behind him, rVp had an amazing goal count of 18 goals in 17 games and scored for fun, but that streak his dried up this season.

    Wenger has to sign an attacking midfielder who has the killer edge like Fabregas and Nasri because rVp is suffering on the pitch right now.

    There are a million and one reasons that can be written on this post as lessons learnt from Sunday’s whooping, but I’ll allow you to leave your comments after reading this article.

In Conclusion

10 of 10

    Wenger has said that he’s not quitting his job in the wake of his biggest defeat as a football manager.

    A lot of football managers have been sacked for being at the end of such a dismal result while others have saved themselves the embarrassment by resigning from their post as managers, but Wenger has reiterated his desire to stay in the club...And win things.

    Staying in the club? Yes.

    Winning things with this present crop of players? You be the judge of that.

    Fabregas was probably watching his darling Arsenal be torn to pieces by Manchester United, so his idol and the best football manager on Earth, Pep Guardiola, came to Wenger’s defense in the wake of the defeat.

    He said a lot of things to the media vultures but here’s my pick of the bunch.

    “You must remember Wenger has done great things with this club, Thanks to him, Arsenal is a great club. With so many injuries, those things can happen, especially against such a team as Man United.”

    However, Arsenal’s captain Robin van Persie said that his team will not use injuries and suspensions as an excuse:

    “We need to come back. We have Swansea in two weeks, which is a good opponent and I look forward to that.

    "This was the strongest team we had on Sunday. We gave our maximum but it clearly wasn’t good enough.

    "I don’t think we can hide behind injuries and suspensions. Its no excuse. They had injuries too. This is football."

    He also took out time to talk about the Arsenal faithful that visited Old Trafford to cheer their team up:

    “The fans were great. They were cheering us up all game for 90 minutes. We really appreciate that.

    "Sometimes you see fans leaving early but I did not see that. We went to the fans to thank them after the game. It looked like every seat was full.

    "That was a good feeling, it really cheered us up.”

    Arsenal will write to those faithful fans who went to Man United on Sunday, offering to cover the cost of a match ticket at a future Premier League away game.

    A Club statement issued today said:

    “Sunday’s result was obviously disappointing for everyone connected with the Club. Our travelling fans were magnificent throughout and we want to recognise their fantastic support.”

    That is a thoughtful idea from the Arsenal hierarchy.

    Sayonara.