MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Wojciech Szczesny of Arsenal looks dejected during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United và Arsenal at Old Trafford on August 28, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Where bởi I begin to write about the events of Sunday afternoon at Old Trafford?

The Arsenal squad was depleted due khổng lồ injuries and suspensions in the run-up lớn the game, and the news that both Thomas Vermaelen & Bacary Sagna were lớn miss the trò chơi was ominous. They are the two rocks on which Arsenal"s defence is built, and it meant Armand Traore và Johan Djourou played from the start.

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In my preview of the game, I predicted a 2-1 win for Arsenal, as I always predict an Arsenal win. When I actually saw the starting 11 I genuinely feared about the possible outcome of the game. I tweeted my thoughts & fears và most other Arsenal fans shared them with me too.

The defensive midfield role was taken by young Francis Coquelin in the absence of any of the first-team squad being available to fill the role. It gave the Arsenal team a very young và inexperienced look to it, but United had a team which was by no means full of age và experience either. If Arsenal were to stand a chance they had lớn keep the trò chơi as tight as possible, but it was clear early on that they intended to bởi nothing of the sort.

There were pivotal moments in the trò chơi for me and the first one came when Robin van Persie missed a penalty at 1-0. He normally strikes his penalties very hard, but this time he chose to stroke the ball towards the corner of the net. If he wanted lớn put so little behind his effort he surely had khổng lồ get the keeper to lớn make his move first.

With halftime approaching Arsenal were 3-0 down and Theo Walcott managed to claw a goal back khổng lồ give them some hope. The second half started well for Arsenal as they pushed forward in tìm kiếm of a way back into the game, but they missed a couple of chances và United gradually got on top again. Then for some inexplicable reason, Arsene Wenger decided to lớn take Coquelin off và replace him with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.


It left Arsenal with nobody to lớn defend in front of the back four, & the defence went lớn pieces after that. Another five goals were shipped & Arsenal conceded eight goals for the first time in more than 100 years. Arsenal are celebrating their 125th anniversary this year, và this was one of their very worst days in all of that time.

When RVP pulled a goal back lớn make it 6-2 at one stage I didn"t even cheer, & I cannot remember that happening ever before. At the final whistle I sat in disbelief at what had unfolded in front of me, và I"m still trying to lớn come khổng lồ terms with it now. I have supported Arsenal for almost 41 years through thick & thin, and I cannot remember the club ever being in such a shambles during that time.

There have been highs and lows, of course, but I always felt the manager of the team was acting in the best interest of the team. At the moment it"s very difficult to lớn believe that Wenger has the best interests of the team in mind, as he fumbles his way towards the kết thúc of the transfer window with up to £80 million in his back pocket. I bởi not believe he can offer a rational explanation for his inability to reinforce the Arsenal squad with the players of genuine chất lượng that are so obviously needed.

In his desire to save money he has sacrificed Arsenal"s league games in August, & they are now eight points behind the pace-setters after only three games. Thankfully Champions League qualification was guaranteed with the midweek win over Udinese, but the current Arsenal squad doesn"t have to lớn depth to play all the extra games they now have. I have been an avid tín đồ of Wenger for a long time, but if he fails to showroom the players needed to lớn the squad in the next few days, I cannot believe he has the best interests of the club at heart any more.

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Some of the players who were asked to lớn perform at a level which was beyond them yesterday could take a long time to lớn recover from the mauling they received. Carl Jenkinson, Coquelin and Oxlade-Chamberlain are all real prospects for the future, but they were thrown khổng lồ the lions yesterday & I hope it doesn"t affect their futures. Those three players should all be learning their trade in the Arsenal reserves at the moment, and not asked to spend the worst 90 minutes of their professional careers in Manchester on a Sunday afternoon.

It"s obvious to one & all that Tomas Rosicky can no longer last the full 90 minutes against any sort of opposition, but he was asked to vì chưng so yesterday. I thought he should have been withdrawn instead of Coquelin & I also thought Andrey Arshavin should have been withdrawn too. He looked lượt thích a man who almost wanted to get sent off, and Arsenal were lucky to finish the game with 10 players.

The tactical ineptitude shown by Wenger yesterday was quite astounding, & it has to bring his judgement into question. United"s defence was short of three of their regulars, but that didn"t mean that Arsenal should try khổng lồ play an mở cửa game against them. They showed how easy it is khổng lồ pick off a team that doesn"t consider defending a priority, và Wenger has to lớn learn something from it.

The players won"t get to lớn play for Arsenal again for another two weeks, as there are international games to be played và it"s probably a good thing. It does mean there will be very little time for the players khổng lồ work together before their hectic club schedule returns. Any new players signed will have to lớn fit in very quickly as the suspensions continue to mount, & the injury problems worsen almost by the day.

When the players return Arsenal will have two games a week until the next international break, và it will again stretch their resources to lớn the limit. Those resources have proven to be far from deep enough already this season, và other teams will attempt khổng lồ exploit their obvious weaknesses. It could be a very tough time for Arsenal fans, but good results in those games will help khổng lồ heal the wounds of Sunday.

I have held off on my preview of this season until the transfer window closes, & it appears that it was a wise move. In my opinion, Arsenal have khổng lồ buy a left-back, a central defender & a couple of midfielders, as well as the striker they are believed to be in the process of signing. If they could not bring in those players in the last two months, what are the chances of them arriving in the next two days?

It"s a very tough time khổng lồ be an Arsenal fan, và it"s not such a good time lớn be an Arsenal player either. If things don"t improve very quickly, I think Wenger could quite possibly be out of a job, và he has nobody but himself lớn blame. He says he will only buy players who will improve the team/squad, but everybody could see yesterday that it wouldn"t take much to do that. 

Why has he not bought Leighton Baines from Everton, or why did he not buy Jose Enrique from Newcastle before Liverpool did? Why have the attempts to lớn sign Gary Cahill taken so long with Arsenal so much in need of another centre-back? How have there been no creative midfield players added khổng lồ the squad after the sales of Cesc Fabregas và then Samir Nasri?

The club knew that both Cesc & Nasri wanted to leave, but they have chosen lớn be reactive rather than proactive in their transfer dealings. If Arsenal had four new players available to lớn them yesterday they would have had a much stronger team. They might still have lost, but you can be sure they would not have conceded eight goals. 

The manager and the board are at fault for the current state of the squad, & the embarrassment which occurred at Old Trafford yesterday. It"s up khổng lồ them to ensure there is still hope for the new season by bringing in players who will make a difference before it"s too late. 

The club are so embarrassed by the events of yesterday that they have offered to pay the cost of a match ticket for another away league trò chơi for the traveling Arsenal fans. The Arsenal fans could be heard singing loudly và proudly throughout the game, & they are a real credit & inspiration khổng lồ those watching from afar.

That"s it for today.

Here"s the highlights from yesterday"s trò chơi if you can bear to lớn watch them.

It"s not too late khổng lồ join over 650 teams in my fantasy league & there are prizes for the top three teams at the end of the season. Just go to lớn the site và use the code 125540-42785 to lớn join my league when your team is set up.

To join the predictions league just go to lớn the site and set up your predictions. Then use the code F688F-JCO lớn join my league. I"ll update the league table in my predictions every week.

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