Man Utd 8-2 Arsenal | Has the penny dropped yet Wenger?

Arsene Wenger sent his young lambs to the slaughter as the foolishness of packing his squad with youngster after youngster finally caught up with him and gave his inexperienced team a damn good thrashing.

I feel sorry for the ill-equipped kids who were thrown into the lion’s den and asked to do a man’s job by a manager too stubborn to slightly alter his transfer strategy and buy the three or four experienced players we need. I won’t bang on about it again, everybody knows we need experience throughout the side and I’ve already blogged about how our 31 man squad only contains seven players over 25 which is why a result like today’s was only a matter of time.

You’ve probably all seen the match and for those who haven’t I won’t torture you with descriptions of the comical defending and naivete that resulted in our humiliation. Instead, a post-mortem is needed if we’re to learn anything from the most embarrassing result I can remember. Let’s face it, if you’d tuned in to Soccer Saturday and heard Man United had beaten a League Two side 8-2 in the cup it would still be a major surprise – only very bad teams lose 8-2, even at Old Trafford. So for it to happen to an Arsenal side that beat Barcelona six long months ago is inexcusable.

Now I accept we had injuries at the back today, but the most worrying aspect of this whole debacle is that we weren’t exactly asking Pat Rice to pull on his boots again. It’s not even as if 5th choice centre back Miquel was needed like against Liverpool. In fact, the defence comprised Koscielny (who is somehow in Wenger’s First XI) our second choice full backs and third choice centre-back. In other words, the players who are next in line should Sagna, Vermaelen or Gibbs be unavailable. People like Wenger and his apologists talk about a defensive crisis, but it’s not like we had to cancel a youth fixture and draft in 16 year olds to make up the numbers.

In fact, compare it to Man Utd’s defence. Ferguson played his third and fourth choice centre-backs in the middle with centre-back Smalling at right back to cover the injured Fabio and Rafael. They had just as many injuries at the back but didn’t ship eight goals.

Most tellingly, the average age of both teams was 23, but every one of Fergie’s team had at least one season of Premiership or La Liga experience whereas some of our kids were raw and untested at this level. That’s the difference and it’s a big one as today showed. Never has Evra’s ‘men against boys’ insult been more apt.

It makes you wonder why Gary Cahill wasn’t signed, sealed and delivered in the first week of the transfer window instead of leaving it to the last minute. But for me, the flaw in Wenger’s transfer policy was hammered home today by Ashley Young. Twice. He cost £18m and at 25 is an established England international with years of Premiership experience. Oxlade-Chamberlain cost £12m with add-ons taking it up to £15m, so he’s slightly cheaper, but is a teenager who hasn’t played any higher than League One. Given the young age of our squad and the desperate need for more experience, wouldn’t Young have been a more suitable target than Oxlade-Chamberlain? Irrespective of whether Young would have joined us, the question must be asked – why doesn’t Wenger try to sign established players like Young once in a while instead of the promising Oxlade-Chamberlains, Jenkinsons, Miyachis, Campbells etc?

Rooney scores against Arsenal

Help yourself Wayno, it's easy pickings today

The one youngster who did play well was Szczesny. In fact, he was the only Arsenal player to emerge from the game with any credit and to say that about a keeper who let in eight goals tells you how many other clear chances the home side made. It could easily have been twelve, although having said that we could’ve had four ourselves. The missed penalty, Arshavin’s horrible miscue eight yards out and a couple of other half chances went begging as we failed to take advantage of the fact that their keeper is pony. He should’ve saved Walcott’s goal and if we could have put him under more pressure we’d have got some joy as I’m sure other sides will do this season.

Anyway, I’m too depressed to carry on writing. Thank goodness we have two weeks to clear our heads, patch up the walking wounded and ease back into action with a relatively gentle fixture at home to Swansea. I doubt any of the ‘Arsene Knows Best’ brigade will have the balls to pipe up in the comments section today. They’ve hammered me all summer for daring to question The Great One’s methods and while I still don’t want Wenger to leave, surely the errors of his ways are becoming evident to even the most loyal Wengerite now?

Oh look, despite trying not to talk about our need for experience, that’s practically all I’ve ended up doing! To be fair, how can the subject be avoided? It’s the root of all our problems and if any good can be taken from today’s disaster, it’s that maybe – just maybe – that as goals six, seven and eight went flying in, the penny was dropping for Arsene and his misguided devotees.

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  1. bye bye

    100% he’s lost the plot who sells two best players at the start of a season,he’ll ruin these youngsters, at least we can win some cash by betting we dont get champions league football next year, any true Arsenal fan could see this coming years ago

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  2. Jimbo

    Spot on mate. It’s embarrassing that everyone knows what needs doing at Arsenal, including Wenger, but he thinks he can do it on the cheap. He must change his stubborn ways before we finish 6th and lose Wilshere and van Persie next summer.

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  3. mr mosh

    eboue went too early, jenkinson didnt turn up, pulling off coqueline for AOC at 4-1 away was disastrous, RVPs childish penalty, like always manure was abit lucky and De gea wasnt great either.

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  4. AngryGunner

    is there a way to contact Wenger. Does anyone know where he lives. Just give me his address and we will have a new Manager by Monday Morning.

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  5. RmanGoog

    We missed the Tommy Verminator. We miss Wilshere. We missed Song. We miss Sagna. We missed Gervinho. We missed Gibbo. Now, even with all these players we wouldnt of won this game signings need to be made.

    In Wenger I trust….. Still :S

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    I’m sick and tired of this man the so called great one Mr Arsene Wanker the man is living in lalalala land if he honestly believes he can win anything let alone the premiership with the squad with now lol mate you DELUDED like Gaddaffi saying my people love me lol when people are clearly protesting and rising up.

    The man has lost the plot he has to go and im sick and tired of the so called arsenal fans still defending this man he is slowly destroying arsenal with his horrendous transfer and wage policies and his discriminatory practice of only offering one year contracts to players aged 30 and above wake up and smell the coffee he is basically living of his past glories read what SAF said or wrote in the papers this morning he said he could not get away with winning nothing at man u for 6 years SNM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WENGER HAS TO GO OUT OUT NOW BECAUSE IT WILL BE TO LATE ARSENAL WILL NOT FINISH IN THE TOP 4 THIS SEASON WITH THAT PATHETIC SQUAD.

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  7. Shanzuman

    The writing has been on the wall for a while …………….this was bound to happen. Warnings from fans, media, fellow players, ex-arsenal legends, opposition fans etc have all been stressing the need for change and for a new strategy to keep up pace with the likes of MU, MC, Ch, and Liv. But oh no Arsene knew better than anybody!! In total youth we trust and Arsene the saint!

    If I was Wenger I would have resigned at least two years ago and so that I would have been remembered at the top of my game and retain the much deserved legend status. Had he gone and todays tragedy had happened we would all be saying that this would not have occured had he stayed!!!! What a travesty! It is for this reason that he should now resign and let Arsenal start again as they did 15 years ago with new ideas, policies etc. The greatly respected Wenger days are over let us move on they do not work anymore.

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  8. Angrier gunner

    Firstly, I want to ask if a club like Arsenal can still prosper without fan. If NO, then why would an average rational man make himself a money giver to those who will not compensate him/her for his/her loyalty. In short Wenger alone can not make the change we need because I see arsenal as a team for the Investors and not the fan. I believe a Chealsea coach will not have such a result and return to his office. The entire arsenal crew ( coaching + Board ) is sick.

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  9. Nicokoli

    Lets face it we cant compete with this squad and even more importantly we cant compete financially with the big boys. Whether its Wengers fault or not ( I believe the board and Wenger are responsible) he is still the best around to run the team. He is unfortunately the face of Arsenal and is getting all the stick for the greed and penny counting board, however he needs to make a stance and threaten them to leave if he:

    a) doesnt have big money available buy the quality experienced players we need

    b) the board dont change the wage structure and match the big teams,

    other wise we are just a mediaocre club like the Evertons, Villas and Spurs amounting to nothing apart from the odd cup every few years if were lucky! Decission time for Arsenal Big Time or Mr Average? Just a shame after all the hard work by Wenger over the years and by the club in moving to such a stadium.

    End of an era !

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  10. Shanzuman

    Unbelievable!!!! I have just heard that the Arsenal Board have decided to buy fan loyalty by offering to pay the ticket cost of all the away Arsenal fans who travelled to MU yesterday as compensation for seeing their team HUMILIATED AND DISGRACED. How low can they get? Not even cheap political parties offer to buy votes. Surely this money, albeit small, could be put to better use in bringing better experienced players and providing Arsenal fans something to cheer about! In this way those away fans and indeed all of us would be a lot happier knowing that they are doing something constructive. What about those who watched the game on TV were we not supportive? I sometimes wonder whether this Board is still living in the old colonial conservative days who viewed fans as low class who do not know any better. WHAT AN INSULT.

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  11. DanS

    Ok, so today we dropped 6mil on a defender. I can’t wait to hear how the other 74mil gets spent tomorrow and Wednesday. And they better spend every last pound. Frankly we need a couple hard bastards on the back line, and a couple dirty midfielders too. The kind of players opposing players worry about. Not because they are an offensive threat, but because their health is at risk being on same pitch with them.

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  12. David

    i think that loss to manu was awful
    but wenger has bought mertasaker,chu young park and santos since

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