Arsenal no longer a Force? 5

This past weekend Arsenal lost 2-1 to Manchester United, a scoreline that doesn’t look too bad on paper, but in reality it was a tepid, uninspired and extremely poor performance by the Gunners.

Arsenal no longer a force?

Arsenal no longer a force?

The Gunners came into the game on the backs of two sub par performances, a loss to lowly Norwich and an unconvincing 1-0 win against QPR’s.

Going to Old Trafford to play Manchester United, you would think that the Arsenal would be up and ready for the game. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The performance lacked all and any kind of intensity, desire and commitment and Man United barely had to break a sweat to win the match.

For the second year in a row now, Arsenal have gone to old Trafford and put in displays that does not do any justice to their recent past. A ridiculous 8 – 2 defeat last year and this weekend’s 2-1 defeat and performance.

Based upon their form in recent years and their current struggles, it would be fair to say that Arsenal can no longer claim to be legitimate challengers for the Premiership title. With their 2 most recent trips to Old Trafford, it would be also fair to say that the days when the Arsenal vs Manchester United encounter was a major rivalry and also a game with title implications are long gone.

The days of circling that date on your calendar, waiting excitedly to see the likes of Roy Keane & Patrick Viera dueling for midfield dominance or Martin Keown harassing Ruud Van Nistleroy are history. Back in those days the battles raged on and off the pitch. On one occasion, famously dubbed “Pizzagate” a fight ensued in the tunnel , where a young Fabregas was accused of throwing pizza that hit United manager Sir Alex Ferguson squarely in the face.

The game has now diminished in meaning and intensity to where you can now go souvenir hunting at halftime, by asking for your opponents shirt, as Arsenal’s Brazilian defender Santos did this weekend in getting Robin van Persie’s shirt.

Unfortunately that great rivalry is gone, only a memory. Arsenal have been replaced on United ‘s big game rivalry calendar with Chelsea, and more recently, the noisy neighbors Manchester City.

My oh my how times have changed.