Arsenal legend Paul Merson has expressed his horror at the Gunners’ display against Manchester United and slated Arsene Wenger's tactical approach to the game.
The Red Devils were rampant at Old Trafford, astonishingly beating the visitors 8-2 after a hat-trick from Wayne Rooney and two goals from Ashley Young.
Merson, who spent 11 years as a player with Arsenal, said he was disgusted by what he had witnessed on the pitch.
“It is definitely the worst day for Arsene Wenger in charge and it is even the worst day for a long time in Arsenal’s history. Since I started there in 1984, I cannot remember much worse than what we have seen here. It was shocking, just shocking,” said the Sky Sports pundit.
“There are much lesser teams with much less talent than Arsenal who will come to Old Trafford this season and make it doubly as difficult as they did today.
“You have got to have tactics - you can’t just have a Plan A, you have to have a plan B. The way Wenger set up wasn’t good enough. You can’t put teams out all the time and just say ‘go and play the Arsenal way’ – that isn’t fair on the players.
“Don’t put those kinds of players on the pitch and make them like lambs to the slaughter – it’s not good enough. You have got to start looking at the manager now and asking questions.
“What is he thinking? I’m not joking, but a League Two could come here next Saturday and make it much more difficult for United than that.”
Merson was clearly infuriated by the display he had witnessed and said there was currently an extremely big gap between the two teams that is continuing to grow, rather than shorten, each year.
“I don’t know where we go from here,” he added. “You can sit here and talk about players who have to come back, Vermaelen, Song, Gervinho – you can name all the players but none of them would get in the United team, so how far are Arsenal now away from United? The gap is getting bigger and bigger.
“I always look at games and judge teams when you get the teamsheets and look at who would get in the other side. Today, Robin van Persie would probably get a game for United and maybe on his day Theo Walcott, but bar that I don’t see anyone, including the players who are out.
“You can’t keep on having wingers running at the full backs time after time with no protection, not to set up with protection for the young, inexperienced full-backs and to allow United just to open the game up was unbelievable.
“You are talking here about one of the best managers in world football, but I’m not quite seeing what many other people are seeing when it comes to that.
“The poor lad who got sent off, Jenkinson, at least he never hid and he was going all the time, but you can’t play a team like that and say to the opponents ‘you have a go then we’ll have a go’, because that’s what happens, it got really messy out there.
“I still wouldn’t sack Arsene Wenger, but now just to be competitive he has got to sign one, probably two centre-backs, a central midfielder and then another forward, which is so worrying as that’s the whole spine of the team and his recent tactics have to be questioned.”