Arsenal looked like serious title contenders up until a month ago, when all-too characteristically the wheels fell off their challenge to become England’s top team.
With Manchester City to face later today, any hopes that Arsene Wenger’s men have of finishing first this season rely on three points against the current favourites.
Liverpool look like a more realistic bet for top spot this season and one of their former players has been speaking out about Arsenal’s flaws.
Jamie Carragher stated in his column in The Daily Mail that the Arsenal team he used to face was physically stronger than today’s more technical side.
“Arsene Wenger has to change. It is time for him to go back to the formula that once made his teams unbeatable,” the Anfield legend observed.
“But if he can’t change, then it may be time for Arsenal to change Arsene. Though this campaign has the potential to be good — which it would be if they win the FA Cup and qualify for the Champions League — to see them slip from title contenders to clinging to a top-four spot has been dispiriting.
“When I think about Arsenal, my memories are of a powerful, technically gifted team. I said in a column in September how they made you feel physically inadequate and such was their size, standing next to them in the tunnel was like lining up against basketball players.
“Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Sol Campbell, even Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp; they were all well over 6ft and had the build to match. They had speed and strength and their style was silky smooth but, above all, they had the ability to intimidate.
“The make-up of Wenger’s side has evolved and it has been detrimental to their success. This season they have played nice football but without the injured Theo Walcott, who has been sorely missed, there is no speed in their team. In this era, that is a fatal flaw.”
Arsenal are currently six points off top spot with seven fixtures left to play.
Defeat to Manchester City later today would surely end their title aspirations.