Reuters Soccer Blog
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It is a bit early to single out Manchester rivals United and City as the only title contenders this season, but it appears highly likely that Arsenal will not be among the chasing pack now headed by the new-look Liverpool and Chelsea.
What is more, the 8-2 hammering the Gunners suffered at Old Trafford suggests that Arsene Wenger’s side might even struggle to finish in the top six, unless the Frenchman can swiftly turn around their fortunes.
Crippled by early injuries to some regular starters and even more so by the departure of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, Arsenal were so off the pace for most of the match that their fans will want to forget as soon as possible.
With the team’s vertebrae boiling down to inconsistent and injury-prone Dutch striker Robin Van Persie, Wenger faces a mammoth task of rebuilding his side which is now a far cry from the 2003-4 Invincibles who won the league title without losing a match and stretched their unbeaten record to 49 games the following season.
Don’t be surprised if you see this message on eBay in the next few days: “FOR SALE: 57,000 red and white flags as good as new — only waved for eight minutes. Apply Arsenal FC, Emirates Stadium, North London.”
For Arsenal’s fans not only stopped waving their freebie flags after eight minutes, but they also stopped believing in their side after an hour as thousands of them trooped away from the stadium no longer able to watch as Manchester United demolished their young team.