There is no shame in losing to Manchester United but...

By Avenell Dave

Let's be honest, who really thought we could go to Old Trafford and win yesterday's game?

It's a testament to how far we have slipped that I found few Addicts who expected us to come away with even a point.

Losing to the strongest and most established team in the Premier League would have been disappointing but it wouldn't have been a disaster if we'd shown up and made a fight of it.

I recall losing 6-2 at Highbury to M*nure in the League Cup and we went on to win the title.

I remember when we lost 6-1 to M*nure in 2001 and reached the FA Cup final, doing the Double the following season.

But the fact is, the club have not helped themselves and the ever-increasing frustration amongst the fans is only going to get worse while obvious errors have been made.

Admittedly we were without Cesc Fabregas for the run-in last season, but we still managed to slip away so dramatically after the Champions League and Carling Cup defeats that if the season had gone on for a month longer, we would have been out of the top four.

Yesterday, the absence of three players through suspension (although Frimpong has only just joined the first team), a missed penalty, injuries to key players and recurring problems for those who spend more time on the treatment table than on the pitch can all be given as excuses.

But the fact remains that we were not good enough, not strong enough, last season, to win the title or any other trophy and we are far weaker now.

I'm not gutted that Na$ri or Clichy have gone and while I wish he had stayed, there comes a point where Cesc's unsettled temprament was becoming unhelpful to everyone at the club.

But why have we not bought another left back, even just as a deputy with Armand Traore shipped to Juve last season and admitted Wenger didn't rate him and Kieran Gibbs having trouble with injuries, despite his great talent? Surely some cover for Gibbs would have been advisable after Gael Clichy's departure?

Why have we not signed a striker when RvP is haunted by injury problems, Nick Bendter is hoping to leave, Carlos Vela has been shipped out after failing to convince even WBA of his ability, and Maraoune Chamakh makes a mockery of Wenger's 18 month pursuit of him after a disastrous 2011?

Why have we not signed midfield replacements when Abou Diaby is permanently injured, when Tomas Rosicky looks nothing like an international captain, when Jack Wilshere is injured, probably from over-playing last season?

Why have we not signed a defender when Sebastien Squillaci looked worse than Igor Stepanovs at times, when Thomas Vermaelen had been injured for most of last season and both Johann Djourou and Laurent Koscielny showed that what they have in potential, they lack in experience and aptitude when no one is around them to give them direction?

We are three games into the season in a worse position than we were at the end of last season and all the assertions that we ahve a team of negotiators on the case doesn't wash after losing 8-2.

No Arsenal team should lose so heavily and no excuses should be made.

The fact is, the club have not strengthened and are giving the impression that cut-price signings and last minute deals are better in the long run than over-priced deals.

M*nure's understudy centre-backs played yesterday and they cost £32m. How can we cope with that if we are not doing deals swiftly and assertively?

One look at our bench says it all - and all the suspensions and injuries cannot hide the fact that the squad is simply not good enough. By a long long way.

Juan Mata wasn't on the radar at all and then just as we plan to sign him, delays provoke a bidding war and we're priced out. What's worse is that he scored for the Ch*vs at the weekend.

Signings some Korean forward whose scoring record isn't that great and whose team were relegated last season (after being in the Champions League final a few years ago) is hardly going to turn around our fortunes, let alone raise spirits.

Stan Kroenke needs to come out and show that he means business, that the clubis going to compete and prove that being a part of The Arsenal still means something.

I have met Ivan Gazidis a number of times and he is a great guy. But signing players for the MLS isn't the same as signing top European talent and we lack the decisiveness of our rivals.

If there is a reason, be it wage demands or suchlike, tell us, and tell us how you plan to address the issue? A renegotiation of sub-standard commerical deals would be a start, even though I entirely appreciate why we had to sign them as the new stadium was being built.

We're 17th in the table and if the Sp*ds win their game in hand, we will be in the bottom three after three matches with a goal difference of -8.

Yet again, for the third or fourth season running, Arsenal Addicts find themselves yearning hopefully for positive news, for optimism and for excitement in new signings as the transfer window draws to a close.

Failure to sign some world class players in the next three days and the future of this regime will no doubt come under the sort of pressure not felt since the 1980s.

I want to find it in myself to feel positive, to have trust in the current regime and what is going on and keep my head while all around me others are losing theirs.

Right now, that's proving to be harder than ever before.