FREDDIE LJUNGBERG can’t save them. Brendan Rodgers won’t be able to either. Hell, even Merlin the wizard would have a job turning Arsenal into contenders again.
The Gunners board have to face up to the harsh truth – appointing a manager is not going to be enough, only Stan Kroenke opening his cobwebbed wallet is going to bring the good times back to the Emirates.
Ljungberg is in control on a temporary basis while Kroenke and his bungling board try to find another poor soul willing to take up the poisoned chalice of being Arsenal manager.
Rodgers, if he hasn’t already, should run as far away from this one as he can. Leicester are a million miles ahead of Arsenal, on and off the pitch.
There isn’t a manager out there who can turn rubbish into gold, and that’s what this Arsenal squad needs.
Ljungberg and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made a huge play in the matchday programme of talking about bringing the fun back to the club, playing happy and free.
But this is no laughing matter. There are probably only five or six players who are actually good enough to play for a top six Premier League side.
The rest? Bang average – as Brighton exposed time and again during the 2-1 victory.
The Seagulls were so dominant in the first half they should have had more than a one-goal lead at the break.
Arsenal were abject in the 45 minutes, a period when Ljungberg and the fans would have expected a big reaction, and a big performance.
It got slightly better for 20 minutes after the break, although they needed a huge stroke of luck as Alexandre Lacazette’s looping header dropped into the far corner.
Lacazette, Aubameyang and Bellerin at least showed up. As did Nicolas Pepe who never hid as a second half sub.
But Arsenal need the kind of surgery only the best part of £300million is going to resolve.
Three defenders to replace Sokratis, David Luiz and Shkodran Mostafi – not even in the 18 today- will be a cool £100m.
Then come the midfielders capable of actually competing for 90 minutes, to stay switched on when opponents break, and to be able to control a top flight game.
This bunch were controlled by a Seagulls side who came into the game just a point outside the bottom three.
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That kind of investment will be upwards of £150m if Arsenal are really serious about competing for a top four place again. They are miles off.
Now comes the crunch for Kroenke. For unless he backs his new boss with real money, Arsenal can forget being a top club any more.
They can forget charging top dollar to fill the ground or being a sound investment for him to make money.
If that doesn’t happen, Arsenal Football Club will spend years being what they have become this season. Bang average.
This post written by Dave Fraser originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.