Manchester United's player-turned-coach Paul Scholes has given a damning verdict on traditional-rivals Arsenal, stating that a failure to produce the results they need undermines the club's attractive style of play.
Arsenal are on the verge of losing a cluster of first-team players, with Gael Clichy already sealing a move to Manchester City, including the midfield spine of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. Nasri, in particular, has admitted that his desire to move away from the Emirates stems from their failure to win a trophy.
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has gone six years without a trophy, and Scholes said he wasn't surprised at the barrage of players leaving Arsenal as their trophy drought extends.
In a report in The Independent, Scholes said, They may play the prettiest football, but it doesn't always produce the results they need. It doesn't irritate me (that people say they're the best footballing team), because while they are doing that, we are winning games. They do play the best football to watch at times, but what is the point of that, if you are not winning anything? Not only that, they are potentially going to lose their best players, in Fabregas, Nasri and Clichy.
Scholes went on to take a subtle dig at Wenger, stating that United manager Sir Alex Ferguson wouldn't allow a trophy drought to carry on as long as it has at Arsenal.
It does go in cycles, Scholes said. But the way we have been set out at United for the last 15 to 20 years, I would be surprised if we went six years without a trophy. You can't say it won't happen, because you only have to think of what Liverpool went through, but I don't think our manager will allow that to happen to us.
Barcelona seem likely to seal a deal for Fabregas by the end of the week, while Nasri is leaving no stone unturned in his quest for a move. The Frenchman, who is into the final 12 months of his contract, has already rejected a five-year contract extension deal with £90,000 per-week in wages, which would have made him the highest paid player at Arsenal without Fabregas.
Wenger is expected to try and persuade Nasri to stay, in a meeting at London Colney on Wednesday, though it is believed that Arsenal will sell the player for a figure around the region of £25 million.
Arsenal are expected to make a move for Lille striker Gervinho, and continue to be linked with a host of players including Bolton defender Gary Cahill, Blackburn centre-back Chris Samba, Velez Sarsfield midfielder Ricardo Alvarez as well as Spanish U-21 forward Juan Mata.