Here in Phoenix, the game started at 5:30 am, which was fine since my body is still on Eastern Time. In fact, it was nice to be able to watch the entire match before my conference resumed. Well, it was nice in theory.
Arsenal continued their poor run of form - in fact they got poorer - in a 2-0 loss at Old Trafford. The game was not nearly as close as the scoreline would suggest. Man U should have had at least one more goal (Rooney missed the target entirely on a penalty) and would have had several more but for the outstanding goalkeeping of Vito Mannone. The Gunners, for their part, did not create a single decent scoring opportunity throughout the match, until stoppage time at the end, when first, Giroud missed a good chance and, with the final kick of the game, Santi Cazorla scored.
This was not just a case of the usual suspects (e.g., Giroud and Podolski) not getting the job done; normally reliable players, such as Vermaelen, Cazorla, and Arteta, were missing clearances and passes in abundance. The whole team, excepting Mannone, looked lethargic. Some might say the outcome was sealed when Jack Wilshire, playing just his second competitive match after 17 months out injured, was sent off with a second yellow card in the middle of the second half. In fairness, the game was over long before that.
Arsenal clearly need a lot of help if they are to become competitive again. First and foremost, they need forwards who can (1) create chances and (2) take them. Giroud is simply this year's model of Chamakh. I really cannot say what's wrong with Podolski, who should be better (but the same is true of Vermaelen and others of longer standing at the club). Second, and equally important, Andre Santos is just not good enough at left back; on defense he is lost, and on offense his passing is often poor.