Alan Shearer has warned Arsenal fans that the fallen Premier League giants face a three-year rebuilding job.
Freddie Ljungberg took charge on an interim basis last month following the sacking of Unai Emery but has been unable to oversee a turnaround in fortunes.
A 3-0 home loss to reigning Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday means the Gunners have won just one of their last 12 games in all competitions.
Ljungberg’s position remains unclear as the club continue to plan for a full-time successor to Emery: with the likes of Carlo Ancelotti, Mikel Arteta and Patrick Vieira in the running alongside the former Sweden international.
And Premier League legend Shearer reckons it’ll be some time before Arsenal are fighting for silverware again.
Writing in his column for The Sun , he said: “The ease with which Manchester City beat Arsenal shows that the Gunners are miles away from where they used to be — and where they want to be.
“It’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of investment to get them competing at the highest level.
I would say at least two or three years and definitely a huge amount of money. Arsenal’s biggest problem is recruitment, defensively they are so bad it’s unbelievable.
“Whoever goes into the club, be it Mikel Arteta, Patrick Vieira or whoever, must be allowed to treat it as a long-term project.
“That has to apply to the Arsenal supporters as well. I was at the Emirates for the Brighton game this month and it was clear that the fans had lost patience.
“They have gone behind in every game Freddie Ljungberg has been in charge and Arsenal need a complete overhaul that is not going to be completed in January or even next summer.”
The result leaves Arsenal as close to the relegation zone as they are to the top four and they were jeered off by their own fans at half-time.