Arsenal legends Dixon and Petit let rip over massacre in Milan
Former Arsenal favourites Lee Dixon and Emmanuel Petit have let rip over the Gunners' performance in their Champions League defeat at AC Milan.
Arsene Wenger's side were out-classed from start to finish in the San Siro as the Serie A side won the first leg of their last-16 clash 4-0.
Dixon, who played for Arsenal from 1988-2002 and won a host of honours including four top-flight titles and three FA Cups, said in an interview with Betfair: 'Everything that could go wrong in the game did and it was a really, really poor performance.
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Men against boys: Arsenal could not cope with AC Milan in the San Siro
'It was a good performance from Milan, I thought they did ever so well. (Kevin Prince) Boateng, Robinho and (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic tore Arsenal to pieces, simple as that.
'There are not a lot of positives to be honest with you. It’ll be difficult for Arsene to pick the players up before a massive FA Cup tie at Sunderland this weekend. He’s got his work cut out.'
Petit, a team-mate of Dixon's between 1997 and 2000, has warned the club need to get rid of a host of their big names and sign six established players if they are to return to their former glories.
The French World Cup winner admitted he fears for the future of the Gunners following Wednesday night's debacle.
To the point: Lee Dixon and Emmanuel Petit blasted Arsenal
Petit, who formed a formidable partnership with Patrick Vieira in north London, claimed the likes of Andrei Arshavin, Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott were simply not good enough.
'I asked myself what has become of the team that I knew. It's worse than I thought, they haven't recovered from the departures of (Cesc) Fabregas (to Barcelona) and (Samir) Nasri (to Manchester City),' Petit told www.sofoot.com.
'It's a gulf which is confirmed weekend after weekend. And what is perhaps the most worrying thing is the club won't do anything this summer to reverse the trend.
'They don't want to go back to overspending in the transfer market, and I think they're right. But for two seasons, the level of the team has only gone down.'
Star man: Zlatan Ibrahimovic did most of the damage for the Italians
Petit added: 'The problem is that previously the club compensated for its lack of physical strength with Fabregas. With him, Arsenal were the most attractive team to watch in Europe behind Barcelona.
'There, in midfield, there isn't anything now, the defence is constantly under construction. It's fortunate that (Robin) van Persie is up front.
'Certain young players haven't done enough to justify the confidence that Arsene has in them. Walcott – somehow he's going to have to reach the next stage. It's been years that he's been at the same level.
'(Aaron) Ramsey, against Milan, I got the impression it was his (twin) brother on the pitch. In the way they behave, in their body language, we see they're not there anymore.
'We shouldn't hesitate to talk about the end of the cycle. Regardless of age, we have to look seriously at certain players. Right now.
'You have to send out a strong signal. You have to say to Arshavin, and to Rosicky: 'Gentlemen, thank you, but goodbye'. And soon.'
Petit also cast doubt on whether Lille's Eden Hazard would be a suitable signing, claiming the club need more experienced players.
'I like him a lot but what has he done at a high level' Petit said. 'Has he been good in the Champions League We haven't seen him. Has he been good for Belgium He's sometimes even a substitute.
'What's needed is five or six players of real stature, great experience. Players who are 27-30 years old at most.
'Players with technical qualities, obviously, but also strong character. A group of guys who refuse to accept defeat, who inspire confidence in the rest of the team.'