Arsenal legend George Graham has claimed his former club will never win the Premier League title again.
Graham has slammed the financial prudence manager Arsene Wenger and his board have demonstrated in recent years, and suggested they have fallen too far behind the genuine trophy contenders.
"I don't think Arsenal are ever going to compete with Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United," he told The Sun. "I thought they could have competed with United because they don't spend the money the other two do, but Arsenal are not going to compete with them either.
"They have got a structure at the club on transfers and wages. They are very strict on those. They have more or less said to fans that is the way they are going to run the club. They can still pick up cups and qualify for Europe, but will they win the Premier League title again? I can't see it.
"In the past Arsene's teams have played some of the best football I have ever seen. It was breathtaking, but the quality of players there now is inferior to the players he used to have and I don't care how good a coach or manager you are, you need good players to win things."
Graham's words will rattle Arsenal fans who are still reeling from their Capital One Cup exit at the hands of League Two side Bradford on Tuesday night and the bad news continues to flow for the Gunners as it seems increasingly likely that Theo Walcott will quit the club in January.
Reports emerging from Japan, where Chelsea have qualified to compete in the FIFA Club World Cup Final on Sunday, suggest the reigning European champions have joined the race to land Walcott, with Manchester United also rumoured to be chasing the England winger.