Arsenal should have rivalled Chelsea for the signing of Danny Drinkwater from Leicester City in order to inject a bit of "fight" into a side that has lost all respect for manager Arsene Wenger, according to Paul Merson.

The Gunners are supposedly in the midst of an early-season crisis after suffering two defeats in their opening three Premier League matches and failing to strengthen sufficiently in the summer transfer window.

The same old concerns that have loomed over the Emirates Stadium for many years were revisited after their damning loss to Liverpool, and Merson thinks the current crop of Arsenal stars simply do not care about the direction in which the club is heading.

The former Arsenal and Aston Villa midfielder thinks everything is "too nice" at his former club at present and believes Wenger's side are in need of a player like Drinkwater, who sealed a late £35m move to Chelsea on Thursday night (31 August).

"The players look like they couldn't have cared less [in the 4-0 loss at Anfield]" Merson was quoted as saying by The Evening Standard. "You get the sack when your players don't look fussed. But not at Arsenal. It's all too nice.

"Arsenal should have bid for Danny Drinkwater rather than let him go to Chelsea. At least he will fight for you. This lot just give up.

"In my day, the dressing room after a performance like that would have been a war zone. You would have had to call the police because there would have been fights everywhere."

Arsenal were never credited with an interest in Drinkwater, who will be little more than a rotation option at Chelsea, and Merson is worried that his former side will soon fall away from their London rivals and the rest of the fabled 'top six'.

The player turned pundit believes the current Gunners' squad have lost all respect for Wenger, who signed a new two-year contract just three months ago, and are turning the club into laughing stock.

"Arsenal's 4-0 thrashing by Liverpool was the worst I have EVER seen under Wenger. It was shambolic, horrendous," Merson said.

"I think the players have lost all respect for him. But I think the fans are losing all respect as well. They are playing for Arsenal and they are turning it into a mockery. They are embarrassing the football club.

"It's becoming one of football's also-rans because they are a million miles from winning the league and that's pathetic. I'm disgusted. It's just an embarrassment from top to bottom. It frustrates me. And it will get worse too."

Danny Drinkwater
Merson believes Drinkwater would have provided added "fight" in the Arsenal midfield.