Déjà vu

What a time to be an Arsenal fan.

We've been here before. An all too familiar scenario. Crashing out of 3 competitions in 3 weeks with an injury-stricken side, an echo of the 06-07 season where we were first dumped out of the Carling Cup Final to Chelsea, knocked out by Blackburn in the FA Cup three days later, then one week after that, eliminated from the Champions League at the hands of Alex and PSV.

That season was all over. There was no hope of catching Man United in the league, who eventually finished 21 points ahead of us by the end of it all.

This time things are a little bit different. We are 3 points off United. Yes we may have flown out of all three cup competitions in quick succession again, but most were due to exceptional circumstances, even the match on Saturday. If the oppositions Man of the Match is a goalkeeper, you know your team was the better team on the day.

This teams' maturity has already been tested on numerous occasions already this season, but I have to say I don't think any other side in the league has had to put up with this many disappointments in such a short period of time. It's going to be tough to claw back, but there is a sweet sweet prize at the end of it all if we can overcome the pain.

At the very least, and I'm not being negative and saying we're not going to win the league, but at the very least if we don't win something we have still vastly improved over last season. Look at Chelsea and Liverpool, OK so the former are still in the Champions League but their league performance hasn't been fantastic. And with Liverpool, according to my Facebook events planner I'm attending their relegation party. They've done a great job of bouncing back but everybody knows it's been a tough time for them too, at least at the beginning of the season. The only other team I feel has improved as much as we have is Sp*rs. And I just punched myself in the face for saying that but you can't deny it no matter how much you despise them.

The most likely end-result here is that we finish 2nd in the league, runners up. A step in the right direction I think you'll agree.

But we still have a chance for the title, a mighty fine chance at that. We have two challenges, one is to pick ourselves up mentally and put disappointment behind us, forget about those wrong decisions and cock-ups and do what we've demonstrated already this season, killing off one team at a time and prevailing when pundits have said we'd fail.

Our other challenge of course is to see what kind of winning formula we can craft out of a squad that is now without Djourou as well as Song, Walcott, Fabregas, Vermaelen, Szczesny and Fabianski.

That's like Chelsea being without Ivanovic (Djourou), Essien (Song), Malouda (Walcott), Lampard (Fabregas), Terry (Vermaelen) and Cech (Szczesny). The above comparisons might be slightly questionable, i.e Malouda is far more clinical than Walcott, but you all know what I'm talking about. Half our usual starting lineup is on sick leave. It's not good.

So I think we all agree that some spending needs to be done in the transfer window to create some depth in the team and have more options when the going gets tough. We also need a new physio!

What we DON'T need, despite calls from many 'Arsenal fans' to do so, is to get rid of the boss. All those pro-Wenger people out there will know that he has been a HUGE contribution to the club. The fans may want the trophies, but it looks like the board are less concerned about that at the moment. They are more than happy with the way things are going. Are we losing money? No, the club is making a killing and is completely self-sustainable. Are we falling further and further down the table? No, we're likely climbing or at least keeping it consistent. The only other team that's showed the same level of consistency, season after season, is Man United.

So a manager change is not the answer here. There isn't anybody else out there that can take the reigns and have as much success as Wenger has had. You may not think it, but stature goes a long way in this game. Wenger is the 2nd longest serving current manager in European top-flight football after Fergie. That statement on its own has clout. To start from fresh again would be a ridiculous decision and suicidal.

It doesn't matter what happens, Wenger aint going anywhere. In fact we're probably only about 5 years into a 10 year masterplan in terms of building the perfect team, we already have the perfect stadium (unlike Sp*rs), the perfect financial situation (unlike Barca). Some of you are just going to have to live with AW for another five years or so. By which point Arsenal will be unstoppable and we'll all be kissing his feet.

So instead of being counter-productive, lets be positive. Lets not start questioning the manager and putting him under pressure when we are CLEARLY still in the title race. That's just daft. You're not fit to wear an Arsenal shirt if you're showing negativity towards a team that is only three points off the summit. To do that is to have NO passion for your club.

If you HAVE to moan, at least wait until the season is finished.


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