Positives to be taken from the T*tt*nh*m debacle

Well, there aren't any really, are there?

You read it here on Monday - Denilson is simply not good enough. His tracking back was at best lethargic, he has one shot and his passing was laboured and slowed the team down unnecessarily.

His positioning and defensive shortcomings are such that Cesc Fabregas is a little more reticent than he should be - and I simply do not see how he can fit in. Give him a run in the Carling Cup and let him develop a hell of a lot before allowing him back to the front line.

Worryingly, Arsène Wenger said he thought Denilson had an outstanding game. Far be it from me to question Le Boss's understanding of footballers, but for me, the Brazilian was the weakest link and should say goodbye to the first team for a while.

If you can't pass or create, at least defend as if your life depends on it. His tracking back and covering was limp-wristed to say the least.

I am not saying that he has no chance of making it at Arsenal, but his game needs significant development.

Those who think he played well compared to Cesc forget two things - Cesc is a much better player whose contribution looks reduced when he does not live up to the standards he has set himself. And Denilson's lack of positional sense is something that I am sure inhibits Cesc's confidence in making the forward runs that can be so damaging.

It's no secret that when he and Denilson play together, Cesc drops deeper, wasting his talent trying to do a defensive covering job he is not accustomed to in order to compensate for his lacklustre colleague.

Wenger's sides have been built on a decent midfield, one of guile and power. We have the guile in Cesc, even though he has not hit his usual standards so far - but where is the Patrick Vieira? Where is the Gilberto Silva? Where is the Mathieu Flamini?

Alex Song came on too late to get into the game and perhaps he is the answer, but I can't help thinking a new enforcer is required in January as an absolute priority. It was actually Kolo Toure who Wenger said did not have a 90 minute midfield engine, not Song, and maybe he is the answer.

Of all the people you wouldn't want to score, D*vid B*ntl*y would be up there in the top one. It's fair to say that he and Rat Boy L*nn*n took huge advantage of our defensive shortcomings: it was all too easy.

With the score at 4-2 and contemplating today's post, I was going to write about how fortunate we were to beat such a poor T*tt*nh*m side despite looking woefully short defending the ball ourselves.

The events of the last five minutes simply give further credence to the problems at Arsenal.

Manuel Almunia gave a fabulous impression of the Fawlty Towers waiter throughout the game, his confidence destroyed perhaps not by B*ntl*y's goal but certainly by the second.

A world class goalkeeper would have reacted better to Tom Fattlestone's shot and certainly smothered the ball before Darren Bent reduced the arrears.

But, though he had little to do apart from the late two goals, Almunia looked a shadow of the goalkeeper who has impressed in spells this season. I'm not sure what last night's antics will have done to him.

Even at 4-3, with most people in the ground sensing the drama wasn't over, why didn't Cesc take a short corner and waste some time, rather than hoof another one of his hopeless kicks into the box which, as usual, reaped no discernible dividend apart from giving the ball back to the opposition?

Where was the organisation? Where were the warriors rolling their sleeves up and killing a game that T*tt*nh*m should never have been in a position to take a point from.

Wenger said that his players would learn from the experience and that they would become more mature, then discounted the need for more experienced performers.

Go figure.

I wonder what the likes of Cesc will think after this and whether another season without a trophy will make him wonder about pastures new.