Patience is needed: let's see how Arsenal respond to defeat before condemning them

I was among the several thousand Gooners who walked away from Craven Cottage shaking their heads in disbelief the other night.

I’ve supported Arsenal for more than 30 years now and although I can think of some disappointing results down the years, my rose tinted glasses aren’t letting me recall a more lacklustre performance.

I’ve shelled out more than £1300 for my season ticket this year and Saturday’s outing, with Mrs Addict in tow, cost another £100.

And for what? To watch a bunch of overpaid, lazy players make up the numbers against a Fulham team that they should have easily wiped off the pitch.

But a couple of days of drowning my sorrows have mellowed me and I’m now wondering if we should be patient, rather than lambasting Arsene Wenger for his side’s failings at Fulham.

Every team has a blip from time to time. Last season we had them against Man United in the FA Cup and against the Spuds in the Carling Cup. And yet we finished the season just four points behind the league winners.

So it’ll be interesting this week to see how the Arsenal players respond to all the criticism that’s been heaped upon them since Saturday’s defeat.

Us football fans are fickle for a reason. We are passionate about our beloved Arsenal and that’s where we differ from the hired hands that pass through the club every few years – today’s footballers are mercenaries who, in all but a few cases, are out for number one, trying to amass as many millions of pounds as they can before they retire in their mid thirties...

It’s a long time indeed since I heard Arsenal’s away fans booing the team off the park. At the same time, none of those playing on Saturday will have ever heard it when they’ve been in an Arsenal shirt either, so hopefully the message got through.

A good result against FC Twente tomorrow night is now vital, but more to the point, a strong performance is needed to banish any memories of the Fulham fiasco.

If the Gunners can put Steve McClaren’s men to the sword and follow that up by getting their Premier League campaign back on track with a victory over Newcastle on Saturday, then hopefully they might not hear the boos again this season.

Do we need to make signings? Yes, I believe we do. Not just to strengthen the team, but also to boost confidence amongst us fans that the club is ambitious as we Gooners are.

The bottom line is that we’ve suffered embarrassing defeats in the past – and we’ll no doubt do so again – but one thing I’ve learned over the years is that us Arsenal fans are a patient lot, so let’s see how the team bounces back tomorrow and what Le Gaffer can do to restore confidence, before we start baying for blood and writing off our chances for the season.

There are 36 league games left – that’s a possible 108 points – and if Wenger can get the blend right we’ll still be challenging for honours come May 2009.

And for those still in doubt, just remember, as Le Boss says, buying is not always the solution, as Le Boss says. Just look at Tottenham.

Form is temporary, class is permanent. It's time for Arsenal's player to remind us of that,