By Avenell Dave
Whenever a new player joins Arsenal, especially a striker, there is a lot of speculation about how quickly he will get off the mark and show he was worth the investment.
Ian Wright Wright Wright never ahd that problem because he scored on pretty much every debut he made.
Dennis Bergkamp and Theirry Henry both took a few games to get off the mark, raising questions about them before having illustrious careers at Arsenal.
With virtually our entire front line wiped out recently, there's been a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of young Mexican Carlos Vela.
Arsene Wenger didn't help ease that pressure by explaining that the reason he did not replace Manu Ad*b*y-whore in the summer was because he wanted to give Vela a chance.
The Mexican terrorised defences in Spain and the return to England certainly involves some adjustment.
His showing in the Carling Cup against Sheffield United last season gave some indication of his promise with a hat-trick of the highest quality.
But that was against fair to middling Championship opposition.
He's on his way back from injury and it's going to take him a while to get entirely match fit, let alone get used to the pace of the Premier League and Champions League.
But he's going to have to do a hell of a lot better than last night's showing against a poor Olympiakos side.
It says it all that if we had had a decent striker on the pitch, we would have won that game with ease, despite playing the youngest team ever to take the field in a Champions League match.
Twice in the second half Vela fluffed his lines when it looked for all the world that he had to score - and the last thing we can afford right now is another striking crisis of confidence.
I'm hoping that Vela gets up to speed soon - learns to protect the ball and not look for a non-existent foul every time he's shuffled off the ball, and starts taking his chances. Lord knows we need him to.
Interesting to see that Vela has signed a new contract today - clearly something that has been planned for a while and confounds reports that he isn't a favourite of Wenger's.
There's been an interview on Arsenal TV, again, sadly in Spanish - Come on Carlos, learn English (and that goes for you too, Samir Nasri!) with plenty of fighting talk.
Glad to hear he realises he has a way to go - but being compared to Robbie Fowler by Wenger? Do me a favour!
To be fair to Vela, Theo Walcott wasn't much better, his first touch continuing to let himself and the team down and as one of the pundits said, when he has time to think, that's when he makes mistakes.
While Vela and Walcott can reasonably expect to have some involvement against Liverpool on Sunday, it was other players on the fringe who shone last night.
Say it loud and say it clear - we really got one over on you RedNose when we snatched Aaron Ramsey from your grasp.
The Welshman was, for all intents and purposes, the best player on the pitch, dictating midfield as if he was a German Kaiser and if he continues to play like that, Denilson has a battle on his hands.
Some of his passing was out of this world, but what I really liked was his ability to get back and work so hard - a true box-to-box midfielder.
Alex Song and Fran Merida were also excellent, and despite making a mistake for the goal, so too was Kyle Bartley. We nicked him from Bolton and he has the height and the presence to make a real name for himself.
I hope Wenger gives him more of a chance - other than diving in unwisely on one occasion, he was imperious.
I was impressed too with Lukazs Fabianski. The Pole made good saves, had good judgement and was left very exposed for the goal.
Should he have come or not? The ball went through his legs, which can happen to Gianluigi Buffon or Iker Casillas, and if he'd stayed on his line, it would have been an even simpler chance for Leonardo.
Finally, a word about Jack Wilshere. Wenger knows what he's doing. The lad needs to go out on loan somewhere - maybe Wolves where they actually play football?
He's not close to the finished article yet and as he showed last night, he needs half a season of senior game time to really get himself ready for a first-team assault next year.