Veteran's View by Samuel Mowbray
We have precisely half the number of points that the Chavs - as leaders of the table - have. And it's not even the last week of September!
The glass is half empty (in no particular order)
The size of the squad is exposed already. Mannone is a long way from being competent against a top team. And Almunia, on the evidence of his performances so far this season, certainly won't be England's goal-keeper in England's final game in the quarter finals in South Africa.
We still desperately need an aggressive element in midfield. I like Diaby but he has to develop a hunger which I don't see.
I mention Diaby because Nasri, Arshavin, Rosicky, Cesc, Song, Denilson, Ramsey, Wilshere are all, well, short! I am not saying there is anything wrong with being short. I am just saying that Vieira wasn't below 6 ft ( in fact according to his biography he was 6'3 and a quarter" (1.92m). There's a lesson there.
Despite Arsene's 'authority', too many players (Arshavin, Walcott, Rosicky) are allowing their country to come before club. It's worrying.
Cesc doesn't look a happy player. He greeted his goal on Saturday with an, at best, joyless acceptance. Too many passes go astray and he appears off-pace. I fear his last season but Cesc, if you read this, I was there the night you made your debut back in 2003..... stay! You will be more of a legend with us than anywhere else...
I know this creates controversy but..... our Dane still isn't good enough. Certainly his first touch on the run. (however see below)
The Clich's form continues its downward slide (again see below)
Saturday's game was a chilly reminder that we are not recession-proof..
RVP trying too hard! Robin - relax. Let it flow.
Our best upfront formation is still uncertain - Eduardo and RVP are too similar.
As is Vela - and what has happened to him!?
Plus can we please have some more player-orientated chants!!!?????
The glass is half full scenario (in no particular order)
Vermaelen, Vermaelen and two more times (in honour of the goals he has scored) Vermaelen. Already, quite simply, the purchase of the summer. Anywhere! In any league! In the world!
Our best upfront formation is still so fluid. Anyone front man, anyone arriving late..
Our Dane's work rate is unbelievable and Arsene is proffering him one of the most fascinating, free yet demanding roles in contemporary football which he is responding to like a puppy to its master (but see above). His strike on Wednesday was not just sublime - but won us the match.
Almunia develops his area responsibilities, illustrates yet further his brilliant shot-stopping skills - and is England's goal-keeper in their final game in the semis in South Africa.
Eboue! And I'll say it again - Eboue! Right back, right midfield. Say it once, say it twice. Play him in two places - and he has delivered. And against adversity. He scores in my book. Support this guy. Please. He has been given stick - and come through red-blooded. Let's turn him into a Perry Groves style!! legend...He has it and he interviewed brilliantly on MOTD. Love him - we will get it back in spades.
Despite the Clich not looking the part, we have more than adequate cover with AT and KG..
Sing a Song. Apart from some feeble tracking-back against Man C, he has been top of the charts this season. (Alex, a plea, put us before Cameroon come January!!)
Rosicky - looking the class act we always knew we had signed back in 2006...
How you play AA, TR and SN together has to be the most mouth-watering problem AW has ever had...
Aaron R - the one time boy who now looks a man who now looks our midfield maestro in 2011 - and, shock horror, isn't afraid to shoot from distance...
The fluidity of our system. A joy!!!
The grace of our manager - and his style.
As the club announce hypothetical attendance figures, at least they can't use a downturn in numbers as an excuse that there is no transfer kitty
Gallas - let the performance speak in the face of anything else
The glass is always half full!!
Silverware will come our way - and I look forward to Tuesday!