Are Arsenal FOUR YEARS behind Chelsea?

By Avenell Dave

I walked out of the pub yesterday afternoon not feeling as disconsolate as perhaps I should have done after an Arsenal defeat.

Maybe a part of me expected us to get nothing from the game and so anything else was a bonus.

One Addict sent me a message telling me that we're four years behind the Ch*vs and will only ever be also-rans under Arsene Wenger now.

Yes, we'd lost again against the Ch*vs and the shift in the balance of power from us to them sticks in the throat. If only those UEFA spending rules had come in half a decade ago, eh?

But are things really that bad?

Yes, there are so many ifs and buts.

If Arsene Wenger had signed a decent goalkeeper in the summer, would he have let in the first goal?

If we knew how to approach games with a professional and determined attitude, would we now be talking about being four points behind after at least beating a West Brom side who played well but who a focused Arsenal would have beaten?

If RvP wasn't fully fit when he returned to action at the start of the season, why rush him back when he's so injury prone?

If the team cannot put 100% into every game, should they be moved on or should we expect them to grow into world class players in time?

If we are to have so many players with consistent injury problems, why don't we just move them on and get some athletes who can play and who we can rely on more often?

An Arsenal season ticket costs a lot. It takes a big wedge of money from me each season and a huge amount of emotional upset in recent years and I hate that already, even the most optimistic of fans has written off our title chances - with good reason.

The fact is, we were good yesterday, even playing at 70% of where we should be every minute of every match.

I could sit here and write that in my opinion Fabianski may have had a fair to decent game yesterday but he still has a way to go to prove himself; that the full backs are lamentable, not able to prevent crosses (their number one job) let alone get in crosses when pushing forward; that the centrebacks need to be more brutal and, in the case of Laurent Koscielny, play over that second minute time and time again so that it never happens again; that Alex Song hasn't been the same since he dyed his hair and needs to revert to his holding role rather than pushing upfield; that Maroune Chamakh needs to be more clinical because he is our main goalscoring threat and unless he takes the half chances we give him, he isn't doing his job.

But what is the point in that? Players are not robots and we have a good enough team to win every game, if they play to their maximum and get a bit of luck.

Yes, we have more marmite players than I can ever remember and the tag of being the best footballing side in the country means nada if we win nothing.

In Jack Wilshere I believe we have a player of real class, who in time will be just as good if not better than Cesc - even though we missed the World Cup winner yesterday.

If Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Jack can stay fit, we have the foundation of a superb side, not just a good one.

I want us to win. I want us to be champions and I'm not going to give up hope just because we have taken one point from the last nine.

We've got another international break coming up now and, hopefully, we'll get more players back than we'll lose.

Time to regroup and focus on those things, both on the field and in the heads, that are holding us back.

I'm still going to be going to Arsenal and shouting my lungs out. The team needs us more when we're losing than it does when we're cruising.

We HAVE to keep believing, or there is no point.

We are Arsenal.