Have Arsenal made progress this season?

By Avenell Dave

A four nil training ground win against a side with nothing to play for apart from a gentle pre-Europa final run out.
 
Fans cheering sarcastically every time Lukasz Flapihandski touched the ball.
 
A Carlos Vela goal.
 
To say yesterday was an anti-climax is stating the obvious, made little better by T*tt*nh*m losing to relegated Burnley.
 
I can't stand it when supporters with season tickets don't bother turning up because there's seemingly nothing to play for.
 
I won't ever miss a game, let alone leave early, unless business takes me out of the country.
 
Even the lap of appreciation yesterday in a half-empty Emirates underlined how disappointing our season became in the end.
 
Did Vela's cameo give Arsene Wenger some thought with the Mexican seemingly out of the running?
 
Certainly Henri Lansbury showed enough composure and vision to justify another chance.
 
The young midfielder never lost the ball, has bulked up enough to stave off robust challenges and made a couple of passes that carved open Fulham's defence.
 
At the start of the season, with Citeh spending for fun, who would you have put your house on dropping out of the top four?
 
I'd say the majority of us would have feared for the Gunners rather than Liverpool and it says much for the squad's abilities that we stayed in touch until the last month.
 
Perhaps Wenger is right when he says there is no need for major surgery.
 
If Lansbury can play as he did yesterday and Aaron Ramsey comes back strong and fit early into the new season, both could establish themselves in the first team in a way Abou Diaby and Denilson have never really convinced.
 
Maroune Chamakh will give us more options even though I'd like to see a pacey forward come in to give us some real counter-attacking venom.
 
And while rumours suggest a new goalkeeper is less of a priority than we might hope, a new number one and a new centre back may give us the team that can lift silverware.
 
But the fact remains that Wenger needs a squad capable of winning, not a team.
 
He needs to take the domestic cups as seriously as the title and Champions League - after all M#nure and Ch*vski have done and they finished above us.
 
But above all, Wenger needs to win back the fans.
 
Too many, as we see in the comments on this and other blogs, think his time is up.
 
I doubt many of them recall the turgid nature of the team in the 70s and 80s when a top 10 finish and a cup semi was the most we could hope for.
 
Is Wenger the right man for the job? Probably.
 
But the board must give him the funds to succeed and exert the pressure that regains our winning mentality.
 
We aren't far away.
 
But the difference between success and failure is so slim these days and making that jump can be the biggest step.
 
Keep believing.