Let's get some perspective here Gooners!

By Avenell Dave

Interesting comments yesterday, many calling me a madman for hoping Willie Gallas departs.

Don't get me wrong, I think he is a decent defender, but just as the mix with Kolo Toure didn't work, so it struggles with Thomas Vermaelen.

Think I'm wrong? Just look at how many goals we were conceding with the Verminator and Gallas together in the side.

It's not entirely down to the defence of course.

The goalkeeper and midfielders, hell even the strikers have to work hard to stop opponents playing or getting the chances that they inevitably take.

The overwhelming criticism I heard around me or from those I meet up with after games is twofold:

1. We give away cheap goals that the other top sides simply don't do on a regular basis.

2. We need to be more direct and clinical.

Gallas and Vermaelen are both world class defenders in my opinion but the blend doesn't work.

Last season Arsene Wenger said that we needed to be more robust in defence but we've been worse this year and that means Wenger needs to have a better combination.

He needs someone tall and brutal who wins headers and is uncompromising and I hope he has someone in mind.

But the fact is, even if we were to lose on Sunday, and I'm confident we will beat Fulham, we have still done very well to finish in the top four.

No, no, I'm not one of the AKB brigade who see le Boss as doing no wrong.

I get as frustrated as the rest of you when he fails to reinforce in areas where it really needs it, such as defence and goalkeeper, but we never know the whole story.

Wenger is the public face of the club and unfortunately, unless someone else comes out explaining the financial strategy, Wenger will continue to cop the flak.

That has nothing to do with why he still plays the likes of Denilson and Abou Diaby when fit, of course, but that's a different story.

Just look at that grotesque celebration on Wednesday night when T*tt*nh*m reached the Champions League for the first time in their history.

Whether they reach the group stagtes or not, it's some turnaround after last season's early struggles but it still shows how big a gap there is between them and us.

We're all disappointed just to have finished third or fourth and to be taken apart by one of the best sides in the world in the CL quarter finals.

We need new faces, we need some winners who give a kick up the arse to those who shirk their responsibilities and don't compete every second of every game of every season.

But it could be so much worse and I'm confident atht if Wenger makes the right signings in the summer, gets ruthless with those who we have to carry far too often, we can break this trophy duck which, while frustrating, is still a mere blip compared to other droughts we've experienced in the past.

A final bit of good news is that the Arsenal Academy team has just beaten M*nure in the Academy league play-off final.

With homegrown players becoming ever more important after the introduction of new rules from next season, it's good to know that Project Youth is still producing quality talent.

So who should Arsenal field against Fulham on Sunday?

Addict XI


Eboue Campbell Djourou Clichy/Traore

              Nasri Eastmond Diaby

              RvP Eduardo Arshavin