By Avenell Dave
If we look at the stark facts, it's hard for other fans to sympathise with Arsenal.
We have a reputation as moaners at the best of times, but in truth, most Addicts I encounter - whether they have supported the club for 10-15 years or, like me, 30-plus, tend to be pessimists expecting the worst.
We're still in with a chance of a final and could win the title if M*nure slip up and we find some sort of consistency despite the lack of character or ability we have shown at times this season.
Did any of us expect anything other than a three to five goal advantage to take to Emirates after the first leg of the Carling Cup semi final? No, I don't think even the most negative fan thought we would succumb to such a humiliating defeat.
We could and should turn it around of course in the second leg - although it's by no means certain - and we should beat Leeds United as well.
But then again, with the profits being raised by the new stadium, we should be buying world class players to enhance the team and help the youngsters to grow, and that rarely seems to happen.
We are bargain basement shoppers trying to prove we deserve a seat at the top table - but we miss the chances to bring home success because of an obsession with balancing the books.
Of course I'm proud that we don't rely on oligarch funding but we have enough funding to provide one or two big money, world class signings each season.
I said yesterday that I don't blame the centre backs for Wednesday's malaise, but we lost Gallas, Senderos, Silvestre and Campbell in the summer and brought in two.
That doesn't add up and if we end up signing Matthew Upson or a 34 year old from Juventus to cover until Thomas Vermaelen is fit or Kyle Bartley gets up to the standard required to play for the Arsenal.
West Ham away is never an easy fixture and if the crowd was lively at Portman Road, it will be furious at Upton Park.
The Hammers are fighting for their Premier League lives and the manager is trying to hold onto his job despite the unsettling boardroom antics that are stopping him from doing his job properly.
Should be a regulation win, right?
I wouldn't make many changes from Wednesday night, apart from being in Alex Song for the woeful Denilson.
With Bacary Sagna suspended, we will have to hope Manu Eboue finds his form and the defence learn to deal with long balls.
But key will be that Cesc Fabregas turns up - though he works better in tandem with Samir Nasri than with anyone else in the team.
Time to show up and prove yourselves, Arsenal.
I'm not holding my breath.
Eboue Koscielny Djourou Gibbs
Wilshere Fabregas Song
RvP Chamakh Nasri