By Avenell Dave
Have you ever had one of those funny feelings about the way things are going to go?
Well, I've been getting a lot right lately and have started to think I should indulge in a bookmaking account to take advantage of my psychic powers.
You see, much as I hoped Arsenal would beat Sunderland on Saturday and knew what a boost it would be for the first team after the Carling Cup final, I had a funny feeling we'd come away with no more than a point.
The facts are obvious, really.
We find it difficult to get ourselves going for lesser games; we are missing our two most creative players; and we have Barcelona on Tuesday.
Yes, you can point the finger to the officials for wrongly calling two late opportunities which would have given us the points.
Yes, you can point to the fact that we always struggle when Denilson and Abou Diaby start a game together - neither is good enough, but that's an age-old story.
And you can lament the fact that we started slowly when, in reality we've been one of the most prolific sides in the early stages of games this season.
I can appreciate Arsene Wenger's frustration just as I appreciate the fact that sometimes decisions go for you and sometimes they go against you.
Wojciech Szczesny was lucky to stay on in the first few minutes at Wembley (much as it may have been a blessing if he'd been sent off after what eventually happened) and we were unlucky against Sunderland. It should even itself out and there's nothing we can do about it now.
I was just as confident that without Vidic and Ferdinand and Liverpool's improving form that M*nure would get no more than a point on Sunday - the truth being that I had a feeling the Scousers would win.
And that leaves us a point better off than we were at the start of the weekend in the title race with M*nure still having to face Ch*vski and us.
And they lost Nani, their creative hub.
Talking of creativity, I do worry that without Cesc Fabregas we look a pale shadow of the side that we do when he plays and I hope Wenger realises that we still need some flair in the heart of the midfield to make things happen.
Maybe he thinks Aaron Ramsey or Samir Nasri will grow into those roles, or even Jack Wilshere, but it would be a brave risk to take given the over-reliance we have on the Spaniard.
We have a chance tomorrow to cover ourselves in glory in the Champions League. All we have to do is not lose a game against a side shorn of both its defensive stalwarts.
No one that plays for Barca in the heart of defence will be a mug, but it gives us a better chance than we have had previously and I fancy us to complete the job, I really do.
I know a lot of fans are despondent after Saturday and I fully understand the frustration with officials, some players and Wenger for his refusal to buy what the players or the cover that we lack.
But this is it, folks, this is what we have.
We might as well get behind the team for the duration of the season and do our best to believe until all hope is lost. The analysis can start when the season is over.
COME ON ARSENAL!