By Avenell Dave
Another away game, another indifferent performance.
I had a feeling Stoke would take it easy to make sure they were fresh and protected before next week's FA Cup final.
How wrong I was.
Arsene Wenger summed it up when he said that we were naive, that something had gone, that we were frail.
In fact, something has been missing far too much this season and that is the heart and spirit needed to win titles rather than just challenge.
Much has been said about the need for leaders and we certainly need some more of them.
It's all very well the team getting up for the big games against Barcelona or M*nure (even though T*tt*nh*m at home for instance is one best forgotten), but our inconsistency is frustratingly consistent.
I hate to see us lose, but just as against Bolton, the lack of determination and fight is worst of all.
Jack Wilshere was guilty of pushing it to the limits during the game and got involved in some scrapes. While I wouldn't encourage him to get himself in trouble, a few more of our players need to learn what it means to put on the Arsenal shirt. Week in, week out.
One journalist made the point last Friday that Wenger seemed more relaxed at his weekly press conference - the pressure had got to him as much as it had got to the players in recent weeks.
That cloud seemed to have lifted this week following the victory over M*nure but to say that last week's victory papered over the cracks is an understatement.
We lack drive, we lack passion, we lack the pace and incision Wenger teams have ahd in the past.
We look laboured, disinterested and error-ridden and once we have secured third place, Wenger has to focus on next season.
Do we need a massive overhaul?
You could name a dozen players who could leave the club without many fans batting an eyelid.
You could also name a great number of players - RvP, Vermaelen, Wilshere, Ramsey and Cesc who no one would rightly want to see leave, regardless of Fabregas's poor form by his own high standards.
Do we buy into Project youth anymore? I don't think so, but players such as Conor Henderson, Emmanuel Frimpong and even Kieran Gibbs could probably do witha year of first team football at West Brom or Bolton to harden them up for the top flight and life at The Arsenal.
Will any of the youngsters coming back make an impact on the squad next season?
Henri Lansbury is a favourite of mine but he's been a sub for much of Norwich's season and it's hard to see who else who has been on loan has starred for their side with the exception of the raw but talented Benik Afobe. If we can somehow get a work permit for Ryo Miyaichi, he could well be a star.
While chequebook management is neither Wenger's way or necessarily the right way (City are the biggest spenders but haven't won the title or even really challenged), Le Boss must see the deficiencies in the side and where he needs to strengthen.
With everything that has happened in recent weeks, from Danny Fiszman's death to Stan Kroenke's takeover and the increase in ticket prices, Arsenal need somehow to lift the spirits and help us get our mojo back.