Is a draw at Newcastle an absolute disaster?

By Avenell Dave

Judging by most of the comments on Twitter and the blogs over the weekend, you'd have thought we had lost heavily against newcastle on Saturday.

Did I expect us to win the game? No, not really, but I was pleasantly surprised by the way we set about things and unlike most others, I saw plenty of reasons to be cheerful.

The defence held firm, admittedly not facing the most challenging of forward lines, but we dealt with everything superbly.

Dare I say it by SZCZ seems to have grown in the close season, asserting himself and controlling the defence and that makes a difference.

My fellow editor Graham McNorthbank thinks our defence is weaker than last season but given the indifferent form of Gael Clichy, I'm not so sure.

Yes, Kieran Gibbs is raw and needs to temper some of his marauding runs forward but he is a far far better crosser of the ball than Clichy and if he can stay fit, we won't miss the French international.

In midfield, we looked ok. Alex Song was probably the worst of the bunch and will deservedly now miss three games for a stupid stamp on Joey B*rton.

I was really surprised by Tomas Rosicky, who looked far more potent than he has over the past couple of seasons and Gervinho, who we'll also now lose for three matches, had some good approach play even if his final delivery wasn't quite good enough.

Andrey Arshavin had a couple of chances to set up good openings and it's ironic that he and RvP were probaly the two most rusty players on the field in red.

Despite what others say, I thought Aaron Ramsey had a good game as well, and he will only grow as he gets more into the swing of the season.

Yes, we're lacking a bit of creativity and the club have to sign a fine playmaker to replace Cesc and Nasri sooner rather than later, especially with Liverpool and Manure coming up.

But the fact is that we can't buy players until we sell and while I've made my point already about the mistake of keeping Nasri for so long, the Cesc thing has dragged on beyond comprehension.

It's sad to see Cesc depart, but we all knew it would happen at some point and I would argue that we won't miss him as much as we missed Dennis Bergkamp, for instance. Yes, Cesc was an important player, but when an individual's head has turned and he no longer wants to be at the club, then you have to let them go.

We can sit here and lament not having gone out and spent £60m on good players and been more decisive and whoever is to blame for that, be it Arsene Wenger or the board or simply the complexities of other clubs trying to pull a fast one on us, it is what it is.

I'm hearing so many people planning to chant "Get your chequebook out" tomorrow night and I share the urge to see us sign some new quality players.

If the team do not fight for every ball, if they turn up expecting to win and then do not do so with aplomb in any game, I will be the loudest telling them.

But while the club dallies around, is jeering and chanting during the game, as so many seem to be planning, the answer?

What good is that going to be when we have such an important game and so many key players missing?

If our team really is lacking the leaders, the experience and the authority that we know it does, what good will it do not getting behind them when they need us?

Let's keep it positive - the season has only just begun!