Back to the future as free-flowing football the key to Arsenal prosperity

By Avenell Dave

Regardlessof the abomination against Bradford, I don't think the result against Reading was ever in doubt.

The Royals tend to lose against us as they did when they previously came up a few years ago - they always tend to play expansive, adventurous football which would suit them if they had decent defenders.

Without anyone to stifle them, our midfield had, well, a field day, and putting Theo Walcott upfront gave us the pacy outlet that tested the home side time and again.

It's hard to see the wood for the trees when you're so entrenched in a situation but if Arsene Wenger thinks back to when his side was most successful, it had superb wingers and plenty of pace.

Despite his fine showing last night, the jury is still out for me where Lukas Podolski is concerned and we all know Gervinho has his shortcomings.

Given that Walcott was so threatning in a central position, it gives rise to the argument once again that we should revert to a 4-4-2 to allow Theo to play off Olivier Giroud and give us two striking outlets.

Of course, all this depends on us replacing or securing Theo whose contract wrangle looks nowhere near being sorted out.

He was good last night but not mesmerising. That may come with a run of games but his miss when clean through suggested he needs to be more clinical if he's to be the finisher we need.

Thierry Henry would never have missed in that position and even Michu against us a couple of weeks ago never looked like missing when clean through.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is going to develop but I still think we need another, pacey winger who can trick his way past players in the way we hoped Andrey Arshavin would do.

Passing the ball quickly, with confidence high, makes us such a different proposition and, in truth, almost unplayable at times.

We have to get back to that way of playing more regularly and that means Santi Cazorla, the star of the show, alongside Jack Wilshere having the freedom to play.

Not every side is going to be as generous in defence and midfield and the key will be to work hard when the side don't have the ball.

It shows how fragile the team is that they got complacent and let Reading back in the game when it looked won and dusted last night.

We simply have to become more ruthless, more unforgiving while at the same time enjoying our football.

We have a decent bunch of players, even if a few crocks and squad members are not up to it.

What we have to do is get through December and then strengthen - and I'm confident we'll get one or two new signings in.

But what Wenger will have seen last night is that letting the enjoy themselves without losing the discipline required when we don't have the ball is going to be the difference between success and failure this season, in whatever form that takes.

Albeit a depressing defeat against Swansea, we've only lost one Premier League game in six and if we can start turning draws into wins, we'll be ok this season.