By Avenell Dave
Two games into the new season and already the NaySayers are out in earnest writing off our campaign before it is really begun
Yes, of course, it is frustrating that Arsenal are lacking that vital cutting edge in the final third, but equally the fact that we restricted a physical Stoke team to nothing more than half chances in their own manor is also something we should be proud of
It is very simplistic and very easy for the media and some of our fans to blame our failure to score goals to the departure of Robin van Persie.
But the fact remains we were drawing plenty of games last season, in fact losing some in which the Dutchman played, and if he was as great as everyone suggesting perhaps we wouldn't have gone so long without trophies.
Football is a team game and it's better to have 11 players all functioning at more or less the optimum level than one or two to save the day every so often while others just go through the motions.
I maintain that arsenal are a stronger squad with the departures of song and Van Persie, despite the fact that those two players were the reason why we scored so many goals last season - particularly match-winning efforts against the likes of Liverpool and Everton.
The biggest problem Arsenal have had this close season is probably down to the Olympic Games and the European Championships prohibiting us from having a full pre season with a number of games during which our new signings could gel.
It's going to take time to everyone to get used to each other and that's time we probably don't have an abundance particularly with our rivals winning games with the frequency that they have done so far.
The biggest concern for me is that while Santi Cazorla looks impressive it may well become a tactic to try and stifle him and therefore stifle our creativity.
What the manager needs to do is sign more creative players who can add tricks and the unpredictable elements that will help us to win games, as well as just not lose them.
I still feel it's a great shame that we didn't sign Sahin even though economically the loan fees made no sense. But hopefully, in the coming days, as well as moving out a number of our unneeded players, Wenger will bring in one or two faces to give us those match-winning ingredients we have so far have been missing.
It never ceases to frustrate me, just two games in, that the likes of Lucas Podolsky are already been written off as has-beens with, as one newspaper put it, too many miles on the clock already. These are the same papers and pundits who slated us for only signing youngsters.
What we really need right now is suppliers such as Theo Walcott and Gervinho to use their knowledge of the Premier league to breakdown defensive sides behind sent out purely not to concede goals.
I have long doubted Abou Diaby's potential to make it at Arsenal after getting his ankle shattered a few years ago at Sunderland. But I must say he has looked both disciplined and creative in the first couple of games and, with a decent run of matches to get into the rhythm of the hassle and bustle of first-team football again, I have high hopes for his good capabilities.
Liverpool next Sunday will certainly be a sterner test since they will also want to attack and hopefully that will give us the opportunity to get off the mark.
I would rather have two draws than one win and one defeat and while Arsenal remains a work in progress I remain convinced that we are going to be big players in the premiership this season - as always, we just need to show a little patience.
By Avenell Dave