No, it is not all going swimmingly at the moment at the Emirates. We are fifth and out of the Carling Cup, trailing the Scum by 10 points and four points off fourth. We lost Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas this summer. Jack Wilshere, Bakari Sagna, Andre Santos, Abou Diaby, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson have all been long term absentees. In the shorter term, Francis Coquelin, Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta have all been injured while Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh have left for the Africa Cup of Nations.
An unfortunate set of circumstances. They have led to us having to play Johan Djourou out of position at right back and seventh choice left back (behind Gibbs, Santos, Vermaelen, Coquelin and Sagna and Jenkinson - who can fill in there and are preferred as natural full backs), who is actually a centre back with next to no top flight experience, Ignasi Miquel.
At Swansea on Sunday, we were, as all the ‘papers have been saying, ‘out-Arsenal-ed’. They passed the ball better than us, they exploited our lack of natural full backs with their excellent wingers. They are a good team who played very well and exploited our mistakes. Where we would have been one point off fourth before, we are now four. A crisis of epic proportions.
But as a patron of the Twitter, a read down my timeline would suggest Arsenal have relegation and administration looming. It is not that bad. Vermaelen and Arteta will be back for the Manchester United game on Sunday. Not everything is terrible. We are still very close to the Champions League places.
Oh yeah, there is the Champions League - that competition that we are still firmly in. And the FA Cup - our best chance of a trophy this year - we are still in that. It is January and we are five points off the top four, not May. We have one of the best managers in the business and a squad which is definitely strong enough (when there are not a ridiculous number of injuries).
Darlington stand on the verge of going out of business. There has been shocking mismanagement afoot at the club for several years. Yet on Twitter people are moaning about the running of our club. Pathetic. We are fine on that one. Twitter petitions - ‘Twititions’ - calling for the removal of Peter Hill-Wood. While I think he is stuck in the past somewhat that is no way to treat someone whose family have been patrons of the club for so many years. I feel change is necessary but a ‘Twition’? Really?
It will all be fine. (And don’t worry about Spurs, we will be celebrating St. Totteringham’s Day this year). It is January; there is a lot of season left, as well as Champions League and FA Cup runs which could get going. We are not in crisis. We are fifth. In Arsene We Trust.