There's been a lot of negativity about Arsenal in the past week, and I think it needs something inspirational to occur to level it out. So, as my gift to all Arsenal fans, I'd like to provide some words of comfort, in the style of the most inspirational speaker in recent British history: Sir Winston Churchill.
"When a week ago today, Mr Gallas asked the press to fix that afternoon as the occasion for a statement, I feared it would be my hard-lot to announce the greatest football calamity of our recent history. I thought, and some good judges agreed with me, that perhaps a million Gooners would be left distraught.
These were the hard and heavy tidings for which I hoped the fans could prepare themselves for. The whole root and core and brain of the Arsenal team, on which and around which we were to build, and are to build, the great Arsenal teams in the later months of the season, seemed about to perish upon the field, or to be led into an ignominious and massive failure.
Manchester City attacked on all sides with great strength and fierceness, and their main power, the power of their far more expensive attack, was thrown into the battle, or else concentrated upon Silvestre and Clichy. Pressing in upon the narrow backline, both from the right and from the left, the enemy began to fire with Robinho upon the goal. They sent repeated waves of hostile attacks, sometimes more than a five strong in one formation, to cast their shots upon the lone keeper that remained.
Our thankfulness at the dropping of Gallas and giving the captaincy to Cesc must not blind us to the fact that what has happened in Manchester and the Emirates against Villa is a colossal disaster. Our league position has been weakened, the title challenge has been lost, a large part of those player hopes upon which so much faith had been reposed is gone, many points have passed into the enemy's possession, with all the tragic consequences that follow from that, and we must expect another blow to be struck almost immediately at us, from Villa.
We are told that Mr O'Neill has a plan for invading the top four. This has often been thought of before. When Martin Jol lay in fifth in '05 with his Grand Army, he was told by someone. "It's not easy to break the top four." It will certainly be alot harder when Eduardo and Fabregas return.
I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our top flight home; to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of mediocrity, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of Mr Wenger's team - every man of them. That is the will of the board and the squad. The first team and the reserves, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native place, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.
We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in the Emirates, we shall fight in Stamford Bridge and the Riverside, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength at Villa Park, we shall defend our status, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight in Tottenham, we shall fight in Anfield, we shall fight at Wigan and in Portsmouth, we shall fight at Old Trafford; we shall never surrender!"
There you go, feeling any better?