There have been highs and lows in 2010, and despite my negativity at times overall I would definitely say that progress has been made. Probably the best moment of 2010 was spanking Chelsea recently 3-1, while the worst moments must include the dismal recent surrender to the Spuds and the poor home performance against Barca in the CL. We now have an opportunity to put right the Barca defeat with the forthcoming rematch, while we are fighting for trophies on three other fronts in the form the the Premiership, FA Cup and Carling Cup.
Some players have remained key, others have become key while some have not fulfilled our expectations. There are also many highly talented young players waiting to break through into the first team squad and I have high hopes for some of them in 2011. Wilshere is already part of the furniture and Szczesny looks like he should be joining young Jack in this bracket soon, Ramsey, Frimpong and Lansbury have the attributes that we need more of in our midfield, JET shows huge potential, while there are several other youngsters who may well get their chance soon such as Mannone, Bartley, Afobe and Aneke. Time is running out for Vela, Denilson and Diaby in my eyes for a variety of reasons.
The manager continues to divide opinion, personally I find the 'you're either with us or against us' attitude of some to be particularly unproductive and infantile. Arsene has his faults and there are some recent signs that he is learning from some of this recent mistakes. For example Djourou has now forced his way up the pecking order, Szczesny has been given a few more chances, Wilshere has moved ahead of the likes of Denilson, while he also realised we needed a centre back or two to strengthen the squad. It is important that he continues to introspect and possibly the addition of one experienced combative midfielder would help our trophy pust this January transfer window.
The start of new year should be all about one's expectations for the year ahead but one should never stop to take the time out to appreciate just what we have now got. We have a top top manager, we have a great squad of players and arguably the best young players in the land, while we still have much to play for this season in our state of the art stadium.
Winning something will come down to whether we can learn to defend a lead or not. There are many aspects to this but a key one will need to be the manager putting a bit more time and effort into our defensive organisation and setup. Today we face Birmingham away, a ground where some rather unpleasant memories are rekindled, this is precisely the kind of game we need to be taking three points from, before this Christmas run I felt eight or nine points would be a decent haul. The big guns will return and there can be no more excuses. Come on you Gunners!