The curse of the Champions League struck yesterday when a rejigged Arsenal side, devoid of Sagna, Vermaelen and Wilshire travelled to Villa for the late kickoff.

Jenkinson came in for Sagna, Ramsey came in for Jack and Gibbs returned to the side for Vermaelen. So often after midweek games we struggle to find our game, yesterday was no different we lacked fluency and sharpness. Arsene was brave to drop them but I can’t help but feel that such wholesale changes cost us the three points.

We controlled the game and created a few chances but we lacked a cutting edge. Cazorla looked shot-away yesterday, jaded isn’t even the word, he looked knackered. He needs a rest so badly. I hope the return of Rosicky to first team training will be an opportunity to rest Cazorla soon. A player who did well yesterday was Rambo he got in good positions and almost nicked a goal too.

In truth, the match was a rather atypical post Europe away game. Everyone tends to struggle playing away after playing in Europe and yesterday was no exception. Villa were hardworking, but really didn’t threaten to do more than scare us a bit.

What concerns me isn’t the result, but that we find ourselves at a massive point in the season without a plan B. I thought Giroud would be the plan B. When our silky passing game stopped working we’d throw on Giroud and play long. Unfortunately Giroud is our plan A at the moment and we need something else to change it up and our bench was lacking yesterday.

Arshavin was brought on late and again fashioned chances which makes me question what he has to do to get a start. He’s a tiny genius and I get excited to think of him playing 90mins with Cazorla and Wilshire. Will it ever happen?

There is so much potential in this side. We can all see it and to be potentially amazing and not quite getting there is frustrating, but we’re on a journey and the destination is global domination. How long ’til we get there? Who knows but Arsene can take us there. We need additions in Jan and I hope Huntelaar isn’t smoke and mirrors because we need someone with his presence up front. Giroud can’t provide all the answers, but I really appreciate that he is answering as many as he can. I would also love another TH14 cameo. He is good for this Arsenal side, he’s an inspiration but he’s not the answer.

Keep it real Gooners, don’t give in to the hyperbole, it was a point away and a good one. We can do better but we’ve been worse. We need to focus now on the Toffees and get a better result there

Come on you Gooners!!!

WG