‘It is the fastest thing to lose and the slowest to get back’ – Arsene Wenger on the subject of confidence.

Never has a statement ever summed up Arsenal Football Club so succinctly. Reeling from poor performances in the league against our peers, yet showing excellence in the cup competitions, it is an odd start to the season. Not a pleasant start at all.

I think we all knew if we lost the bright sparks of Cesc and Nasri we would struggle initially as the team found a new identity. As the transfers of the above players were completed the media licked its ink-stained lips in anticipation. How could we take that? Cesc was like a son of Wenger at the club and we are in a period of mourning and denial.

We became an easy target and the haggard, tired looking Arsene became the hunted, the target for all loose tag lines and daft comments made by ex-professional footballers who should know better. In some cases the ‘professional’ tag hangs loose on those that hide behind it.

At Shrewsbury we saw the beta version of Arsenal 3.0. The Ox bursting through the middle with the likes of Coquelin and Frimpong tidying up and feeding him. With current first-team this would break down into Song, Wilshire and Ramsey with the former players swapping in and out. We’ve seen Rambo play on the wing before and he was effective for Arteta’s goal with a great run and cut-back.

I think we have a more fluid, mobile midfield now. We have more players for each position with the promotions and purchases and we have real quality in each position.

Sometimes the tree can take its time to bear its first fruit. We might not yet see the best of Arsenal 3.0 until Xmas, so we might not be at the top of the pile, but we will be fighting and that, surely, is all we can ask from our club? Players that play with passion and desire for the club?

That’s all I want, players who care as much as I do. The new generation of players do.

So what of formations? On tuesday Arsene brought back the 4-4-2 and with success I feel. Much has been made of this with Arsene who swiftly rebuffed it as a permanent change, suggesting it was merely a vehicle to incorporate his playing talent for the game. Personally I think it was an experiment to see how effective the Ox is at breaking inside from the wing.

What I can imagine is RvP and Theo up front, with the Ox taking up the right wing slot. Leaving Wilshire and Song in the middle for games where we don’t need to be so tight, where we take the game to the opposition. In the games against top opposition we can put three in the middle and revert back to 4-2-1-2-1 and play a tighter, midfield battle.

Today I just want a good result against the Trotters. We need to get our confidence, our va va voom, our Arsenal.

WG