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I, for one, will not be giving Manuel Almunia a hard time. He does not pick the team or decide on how much to spend bringing in players. He knows the manager did not think he was good enough, but being the professional he is, he will get on with the task in hand. I hope he proves me and the many doubters wrong by having his best ever season at the club, as I hope the manager proves me wrong by actually winning something with this team.

I know there are many who hate to see critical writing about Arsenal, although I suspect even Wenger’s most fervent loyalists were hoping for a new keeper to be signed. However, it must be remembered that whether a supporter is critical or supportive of the manager’s ways, we all want the best for our team. The side have made a decent start to the season with four points on the road at two difficult venues, so let us hope they make a fist of it this time around, right up until the middle of May.

Arsenal started like a train a year ago, but were undone by lack of squad depth at the business end of things. Whether the same group of players will be able to perform better this time around remains to be seen, and the manager will argue they are more experienced. My concern, and lack of faith, is based upon the fact that they have won nothing yet, and that a few more who have been around the block would enhance their chances. But I have renewed my season ticket in hope rather than expectation. I accept Arsenal have no divine right to win trophies and that there are clubs in a far worse position. I’d just like them to maximise their chances of winning something, as a fan. I don’t think that’s being unreasonable.

- Kevin Whitcher

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CONTRIBUTORS Kevin Whitcher, Mike Francis, Phil Wall, Steve Ashford, Mike Slaughter, Warren Swaine, Brian Dawes, Tim Stillman, Simon Rose, Mark Halfpenny, Robert Exley, Bernard Dowling, Andreas Kokkinos, Howard Lamb, David O’Brien, Jeremy Cunnington, Nick Kelsall, Marcia Milnes, Tom CunliffeWhitford, Ricky Butler, Andrew Timbrell, Nadim Naaman, Ben Dimech, Sam Drew, Kevin O’Connor, Steve Harris & Phil Venton ARTWORK Darren Rackham, Tim Symonds, Mike Murphy & The X-Man PHOTOS Offside Sports Photography, Professional Sport, Marcia Milnes

MATCHDAY SELLERS Dave, Mrs B, Andrew, Rich, Frank, Alex, Griffo, PJ, Marc, Adam, David, Paul, Pete & James PRINTERS Regal Litho 01908 270 400,

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SUBSCRIPTIONS Mail order subscriptions are available in blocks of ten issues. UK & BFPO - £20; Eire & Europe - £27 or €42; Rest of the World - £34. Please make cheques payable to “The Gooner”. A list of available back issues can be viewed on our website, where it is also possible to subscribe online using a Paypal account. Visit the ‘Gooner Stall’ section at www.onlinegooner.com

CONTRIBUTIONS Contributions are welcomed by e-mail to the editorial address above. All views expressed are those of the named contributor and not necessarily of the editor. The Gooner is completely independent of Arsenal FC. NEXT ISSUE: v Birmingham (h) (16 October)

© The Gooner 2010

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