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the exception of the keeper, all the changes offered the side something better than was there before (in Walcott’s case, a bit of energy and drive, as he is obviously not a better player than Arshavin). Arsenal’s only two players who could really make any kind of claim to be approaching world class are the captain and the Dutch forward, and if the team are to succeed, realistically, they both need to be playing. The victory over Chelsea proved what the team are capable of. It seems a long time since they beat either of the two sides that have shared the title, and they need to do this more often if they are to prove they have the winning mentality required to be the best team in the Premier League. It may be a season in which sides are falling over themselves to give each other the title. My God, even Spurs are talking about their chances of nicking it. But history will not be placing an asterisk by the winners in the 2010/11 season stating that the champions were only such because everyone else was so bad. The pot is there for the taking. Arsenal, at the top of their game as they were against Chelsea, are good enough to win the thing. What we are now crying out for is some consistency. The Wigan and Birmingham matches will establish whether the team are capable of it at venues with bad memories. Let’s hope by the time you read this that some demons have been conquered as convincingly as Chelsea were the day after Boxing Day. A quick note to say that if anyone needs an extra copy of the calendar we have given away with this issue, send an A5 sized SAE to the usual address on page 3, or buy one online from our website for 50p. To finish, I wish everyone a happy 2011. Here’s hoping Arsenal give us reasons to cherish the year once it’s behind us.

- Kevin Whitcher

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CONTRIBUTORS Kevin Whitcher, Mike Francis, Phil Wall, Steve Ashford, Mike Slaughter, Warren Swaine, Brian Dawes, Charlie Ashmore, Marc Ollington, Simon Rose, Robert Exley, David O’Brien, Howard Lamb, Tim Stillman, Bernard Dowling, Simon Blackburn, Ian Henry, Nadim Naaman, Stuart Watson, Nick Kelsall, Mike Hennessy, Alister Campbell, Tony Huegdon, Graham Yates, Fishpie, Michael Farmer, Grant Tabard, Sam Bradshaw, Kevin O’Connor, Paul Regan, Phil Venton, Steve Harris & Tony Porter ARTWORK Darren Rackham, Mike Murphy & The X-Man PHOTOS Offside Sports Photography & Professional Sport MATCHDAY SELLERS Dave, Mrs B, Andrew, Rich, Frank, Alex, Griffo, PJ, Marc, David, Paul, Pete & James PRINTERS Regal Litho 01908 270 400,

SUBSCRIPTIONS Mail order subscriptions are available in blocks of ten issues. UK & BFPO - £20; Eire & Europe - £27; 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 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: Next home match after Ipswich 2nd Leg

© The Gooner 2011

Issue 210 still available We still have copies of our previous edition for sale (as well as 207-209). It can be purchased for £2 from the online Gooner Shop - see, by post (address above, add 50p for postage for one issue, but order more than one and all postage is free) or from the stall outside 168 Drayton Park on matchdays.