Fulham 2 v Arsenal 2

After seeing his side manage a spirited 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage, Arsene Wenger left west London with the angry cries of the Arsenal fans loudly ringing in his ears. ” Spend some f***ing money,” came the chants from a huge Gunners’ following after Wenger conceded that his side came the closest to claiming honours than in recent seasons.

We came so close to trophies says Wenger

Missed

The good news for Wenger and the Arsenal fans was that Thomas Vermaelen showed the quality and technique that has been so lacking so often at the heart of the Arsenal defence, we can only wonder what difference his presence would have made. ” We missed you so much, we missed you so much, Thomas Vermaelen we missed you so much,” sang the fans as the Belgium defender blocked Danny Murphy’s effort on the line and showed the composure and maturity that has been the Gunners Achilles heel this season. If only Wenger would have accepted that fact and resolved the matter sooner.

Deliver

Steve Sidwell gave Fulham the lead, but Robin Van Persie netted for a Premiership record ninth consecutive time in away games, after some good work from Abou Diaby. Bobby Zamora made it 2-1 to the home side, but substitute Theo Walcott created a fine leveller for his 13th goal of a season that promised to deliver so much.

Spend

Wenger has intimated that he will spend, but his usual maxim that he will only sign players that will improve the side. Denilson, Thomas Rosicky, Nicklas Bendtner and Emmanuel Eboue look set to lead the exodus from the Emirates, but Wenger admitted that he will not be able to spend £ 50 million for a player, even if he will have to compete against sides that easily will.

Tour

Arsenal finished fourth in the Premiership, twelve points off champions Manchester United and now face the potential of a tricky two legged Champions League qualification tie. Wenger will also take his side for a pre-season tour of Malaysia and China, a first for Arsenal in the Premiership era, but the tour will last only a week, and even that will be too long for the Arsenal manager who usually looks no further than Austria for his pre-season preparations. If he can keep his side together, Arsenal can finally deliver on their huge potential. Firstly for Wenger however is to instil a winning mentality that deserted his players so often at crucial times of this season.