Just how much will Arsenal miss Robin van Persie? Does his departure, and Saturday's 0-0 draw with Sunderland, mean another trophey-less season?

SO Arsenal are held to a goalless draw in their Premier League opener against Sunderland on Saturday and it's all down to the sale of Robin van Persie. Yes of course it is. I mean the club never drew a home game while the Dutchman was playing did they?

The late chance missed by new signing Oliver Giroud would surely have been buried by van Persie, they said. Yes, I mean he never missed any chances did he? When he was fit of course.

Yes it was a disappointing way to kick off the new season, but I prefer to look at the positives. Santi Cazorla, for example, made a very encouraging debut. In fact I would so as far as to say he looks the natural replacement for Cesc Fabregas.

Lukas Podolski and Giroud may have failed to shine but both are clearly quality players and will score goals once they have settled in. Plus, of course, the possible arrivals of Nuri Sahin and Yann M'Vila mean we have plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

Furthermore the other challengers have not exactly set the world alight either. Manchester City struggled to overcome an average Southampton side, Chelsea appeared to run out of steam after a good start at Wigan, while United lost, and looked very poor, at Everton.

So it is hardly a time for doom and gloom. I can see great potential in this side. The squad appears to have more balance now and a midfield of Arteta, Cazorla and Wilshere fills me with excitement. Meanwhile, with Steve Bould working his magic on the defensive side of the game, I can see a lot more clean sheets this season.

But where will the goals come from, I hear you ask? Well, Podolski, Giroud, Gervinho, Theo Walcott and Cazorla all have double figures in them so I feel the goals will be more evenly spread this season. The Golden Boot may not be finding its way back to The Emirates come May but a real trophy might well be.

The seven year itch may be about to be scratched. I have not felt this optimistic about the clubs chances of success since the days of Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp. The other challengers do not scare me and, as long as we can stay in contention through the early weeks, I can see us getting stronger and stronger as the season progresses.

But the whole balance of the team does seem more suited to the Champions League. Chelsea proved last season that you do not have to be the best team to win it, just play to your strengths and have a bit of luck along the way. We can do that.

Failing that, of course, is the FA Cup. By January I believe this team will be flying and no one will fancy getting drawn against us. No one. Three major trophies to go for and we have a great chance in all of them.

Nah, who am I kidding? We have just lost the greatest striker in the World to one of our biggest rivals. And that is following on from the loss of Fabregas and Samir Nasri last year. The club is in decline, a selling club, and Saturday's 0-0 draw with a dire Sunderland side is the reality of where we are at.

The critics cannot all be wrong, can they? Wenger has clearly lost the plot and without van Persie we are doomed to another season of failure. Aren't we??