Sfer - chill out man! I'm not here to argue, I take your points on board but think you're being harsh on us. Whatever you say about Arsenal without RVP, they still have a chance of qualifying for the CL again, and could even finish 3rd - if we falter and Chelsea (both are likely). What I meant as well is that we have Bale - for now - and he's been our best player so naturally our other players will look to him first for inspiration. Currently that's working.
Re Holtby getting a "real kicking", not saying he was kicked but I thought he encountered a more physical team than what he's probably used to and wasn't getting any joy in the second half. The ref wasn't offering protection and he ended up on his a*se a lot. So AVB substituted him for someone who is more used to the physical demands of the PL and what happened? He nearly scored with his shot that spilled onto the post when Ade then missed his chance, and afterwards did manage to score our equaliser - however scrappy it was he was there to put it away.
Re Dembele/Carroll - turn that question on its head, how many goals scored and assists created for Dembele? Not many considering he's had more game time but that's because he sits deep. He'd also been booked and had one or two moments where he could have got a second yellow, so taking him off for Carroll (rather than a defensive player) was the right move.
As for your argument on defence/goalie not winning games, not sure many Arsenal fans would agree with you given that they have not had a solid back 5 (including goalie) for years whereas the likes of Chelsea have had Cech, Terry, Carvalho, Cole and Man U have had Vidic, Ferdinand and Evra - and have won trophies. You can't say that Arsenal have been light in attacking options over the last 7 years while they still had Henry, RVP, Fabregas, Walcott etc.? Many feel it is that lack of a quality back line (+ goalie) which has cost them games, competitions, success.
Maybe some teams do deserve better, and if West Ham had the quality they we do (or Bale if that's the case) then they may have got that. Ditto for a whole host of other teams over the years. I support AVB at the moment, but I'm not sure on Levy - why no players in January again etc. etc. r