My post certainly wasn't intended as simply discarding Rob, he has a great voice, was a member for no less than three subsequent albums (a record unmatched so far) and is the singer on two out of three live albums and both live DVD's. Especially on Contagion his vocals are a crucial, core element of a perfect album, just marvellous (more about that tomorrow in the review series). His Solar album also gets regular play here. On stage Paul Manzi just seems more in his element than Rob, is what I meant to say.
What Nicky expressed in his post is exactly what I felt when Paul Wrightson and John Jowitt left after The Visitor (even more so, having gotten to know them in person). A crucial album and period of the band for me as a fan - and then suddenly the band line up changes drastically. So I really sympathise with what Nicky and Paco have said here.
I guess I have become more used to it over all these years, following the band from the very start. Basically I've come to regard the line up changes as the opening of yet another exciting new chapter in Arena's history and although it means we have to miss Rob, Ian and also Paul, I think it's a promising new chapter that has started now.