So, it’s finally here – PREMIER LEAGUE EVE. Aren’t you excited?
Forget about the ridiculously circumstances off the field just for a moment and concentrate on your match day experience. I’ve missed football and I need it back – win, lose or draw. The experience of a football game is unrivalled for me, which is why I find it hard to understand people who get excited by a life purely based on fiction. This is real and you play a part.
The outpouring of emotions awaits you whether it be born out of pure elation or frustration (more likely). Yes, it can cost a fortune but that discussion isn’t for today, just soak it up and enjoy backing your team. Tomorrow will see Gooners from all over the globe getting back into their routine and for some ridiculous kick off times await, a massive commitment in itself. Where will have the unexpected highs? Which game/s will catch us by surprise? Who knows but it’s one of the beauties of football.
Of course, the squad is in a bad way but there will still be 11 players ready to represent us on a pitch on Saturday and we need to back them to the hilt. We have all week to moan about the failings of the board and the manager for not recruiting any form of quality but we must not let that affect the side like we did two years ago.
So which players do you think will be pivotal this season?
I thought I’d have a punt at a couple of predictions:
Player of the Season
Jack Wilshere – The time is now for Jack and I think if we can get a full season from him then we’ll be all the better for it. Players like Cazorla have a lot to live up to, given his superb debut season. I wanted to pick Koscielny but I think our lack of numbers at the back could affect the performance of the defence.
Olivier Giroud – I really like the big Frenchman and I’m glad his confident is on the up following pre-season. I think there was a sense that he felt he didn’t feel like he merited a place at Arsenal last season but we’ve learned to utilise him and now the bedding in period is over and I think he’ll deliver the goods.
Hard to pick one due to the threadbare squad but I think I’m going to go with Hector Bellerin. I hope he gets some time in the cup games and with it looking likely that Sagna being our 3rd choice centre half he might just wrangle his way into the squad. Bellerin is a train going forward but he needs to work on his defending but I’m sure that will come with time and opportunities.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – We need to pick a position for him and stick with it. He certainly looks a lot more comfortable in the centre of the pitch and he certainly doesn’t have the attributes to be a winger. Just because you are quick doesn’t mean your should be turfed out wide. He has flattered to deceive in his Arsenal career so far yet he has won an astonishing 13 England caps. He could well find himself on the plane to Brazil next summer but his performances must improve.
The Stabbed in the Back Candidate
So we’ve had a summer without any high profile departures. So who do I think is most likely to throw their toys out of the pram? Jack Wilshere. If Jack has a big season (as predicted) and he trots off to the World Cup, I can see Barcelona and Real will be at our doorstep come August. The key is how did the team perform and at present I can’t see a realistic challenge for the top three trophies. I hope I’m wrong and before you say he’s Arsenal till he dies etc he used to support West Ham. Laurent Koscielny might also fall into their category as well.
Anyway, just a snippet ahead of Villa I suspect our line up will be:
And then I’ve run out of players. No defenders on the bench and the likes of Gnabry and co will find themselves in with a shout of getting on. I’m absolutely speechless but it’s okay we shouldn’t be concerned or express our dissatisfaction because the window is still open. How we got to this point I simply don’t know.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoy your match day on Saturday, whether it be by going to the game, listening on the radio or watching a dodgy stream.
Oh and just remember if you’ve bought anything arsenal related since the end of last season, then you’ve spent more on the club than they have on signing players.
Until next week.
I’m a 30 something year old Gateshead lad but thankfully my Dad is a cockney and he put me on the right path in life, taking me to my first Highbury game at the tender age of six.
Despite my obvious geographical disadvantage I am a season ticket holder and I attend quite a few away days as well.
I like to express my opinion which resulted in me starting a blog. I’m delighted to be part of the WTTGT team and you can read ’The Michael Jeffares Column’ every Friday without fail.