5 Reasons for Gooner Optimism for the New Season


Reason No.1

There are so many reasons to be excited for the new season if you are a Gooner, but I have been asked to outline my top 5 – Reasons to be Cheerful!

Gabriel Jesus – It is almost impossible to start anywhere else. The Brazilian centre forward was the most crucial signing and is proving so already in pre-season. It is not as simple as Arsenal needing a new striker after the departures of Aubameyang and Lacazette, but the type of striker required. Arteta needed a player who would fit the high pressing style he wanted to play and not just a better goal getter. Nketiah improved in this department, but Arsenal’s new number 9 has been playing and winning in a team that presses collectively for years. I am relishing how he will blend with his young and creative colleagues, so Premier League defences beware.

William Saliba – Arsenal fans have been desperate to see the young Frenchman in the famous red and white. Even more so after his hugely impressive third season on loan, which saw him rewarded with individual player awards and international recognition. Saliba is strong, good in the air, but vitally far more mobile than the ever-popular Rob Holding. As committed as the Englishman is, when Arteta has to call on him, in a back 2, his lack of pace impacts the team’s ability to play a high line and his lack of passing range limits us. His man of the match display last Friday at Selhurst Park gave us further reasons to feel excited.


It remains to be seen is the Frenchman will displace Ben White as first choice but having three top centre backs provides healthy competition and also offers the ability to seamlessly switch between systems and utilise a back 3, as we have witnessed already.

Arteta’s Squad – The past week and the coming week will see more departures from the Emirates, and I hope the final stages of transforming the squad from Emery’s to Arteta’s. Yes, we can bemoan the amount of money we are receiving for some of the players being sold, but I would sooner focus of the positive aspects.

After all, it is not my money and is if it means by the end of the Transfer Window, Arteta has a more balanced and competitive squad, solely comprised of players capable and importantly, willing to play his way, then I see that has fabulous news.

The Captaincy – Many fans, and even recent managers of Arsenal, have not seen the club captaincy as being as important. I am firmly not in that camp and whilst I agree we need several leaders on the pitch, I still want my team to have one captain. Therefore, I am delighted that Arteta has offered that responsibility to Martin Odegaard, a true inspiration on the pitch, with high energy, amazing ability and a never say die attitude.

We can finally move away from the spin of the roulette wheel each week as to who would wear the armband. If you want that you can play online games here, but I don’t want it at The Arsenal

I am confident the Norwegian will relish the privilege, as his has for his country and when you moan at only receiving small fees for Torreira and Leno, maybe balance that with the thought that we signed Odegaard, a £60 million player for about £33 million.

Mon Capitan

Momentum – Whilst it is not always sensible to read too much into pre-season, I think we can all agreed that the pre-season for 22/23 has been uplifting. The new players have bedded in swiftly, including Zinchencko who will provide excellent competition for Kieran Tierney and there seems a genuine camaraderie in the squad. Jesus is playing with Saka, Martinelli and Odegaard as if he has been with them for years and Ramsdale has got his precision distribution radar back.

After all, Everton, Chelsea and Sevilla are not the Austrian 2nd Division opposition Arsene Wenger’s championship winning teams warned up against. In Pre-season, this team have scored 12 unanswered goals against 2 Premier League teams and the tea that finished 4th in La Liga.

A win away for starters, so bring on Leicester at the Emirates!


This the full unedited version of this week’s Fan Column for Sun Football.

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One Response to 5 Reasons for Gooner Optimism for the New Season

  1. Bob August 13, 2022 at 4:01 am #

    My reason to be excited about Arsenal are:

    1. Physical transformation and match fitness.
    We can see how different the physical transformation among our players in comparison to our past. Currently, our players are lean yet also muscular. They build themselves to cope with relentless pressing strategy and PL physical challenge. I think it is part of Arteta’s strategy to built fitness level even before PL started. We start very well especially in first half where other club still have their mind on last week vacation.

    2. A clear gameplan
    Press, press, press, pass, pass, pass. Everyone responsible for defending start from the striker upfront, everyone responsible for scoring, starting from the goal keeper. It requires commitment and responsibility from everyone.

    3. Mutual relationship among club component
    The club needs a rejuvenation, the sporting director need a coach with a plan, the young and new coach need a club who will trust him in good and bad times, the rejuvenated young players need club who would entrust them with gametime, the club needs affordable (young) players who will grow and lead them to glory, the fans need club with a strong excecution and players who is willing to sacrifice anything on the field. We are locked to each other in a good term. Everyone will start to grow upstairs from now on.

    4. Squad depth in build
    Other than the well known Arsenal star (Saka, White, Odegaard, Partey) Arsenal has been starting to prepare the competition/substitute for those players. Marquinhos came to follow Saka’s footstep, Vieira to compete with Odegaard, Sambi to challenge Partey’s place.

    Arsenal has proven themselves they are objective in player’s assesment. Last season Ramsdale took baton from Leno. This season it is clear to me thet Saliba took the Ben White’s place.

    Arsenal fan always worry about their star players taken by other club. Our club has learn the lesson, they already prepare the next talent before it is needed.

    5. Antidote for the top 2 team.
    I can see we have option to shut down Haaland, Mahrez and Foden by using Saliba-Magalhaes, Tierney and White. We can nullify Nunez, Salah and Diaz with them also. When we against team who is sitting deep and not so threatening on the right side, Zinchenko can play. One on one situation? Tierney is the answer.

    We can level with City and Liverpool. It is a matter if how to win against other team.

    6 “Young with experienced” squad
    The lads, the core team has started to play together for one season. This season will be better than before. Other team may have a bigger player. But no one can win against the aging.

    I believe Arsenal can shoot for PL title this season, and I am not hallucinating. It is possible with one condition: Arsenal solely focusing on chasing the PL title and leave the other cup competition for the non starter/alternate eleven of the game against Crystal Palace. Let City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tot’s, United divide their concentration to Champions League and Europa League. We sneakily put all our primary resource for EPL. We can grab PL this year.


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