We play Sevilla tomorrow in an Emirates Cup special. This is the test run. The game we need everything to click. It’s where we all get down on our knees and pray to each and every god out there that no one gets injured.
Palace is next Friday.
I cannot wait.
That’s the hardest game of August. They’ll be fired up, the atmosphere will be electric, and they’ll know they smashed Arsenal a few months earlier.
This time, we’ll have Thomas Partey in the midfield, not hungover from Ghana.
We’ll have Zinchenko at left-back and Ben White at right back. A much better pair of options than Cedric and Tavares.
Our forward line will also boast a striker that can occupy defenders, run, create from nothing, and score goals.
Things should be different. All the news I hear from training is positive. The players are enjoying each other, the culture is strong, the intensity is really high in each session, and there’s a buzz that something special could happen this season.
We’re going to look at the season in phases like we did last year. We do this because it allows you to break off chunks of the season and give a little more context to each. Some phases will have more away games, some will have more games against big 6 sides, so you do this to keep track of where you are.
- Palace (A)
- Leicester (H)
- Bournemouth (A)
- Fulham (H)
- Villa (H)
- United (A)
- Everton (H)
- Brentford (A)
The first 5 games are very favourable. Arsenal really need to be collecting 11 points. I’d take a draw at Palace. You’d also hope we can collect 7 points from the following three games. The biggest is United. Win that and we’ll start believing.
If we take 18 points from 24, we’ll be in the top 4 for sure. If we collect more than that, then you’re heading into the first international break absolutely fired up, from there, who knows where the confidence will take Arsenal.
The squad, as is, has moved forward.
Everyone is built for the system. The character of the players has moved up a level. They’re all highly intelligent players. At the very least this season, we are going to be a nightmare for most teams, because there aren’t a lot of weaknesses when everyone is fit. We are City light now.
- Everyone knows how to press
- Everyone is comfortable on the ball
- We can go long, so a high-line is a bad idea
- We can play through a press at speed, so you have to double-take going for us
- We can unlock deep-blocks because we have pocket-pickers
Do we have fear factor like City or Liverpool? Not yet. We haven’t been good enough in the final third for that. But we are certainly not an enjoyable side to roll up against. We’re relentless, well organised, fit, and the technical level is very high.
Adding some killer to our side is going to be really beneficial for us next season. If we can find a goalscoring winger that has some of that special sauce, we really could be a bag of unpredictability.
I’m super happy where we are as a team. We’re not winning the league, but we’re going to ask questions of the Premier League Order this season and hopefully lay the foundations for a big push the season after.
I’m genuinely excited about where this club is going. I hope you are too. 2 more players and this window will go down as one of the greatest.
Right, check out our latest Patreon from Johnny and Matt Kandela. I’ll be doing a football and tech podcast next week with someone very interesting. We’ll be On The Whistle for Sevilla if we can!