In this past week I’ve talked about the importance of momentum, about how when we’ve even been anywhere near the top of the league at any stage, it’s been because we’ve had a good start to the season and that has carried through until at least the midway point.

Yesterday I talked about it being an important day for Unai Emery because the fixtures were out and he needed a good start to get everyone even more excited than we already were. Nobody wants to be deflated after the first few weeks of the season. We needed plenty of ‘winnable’ games in the first three or four weeks.

So I’m sure you can imagine my instant reaction to the news that we’ve got City at home on the first week, followed by Chelski away on the second, in what feels like a real kick in the teeth.

If you’re a fully paid up member of the “got to play ’em all twice, so it doesn’t matter” then good luck to you, but good seasons are built on solid foundations and if we have ours shaky from the first few weeks, it won’t exactly help the current euphoria or freshness about what is happening at The Arsenal.

We have quite literally got the most difficult opponent we could have hoped for on the opening day. Whatever happened to the unspoken (yet clearly documented) rule that none of the ‘Big Six’ play each other on opening week? We’ve not only got that, but we’ve got two in the first two games! They’re all out to get us, I tells ya!

Seriously though, it’s a very tough start for a team just getting around to a managers football philosophy, against one that is fully embedded and just scored about a bazillion goals the previous season.

Still, let’s try to find some positives. The World Cup doesn’t finish until mid July, the Premier League starts on August 11th, which is about three week’s before the final. Arsenal have a load of players who haven’t gone to the World Cup and even those that have are mostly fringe players – Ospina, Elneny, Iwobi, Welbeck – so we could afford to miss. Mesut and Xhaka might be the ones that are an issue but we should have enough quality still sat at home at the moment to at least give City plenty to think about. Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette and Aubameyang make up ten of 11 players that could start and haven’t had a tournament this summer, where as you’d expect plenty of City players to be there and hopefully they’re all a little worn out.

There’s also the element of surprise. How will Emery’s Arsenal line up? Pep will have enough knowledge on the manager to know his style of play and so will start to be forming a plan already I suspect, but we are a complete unknown quantity, which makes us potentially dangerous.

Providing of course that Emery can remind the Arsenal players about that thing wot their supposed to do in games: defend.


Elsewhere in the world of The Arsenal we’ve got Elneny and potential Arsenal newbie Torriera up against each other today in the 1pm kick off and I must say I’m intrigued to see how both get on. More so the Uruguayan and what I really want to hear about – because unfortunately I’ll be at work during the game – is some utter bastardery from him. It’d be nice to think that we have our only little ‘gamesman’ coming in and I hope Godin et al have been teaching him everything.

The other rumblings are on Ospina which, given he only has one year left on his deal and Cech clearly isn’t going anywhere this summer, is the obvious choice to depart for Leno from Leverkusen. The noises are around Turkey and whilst I’m no massive fan of Ospina, I don’t think he’s been anywhere near as bad as some people make out, despite his love of standing behind the goal line and also having no neck.

I think that sometimes there’s a narrative that people just seem to buy into on players and when that becomes an accepted norm, it’s like they can’t deviate from it, but I’ve seen a guy who was a decent back up, has given us some very good performances, but was never a number one at The Arsenal. If/when the next move happens, hopefully we can see him thrive in Turkey and we can get an upgrade ourselves.

Right, nothing more from me today, so I’ll take my leave and bid you a good one.

Laters people.