I didn’t blog yesterday, because I kind of wanted the dust to settle a little bit of the emotion of the weekend. It gets a little easier each day though, plus I’m about to bugger off to Portugal at the weekend, as well as getting time with the guys to go over the season as a whole as we did last night on the Same Old Arsenal podcast. In the immediate aftermath of the end of the season when you’ve come so close, there’s always a danger that you only really think of the most recent past, but last night was a good opportunity to review all of the good times in the season and that has made me feel a little more upbeat today.

Which is nice.

For example, there’s a few rival fans in the WhatsApp’s and on social media that are taking some pleasure in ‘bantering’ us, but if you look at the season as a whole, who had more fun?

Arsenal made us happy 28 times with 28 wins in the Premier League.

That’s four more times of me fist-pumping a win in my house than Liverpool fans got. It’s eight more times than Villa or the Scum. It’s 10 more than Chelsea got, and let’s not forget that it was they who apparently ‘won’ the transfer window last summer, eh? The same as Man United.

Arsenal made me happy more than a quarter of a time than Man United and Chelsea fans made them happy (26% more wins than those two clubs). So yeah, I’ll take that and being ‘bantered’ a bit over the next week or so, than what those clubs served up for their teams.

And the optimism amongst our fanbase (few internet weirdos aside who seem to take no joy in anything) is such that we’re going in to this summer and next season feeling rather excited about the evolution of this team. Chelsea fans don’t even know who will be their manager come the opening game.

I’ve also been reflecting on Arteta and Odegaard’s words, as well as the words of some of the players who have come out in the last 48 hours to give a bit of appreciation to the fans, because the words I was hearing were certainly that of some individuals that are ready, willing and able to ‘go again’. What I’ve heard is fighting talk, and I love it.

What needs to happen now, of course, is those players head off on holiday and get themselves refreshed before their respective international matches. For some there will be none of that and as I was listening to an Arsenal podcast this morning, I started to immediately think about the start of the season and whether or not we could have a squad ready for day one that could be competitive of people who had not gone to the Euros or the Copa America. Granted, it probably wouldn’t be the best iteration of an Arteta select XI, but I think in terms of being competitive, could we do it to give some of those players – who looked on their haunches post the Everton game last Sunday – a bit of a rest so they can perform for the vast majority of the season?

Cavet in here, because some of these players WILL be going to the above mentioned tournaments, but I’ve picked those that won’t play very much. I’ve also included some players who might be offski in the summer, but that’s because as it stands these are guys who have a contract with us and until we find a replacement, we must assume they have a place in the squad until they are confirmed to exit.

So, caveat aside, here’s what I came up with:


White   –   Saliba   –   Tomiyasu   –   Timber


Fabio Vieira   –   Smith Rowe

Jesus   –   Nketiah   –   Nelson

Granted, that’s not the strongest team and granted, there will inevitably be some members of the team who have been away and playing during international tournaments, but when I look at this team I can’t help but think that against perhaps 12 or 13 of the teams in the league, this Arsenal side could pick up some points. Ramsdale won’t play much for England, neither will Saliba (because Deschamps is mad), Tomiyasu has a couple of games for Japan but he should be fine, plus Jorginho won’t play too much. So I think that’s a capable almost completely back up XI and when I look at that it actually gives me more cause for optimism that we can start to look at a positive season ahead.

Of course if we get Man City away on the first game of the season this probably all goes out of the window, but I’m in a positive mood today and so I’m choosing to see this particular Arsenal glass as half full. If the season started tomorrow and we couldn’t use any players going away with their international teams, I’d be pretty fine with that line up, assuming that this rule was applied in the same way to all teams in the league.

I think I’ll leave it there for today. I’m going to do a few days looking over the different component parts of our team and how they got on this season in my opinion from tomorrow and over the next few days, so will be back tomorrow to give some thoughts on the defence.

Catch you all then.