Pre season: Good, bad or ugly?
Results wise it’s not been pretty. During the Emirates Cup we scored some beautiful goals, one particular flowing move capped by Aaron Ramsey’s finish caught the eye but then we shipped some stupid ones too. Silly defensive errors by Djourou and Squillaci highlight Arsenal’s recurring weakness at the back which meant against Boca Juniors we weren’t able to successfully defend a lead. Groundhog Season anyone?
Hopes for the season?
That we ship out Nasri and Fabregas sharpish so Wenger has the time and money to rebuild the team with players who actually want to win for Arsenal.
Fears for the season?
That Wenger stubbornly fails to fix the mistakes he’s made in previous seasons and gets hounded out by a section of the fans.
Absolute bare minimum you’ll accept?
Champions League qualification is a financial necessity. But on the pitch it would be nice to see the end of Arsenal’s crab football – all that pointless sideways movement around the area doesn’t scare anyone.
Fixture you’re most looking forward to?
The one in which Marouane Chamakh rediscovers his touch and arrogance in front of goal instead of diligently chasing balls into touch like a well-meaning Labrador.
Got the right manager?
I really hope so. Arsene Wenger is genius and a good man. But increasingly you wonder if his best years are behind him. If the definition of madness is to repeat the same mistakes over and over again then expect to see the men in white coats waiting outside the Emirates this season.
By Christmas you’ll be…
Surprising everyone by being in contention for the title – then plummeting down the table in the new year as the squad suffers from some kind of collective vertigo.
Player you’d most like to sign?
I should probably name a strapping defender like Christopher Samba but it’s creative players like Juan Mata that really thrill. I remember seeing him come on as a sub for Spain during the Euros and he was fantastic. The new Pires, perhaps?
Which player should we look out for?
Gervinho has looked good and scored some great goals in pre-season. Wenger's counter-attacking game has always been based on pace but apart from Walcott the side has been sluggish of late. Arshavin used to be able to keep up but the size of his arse last season suggests he’s been training in Greggs.
Which player would you love to ditch?
That has to be Eboue. Not so much a squad player as a mascot who, alarmingly, is allowed on the pitch. Forget selling him, we should shoot him for giving away that last second penalty against Liverpool at home last season.
Opposition hate figure?
Gary Neville. He doesn’t play for Manure any more but you can be sure he’ll be stinking up the Sky Sports every time you turn on the TV. Bring back Andy Gray. Actually, don’t bother.
Tell us something we don’t know about your club?
We don’t actually want to win the league. You don’t think you can ship a four goal lead to Newcastle without trying to lose points do you?
What won’t happen this season?
The Emirates faithful will entertain away fans with their biting terrace humour, booming chants and altogether terrific support.
“Shhhhhhhhhh!” No really.
Where will you finish?
It’s going to be a shootout for fourth spot between us and Liverpool. The noises coming out of Anfield seem to be positive whereas most Gooners are walking around with their head in their hands right now. The difference in attitude could be the deciding factor.
Any other news?
My wife’s due to give birth to a baby boy in a week’s time and I’m trying to work out whether Frank works as a name or whether it reminds me too much of that fat Chelsea lump. Your thoughts on the matter are welcome of course.
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