This morning the fixtures for the forthcoming season have been released. Arsenal have been given a real baptism of fire with an opening day fixture agaisnt Everton followed by the visit of Portsmouth on 22 August and then to test our mettle an away trip to Old Trafford on 29 August. We then enter a period of September, October and November where we have many winnable matches, with the first North London derby set for 31 October at the Emirates and Chelsea visit us on 28 November.
Our season will be determined in January with games against Aston Villa, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in succession.
This season is the most pivotal for Arsenal.
Since Wenger took over as manager of Arsenal, the fans expect to win trophies or at worse to challenge for trophies. In a way Arsene’s success has also been the stick with which we have hit him with. We are used to success and anything less is out of the question.
This is the same for players, they join Arsenal to win trophies and because Arsene is the manager.
It is no secret that failure to win something this season will see several of our key players opt to leave, there may even be a ground swell against the manager. You cannot be a top team and fail to challenge for trophies.
This is the reason why we must hit the season running; we cannot afford to start the season slowly. Victory after victory gives you momentum which can carry you further than you would normally go, as happened two weeks ago.
The most important factor in challenging for trophies is keeping the key players free of injury. We cannot have two or three players out at the same time; furthermore we need both Eduardo and Rosicky to be 100% match fit from the start of the season.
We now have two months of the phoney war before the real battle starts; let us hope we are ready and able to make a real fight of things this season.