You expect me to say that. Last season, after the departure of Thierry Henry, I still said Arsenal should not be written off, ever. And I was 100% right in that conviction. If Arsenal sold their whole team, I would still say ‘Arsenal to win it all’. A die-hard Wenger-apologetic acronym used by a certain blog would fit me just fine, and this has always been the case.
I see it as my job to be delusionally positive about Arsenal. And speaking about jobs, I, notoriously, have been awful at the blogging bit of that job. But we all expect this now from the confirmed part-time blogger.
It’s Arsenal-West Brom come noon-time; the opening match of the Premier League season, and like most of us, we’re all pretty damn excited about the forthcoming campaign.
This despite an absentee list that includes Fabregas, Toure, Diaby, Rosicky and Alex Song.
But you know what? I frankly don’t care.
If Aaron Ramsey and Denilson front up in central midfield, they get my unfading support.
The only players who do not deserve that full support is Eboue and Adebayor, and only the lanky Togolese striker has a 30-goal get-out-of-jail card.
But other than that, this transfer window just gone has shown me one thing: The enjoyment we get out of football is a thing of the past.
Now we are sucked into a pre-pubescent frenzy of Le Grove panic-mongerers, Championship Manager addicts and a football media that have read that new psyche and fed us, drip by drip, those little wrapped up sugary treats of Spurs-inspired doom we all crave.
I, however, will be supporting my team the way they used to, back in the days before I was born.
Were I going to the stadium, I’d be draped in Arsenal banners, flags and donning one of those red-and-white jester hats.
Instead, I’ll be sitting in front of my telly in Australia, wearing whichever Arsenal shirt of mine feels warmest at the time, cheering on that Arsenal team that I love, in that violent whispery way us Pacific-fans have to to stop waking up the other housemates.
Because I am an Arsenal fan.
I am not a fan of players who do not play for my side, until they play for my side.
Until the fat lady sings, I will not doubt this squad until I have empirical, mathematical reason to declare it ‘all over’.
Yes, like all of you, I’m intelligent enough to see that the youth in our side can be a setback.
But I’m going out to enjoy the football this season, not wrack myself silly with the fact that Arsenal wont fulfill its ‘divine right to win everything’.
Because I love this team.
I love what Arsene Wenger has done for this side.
And I want to love football again. I want football the way it was, pre-News Now.
That won’t happen, but I certainly will not be sucked into the Spurs/Chelsea/Liverpool model of supposed ‘success’. I don’t believe for a second the continuous tripe that comes out of the Spurs and Liverpool camps that this one signing is the final piece of the puzzle©, and I have my doubts about Chelsea’s rather overrated new manager.
Instead, I’ll just go along with what makes Arsenal…Arsenal. The team to beat remains Manchester United.
And that’s the way it should always be, for an Arsenal fan.
Gunners for the title? Call me blind: ‘Why the hell not.’
Come on, ARSENAL.
Prediction: Arsenal 3 – 0 West Bromwich Albion.