It might only a subtle difference and may only represent a slight increase in the self belief felt by the Arsenal players at the moment, but it could well turn out to make all the difference between fans of the Gunners going a 12th summer without a Premier League trophy to celebrate and the streets of north London being turned read and white next May.
There is a definite upswing in the belief going around the Arsenal squad though, as reported by Sky Sports reporter Patrick Davison after he was given rare behind the scenes access to the dressing room as Arsenal prepare to face West Ham on the first game of our season.
The reporter was struck by the strong expectations coming from all of the Arsenal players, rather than the usual hopeful confidence that we see at this time of year. He spoke to a lot of the squad and this is what a couple of them had to say about what lies ahead.
Club captain Mikel Arteta declared, “Something is different this year, the attitude is different, the desire is there and we are ready. We can compete for the Premier League and the Champions League.”
And the man with the bumper new contract, Theo Walcott, said, “We can do anything.
“This season we need to be competing for the Premier League, not fading out toward the end. We need to compete till the last day.”
And Davison claims that he got the same sense of unshakeable belief from all the players he spoke to, with Kieran Gibbs suggesting that the transfer of Petr Cech from Chelsea has had a really big effect. They are ready, they believe and now we just need a good start against the Hammers to get us up and running.