There are many people who think that Arsenal are not going to finish in the top two places in our Champions League Group, with two defeats to the minnows plus a double header against Bayern Munich coming up very soon.
So this is it Arsenal fans, another year over and a new one just begun, to paraphrase the great John Lennon. And what have we done? More importantly, what are we going to do in 2015 to make sure that it is a good year for everyone of the Gooneristic persuasion?
Even though Arsenal are going to finish the calendar year of 2014 outside of the Premier League top four when we began the year on top of the tree, and having been knocked out of the Capital One cup at the first hurdle, Arsene Wenger has claimed that Arsenal have done very well over the last 12 months.
Every time Arsenal faced a Big Team last season, they were generally embarrassed by the opponents, especially when Chelsea beat us 6-0 in Arsene Wenger’s 1000th game in charge. It seems that that has spurred Wenger to fortify the team, and yesterday’s win over Man City has given Wenger belief that Arsenal can now compete with the big clubs once again.
I might be jumping the gun a bit here, but after a 5-1 win in the first game, Arsenal are nailed on to win the Emirates Cup this weekend. With a point for every goal scored, the Gunners sit on eight points, with Benfica on just one and Valencia and our opponents today, Monaco, on just three. So as long as we don’t take a heavy defeat and fail to score, Arsenal will win the trophy for the first time since 2010.
There is a lot to be said for the impact that a good team morale can have on the performances of the players, both as individuals and as a collective unit, so the fact the Gunners’ new signing Alexis Sanchez seems to be creating the same sort of buzz around the club as the arrival of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid did last year, can only be good news for Gooners everywhere.
It is not long now, Arsenal fans, until the Gunners are back in the action. In four weeks time, we will already have had the Emirates Cup, with games against Benfica and AS Monaco at the Emirates stadium. Then Arsene Wenger takes his Arsenal team to Wembley for the Community Shield against Man City before the real serious business begins the following week with the visit of Crystal Palace. And I cannot wait.
It was one of the many big blows that Arsenal had to cope with last season, when our German international striker Lukas Podolski picked up a hamstring injury in just his second competitive game of the season, against Turkish club Fenerbahce in the Champions League play-offs.