Like any other fan I read Arsenal related news and articles avidly, I visit other site and even watch AFTV and when you do that you can get a general feeling for what most fans agree on, disagree on and so forth.
Well, one of the things that has struck me is that expectations for next season are what you could describe as slightly negative, nothing wrong with that, that is what the average Arsenal fan seems to feel, let me give you an example.
We ran a poll on JustArsenalForums asking where do you think Arsenal will finish next season, now, this is as unscientific as one can get and the number of voters was tiny just 131 of you but it was interesting that 54% of you voted that we would finish in a position outside the top-four.
Arsenal fans are no different than any other fans and will, for the most part, be biased towards our own club and so only 46% believing we will finish top-four is fairly depressing and for the record, just 4% said we would end up as champions.
The point I am making is that most of us are not expecting us to set the world on fire next season, we are realistic enough to know that our team is not as good as we would wish it to be and so we align our expectations up based on that.
That is good, but we all know it will not last.
If we win five or six of our opening six games then we will have forgotten what we prepared ourselves for just a month earlier and going forward we then judge the team on that winning start and no longer what we had prepared ourselves for.
Let me try and put it this way, before last season started hopes were not high and after losing our opening games to Chelsea and Man City I remember what a lot of us was saying, myself included and if at that point someone would have said to us that by the end of the season with six games to go we would be third and on the way to the Europa League final we would have taken that all day long.
Of course, we would not have taken what the end of the season actually ended up like but even so, if we would have been told we would finish fifth, a point behind fourth and runners up in the Europa League final we would have called BS because the truth is that very few of us believed that would happen.
So, this summer, expectations are generally low and if I said to any of you do not worry with a few games left we will be top-four and in the Europa League final you would probably say, yes that will do considering the team we have.
But that will change depending on how the season unfolds, our expectations will rise and fall and the one thing I feel I can say with certainty is that however much we prepare ourselves for a season of mediocrity we will have forgotten that long before the end of the season comes around.
There is simply no point preparing for an average season because it will not last, after even the tiniest of winning runs we will expect so much more and again, nothing wrong with that but it just goes to show that no matter how prepared we are, the truth is, we are never prepared.