Another season is here again.
Last season was a disappointment for Arsenal. Yes, Mikel Arteta had his first full season, ESR and Saka flourished but Arsenal’s failure to qualify for any of the European competitions indicated how far the Gunners have fallen out of place.
The pre-season results haven’t really given the fans the vibes for the new season but pre-seasons are false. You can ask the Nigeria Basketball team about friendly matches. With wins against Millwall & Watford, Arteta’s team lost all matches in “The Mind Series” against fellow London clubs – city rivals. Losing to Spurs in any kind of capacity is never taken likely by the fans but well, it is a friendly. sigh.
- Jul 13: Hibernian 2-1 Arsenal
- Jul 17: Rangers 2-2 Arsenal
- Jul 24: Arsenal 4-1 Millwall
- Jul 28: Arsenal 4-1 Watford
- Aug 01: Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea
- Aug 08: Tottenham Hotspurs 1-0 Arsenal
On the market, Ben White, Nuno Tavares, Albert Lokonga have joined the Gunners while William Saliba, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Mateo Guendouzi have been sent on season long loans.
Arthur Okonkwo and Folarin Balogun are now with first team, while Joe Willock is expected to join Newcastle soon. There are question marks on Alex Runarsson, Sead Kolasinac, Hector Bellerin, Cedric, Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and Willian. Will they be with Arsenal after the transfer window? Will Arteta get replacements?
For the season, Arsenal top priority will be to get back to Europe and challenge for the national cups. For the league, finishing outside the top four should be sackable offence for Mikel Arteta.
Tonight, we “travel” to the Brentford Community Stadium where we start off our season with a London derby. Brentford will be the 50th different team to play in the Premier League and the 10th from London. The last time Arsenal met Brentford, the Gunners won 1-0 in May 1947. Head-t0-head, we have met 13 times – W4, D4, L5.
The Gunners have also never lost an away game when kicking off their premier league season – W5 D2. This is the 4th time Arsenal have been involved in opening game of a Premier League campaign, wining the other three against West brom (08/09), Leicester (17/18) and Fulham (20/21)
With Nketiah out injured, Aubameyang & Lacazette both unwell, I wonder how Arsenal will line up tonight.
Probable line-up: Leno, Chambers, White, Mari, Tierney, Xhaka, Lokonga, Pepe, Smith-Rowe, Balogun, Willian. Bench: Runarsson, Holding, Tavares, Saka, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Martinelli.
Arsenal will need to be careful of Ivan Toney who scored 33 goals for Brentford last season. Can Arsenal keep a clean sheet today?
Here we go again!