There are certain occurrences in football that are par for the course.
VAR decisions that baffle all and sundry.
Pundit opinions that appear to have little grounding in logic.
Mike Dean looking for the centre of attention – and plonking himself inside it.
There’s more of course, but football has plenty of patterns and incidents that happen naturally as the season progresses.
And as Gooners, we have a few ‘traditions’ during our seasons that we all simply expect to happen.
So here are five things we can assume will unfold during this coming campaign. Like it or not – they will happen…
- A lengthy injury to a key player: Last season we were incredibly lucky with injuries, and it shocked us all. Aside from some niggly aches and pains, the majority of our squad escaped scot-free and those that had injuries, came back quicker. But we all know that this won’t last. What normally happens is that we start to enjoy a player as they hit top gear, only for an opposing player to go through them with a tackle that wouldn’t look out of place in an action movie. Either that or our player will innocuously fall to the deck after twisting their ankle on the carpet – and they’ll be unfit for three months.
- The month before Christmas to be our undoing:: We will go on a run that will raise hopes around our fanbase. Look at us! We’re winning matches and playing well! We can actually do something this season! Then November hits and we lose five consecutive games and we slump down the table again, leaving us to play catchup with our rivals again. For so long, the October/November blues have befallen us and it has been the undoing for our campaigns. Especially last season. Ouch.
- Auba To Bang Again: Form is temporary, class is permanent. The hitman and our captain, deserves more than your doubts. He has been consistency personified for so long and yet, one patchy season and we all want to ship him out? Firstly, he isn’t going anywhere and secondly, Auba will strike again. He needs decent service and a playmaker than knows his runs. So, get the transfers right and watch the Gabon striker hit the ground running.
- Assurances from the Board: We’ve heard it before. Talk of warchests, backing the manager, etc. It is lip service to sate us noisy fans. But this won’t do anymore. The protests at the tail end of last season and their strong numbers prove we won’t give up without a fight. And weak promises from a shuckster with a long list of broken promises is going to be ignored. As it should be.
And One Possibility…
Top 4 Contention: This is a risky one. We have never looked so far away from contending for the top 4 than we did last season. But from Christmas, we had the third best form behind the Manchester sides. Arteta has overseen wins against all the big sides, so our weakness we had when playing them is well and truly over. What needs to happen now is we need to further clear out the squad and replace with genuine quality so when injuries bite, we have a ready-made stand-in. Without the European distraction, our boys can dedicate themselves to the PL cause and preserve more fitness. Also, Arteta can finally get his squad together for a pre-season, an exercise so vital in instilling the vision he has for his team. There’s a lot of variables, but we seem to be on the right track. So I’ll stick my neck out and say Top4 next season…
What do you think will happen next season? Comments below!