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Seasons Expectation 08-09

Expectation and hope are the eternal emotions of all football fans at this time of year, and as an Arsenal fan I am no different. As one of the big four clubs in England we are required to provide hope and raised expectations for our supporters every year, it is part and parcel of being one of the big clubs. But for most non-Arsenal people this year will be yet another year of non-achievement, and the reason being, just like last year, we are too young, too inexperienced, and have no depth to our squad. To the outside world we will be close but in the end will win nothing.

But the beauty of blind fate is that you don’t see the frailties, you only see the positives, and with the Arsenal there are quite a few of those. On the whole the squad is a year older, in Cesc we have one of the worlds great players, up front Ade & RVP could be the best partnership in the premiership, we already have the best two full backs in England in Gael and Bak, and then you have to add in the wonder of youth. Because for me it is that element that provides the real hope and expectation.

Theo, Carlos Vela, Diaby, Denilson, and the star of pre-season Jack Wilshire all give us hope. I have been around football long enough to know that the odds are that less that three of those five will really make it, however I have also been around Arsenal long enough to know that Arsène Knows, and I do think he knows these kids are all special, very special. Yes Jack we will very rarely see, Diaby and Denilson are fighting for the same place, Carlos has to get past two very special players, so it may be that it will be Theo that is the real plus point for us this season, all Arsenal fans certainly hope so. I do think we will see a lot more of him, but I don’t think he will be the one stand out player. I still think come next May he will be talked about as having potential rather than a star. If I was to pick one now, that would be the real star of the next generation, it would be Carlos Vela, but if I was to pick which one will become the superstar, albeit in three years time, it would be Jack, that boy can pick a pass and reminds me of a certain Liam Brady.

Overall I have a very good feeling for this year, I genuinely feel very optimistic for the season ahead. And I do think we will win something. Like last year I think we will start very well, that will help us through our tough month of November, Christmas will be good and starting the new year we will be right up there. The early part of 2009 could be hard, but it will be then that one of the kids steps up and makes a real impact. I believe we will still be in the race come the last month, and we will do better in every competition we are in this year. Of course that still does not mean we will win something, but we will move forward, of that I am sure.

As for the new signings, Nasri, Ramsey, and Biscoff, well all I would say is maybe next year, I really do not see any of them really impacting in on this season. Nasri might, he is the one of real quality, he is a little ahead of the others, but I just feel he will find the premiership a bit tough and may need a year.

My Arsenal predictions for 2008/09:

·         Ade & RVP will score 50+ goals this season.

·         Cesc will be young player of the year, again.

·         Theo will play more than 30 games and score over 10 goals

·         Arsenal will improve on every finishing position of last season

·         Jack Wilshire will make his premiership debut

·         The season will have a sliver lining !

© 2008 Paul Kavanagh. All rights reserved.