You would have heard by now our captain-to-be Gilberto Silva telling Dog Breath to effectively shut his mouth after the Chelsea player said that it’s a two horse race between them and Manchester United.
But despite the obvious sh*t-stirring does the diver have a point?
There were glimpses of what Arsenal were capable of last season but can we be consistent enough to really challenge for the league? I for one am optimistic about next season, you have to be right? Otherwise it’s not worth bothering kicking a ball!
But how many players do we have in our squad who are capable of giving a consistently high-level performance week in and week out?
Judging on last season, the only real candidates we honestly say gave a decent performance for the majority of the season would be; Toure, Clichy, Gilberto, Fabregas and Van Persie.
That just isn’t enough.
A big problem we had last season was surrendering the initiative by conceding the first goal on far too many occasions. It could have been that Kolo and Gallas needed time to get acquainted with each other last season so it’ll be interesting to find out whether they can actually play well together in defence next season.
People will point to the wide areas as being a problem to address before the season starts aswell but the fact is that even with an under-par Hleb, Freddie and Rosicky we still managed to create a lot of chances in the majority of our games.
We will never have a problem creating scoring opportunities with the genius that is Cesc Fabregas – our mini Bergkamp/Vieira hybrid.
I would much rather prefer us to concentrate on addressing our problems of conceding sloppy goals from set-pieces.
The other main problem we had was sticking the ball in the net.
We scored 63 goals in the league last season, only one behind Chelsea – but a staggering 20 behind Champions Manchester United. The season before that when we finished 4th on the last day we notched up 68 goals.
That is a big difference to the 87 goals we scored when we finished second to Chelsea in the 2004-2005 season.
Everyone hopes that Eduardo da Silva is the man to convert the huge amount of chances we create in most of our games and if he does so that will certainly buy us at least an extra 10-15 in a season.
So can we do it next season?