The new fixtures for the 2015/2016 season have been announced and you can see the full list here, on the official Arsenal website.
We host West Ham United on the opening day, and then have games against Crystal Palace (A), Liverpool (H), Newcastle United (A), Stoke City (H), Chelsea (A) and Leicester City (A) to complete the fixtures for August/September.
We start October with a home fixture against Manchester United, we have Tottenham at home in November and then we have Manchester City in mid-December.
I’ve always said you should judge Arsenal after the first 10 games and see where they are then. Last season, we had an awful start and that, in the end, made a difference to our title challenge. Our form from January onwards was the best in the entire league, but our World Cup hangover put us in a position where we had too much to do to catch Chelsea.
So the lesson is clear – we need to start the season in top top form.
Chelsea topped the league for pretty much the whole season, so giving them an early lead is simply not an option. Our first 10 games in full are:
West Ham United (H)
Crystal Palace (A)
Newcastle United (A)
Stoke City (H)
Leicester City (A)
Manchester United (H)
Out of the 10 games, there are 4 games where we could drop points, and the others should* be straightforward.
(* but things are never straight forward in football are they?)
The games against Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Everton are most likely to be the ones where we could have problems. Liverpool are an unknown quantity at the moment and depending on their transfer dealings in the summer, could either be a real threat or sitting ducks. Chelsea will be formidable as always and at Stamford Bridge I would like Arsenal just not to lose that one. Manchester United at home will be tough, with LVG not afraid to park the bus and Everton are one of those sides that on their day, can cause problems.
The other games though should be winnable.
So it’s vital Arsenal are ready to come out of the blocks flying and get as many points on the board as early as possible. By mid-October we should know if Arsenal are capable of mounting a real title challenge.
Arsenal also launched a new home kit for the 2015/2016 season and by all accounts, Puma once again pulled out all the stops and delivered a big kit launch.
Danny Welbeck, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin were all in attendance, alongside Arsenal legend and Puma ambassador Thierry Henry who introduced proceedings.
But what about the kit itself?
I think it looks good but that’s pretty much it.
Will I be buying it?
I spent a lot of money (from the official Arsenal store) on last seasons home shirt, which had Alexis 17 on the back and I also had Premier League patches added on as well. It cost me a lot of money and I always buy my shirts from Arsenal – but I can’t really justify buying this seasons one. It’s only going to last one season and I’m still a bit miffed that the shirt I bought only lasted one campaign.
I understand about maximising revenues but one kit a season is to me, ridiculous. And to be perfectly honest, the new kit is “kind of similar” to the one I’ve already purchased so I won’t be losing any sleep over not having this one.
In terms for Arsenal shirts, I’ve pretty much bought every single home one since the 1993-1994 season in the good old JVC days. I also have quite a few away shirts (including the 1989 yellow one, signed by Paul Merson) to boot so have spent a hell of a lot of money on Arsenal shirts. But I just can’t justify buying the new one for this season, unless I somehow manage to get a big windfall of cash come my way!