When there is no football to speak of over the summer fans try to put it all out of their minds and enjoy the cricket or something.
But, by the end of July, the soul awakes once more and things start tingling.
We have to say that, with The Community Shield just a few days away, we have started tingling.
It’s a somewhat boring cliché now. But when you look at the strength of the leading pack this year – Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United – you might envisage that it’s going to be one of the best title races ever.
Arsenal and Manchester United are certainly stronger this season and will surely provide stiffer competition in the final furlongs of the campaign.
We still believe that Arsenal could do with a world class addition up top. But Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger reckons that this is his club’s best chance in years to win the title.
“Is this Arsenal’s best chance of winning the Premier League for years? Yes,” said Wenger.
“You cannot say that we finished third in the league and that we have no chance at all. The desire is to improve and move up there to fight for the championship.
For our money, if Arsenal are going to win the league, they need three things to happen:
Giroud to have a blinder
So let’s imagine that Arsenal don’t sign a Benzema or Higuain this summer. Olivier Giroud is an excellent finisher and he needs to have the season of his life, bag 30 goals and be a better, tougher target man, who brings others in to play more regularly.
Paulista to show his worth
A lot of onlookers feel that Callum Chambers isn’t yet up to scratch. We disagree and think that he will play an important role for Arsenal this season. But Per Mertesacker is perhaps too slow for The Premier League’s best opponents and so Gabriel Paulista, signed in January for a substantial fee, needs to step up in this campaign and provide a compelling partnership with Laurent Koscielny.
Wenger to be more like Mourinho
Wenger is a gentleman and a man of integrity. Mourinho is Mourinho. But the latter is a results machine because he is sometimes prepared to forego beautiful football in order to kill a game. Wenger must be a bit more Machiavellian in his approach at times. Throw on the extra midfielder or defender to close out a game.
Arsenal faithful: do you believe that the title is finally within touching distance?