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Arsenal
August 11, 2011
Posted by Sam Limbert on 08/11/2011

So the season starts on Saturday, and this is the first season that I can remember as an Arsenal fan, that I have virtually no expectations of it.

Almost every season in the Wenger years, I’ve been optimistic in the week before the season that we will win something, and that we have a great chance to win the Premier League. Not this season. Generally, I’m a positive Gooner, and always believe in Arsene Wenger and the team. Even through my extremely biased rose-tinted spectacles, I’m struggling to see how we’ll win the league this season.

I’m definitely not saying it’s impossible to see our captain, whoever that is, lifting the Premier League trophy next May, but this pre-season has left me the least confident I’ve ever been that it’ll happen in the coming season.

Posted by Sam Limbert on 08/11/2011

So the season starts on Saturday, and this is the first season that I can remember as an Arsenal fan, that I have virtually no expectations of it.

Almost every season in the Wenger years, I’ve been optimistic in the week before the season that we will win something, and that we have a great chance to win the Premier League. Not this season. Generally, I’m a positive Gooner, and always believe in Arsene Wenger and the team. Even through my extremely biased rose-tinted spectacles, I’m struggling to see how we’ll win the league this season.

I’m definitely not saying it’s impossible to see our captain, whoever that is, lifting the Premier League trophy next May, but this pre-season has left me the least confident I’ve ever been that it’ll happen in the coming season.

August 3, 2011
Posted by Sam Limbert on 08/03/2011

I’m getting bored of this. Two of my last three visits to the Emirates have ended with some fans booing the Arsenal team at the final whistle. The Aston Villa match at the end of last season wasn’t pleasant because of the reaction of the fans to that defeat, but it was understandable given the way we’d thrown away our chances of winning the league.

However Sunday was a pre-season friendly. Yes, Arsenal had thrown away a chance of silverware in the form of the Emirates Cup, but ultimately it’s a friendly tournament that I’d rather lose if it means winning a piece of major silverware.

Obviously the booing wasn’t reflecting that one match. It was a response to same problems from last season resurfacing in both matches over the weekend with just two weeks to go before the season starts, and to the small number of new signings this summer after Arsene Wenger claimed he’d be ‘very active’.

July 28, 2011
Posted by Sam Limbert on 07/28/2011

After matches in Malaysia, China and Germany, Arsenal fans in England will get the chance to see how the squad are shaping up for the new season first-hand, with the annual Emirates Cup.

Since its introduction to the pre-season calendar in 2007, I’ve always been a fan of the tournament, even if it leads to other fans joking that we had to make our own trophy to win something. Whereas our friendlies so far have seen wholesale changes during the game, the Emirates Cup line-ups will have longer on the pitch to show how they’re looking ahead of the season. It’ll be more competitive than previous friendlies and will give a better indication of the fitness of the squad.

Whilst the weekend will give fans a good chance to see the team in action on the pitch, off the pitch, the transfer rumours of both ins and outs continue to dominate national newspapers and the internet. With no new centre back signed, and rumours flying around about Juan Mata, it’s still hard to know who will be in the squad by the end of August. Questions also remain over the existence of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Manuel Almunia, Emmanuel Eboue and Nicklas Bendtner as Arsenal players.

July 18, 2011
Posted by Sam Limbert on 07/18/2011

Arsenal’s first tour of Asia in over 10 years is complete, and undoubtedly will be considered a success off the pitch. However, questions remain on it about certain members of the squad. Realistically, the on field action wasn’t going to be the most important aspect of the tour, and the results weren’t as important as gaining match fitness, however some performances won’t have eased some fans’ fears ahead of the new season.

There was good news on arrival back from Asia as there was the shock news of Arsenal finally completing a major signing. Gervinho is now officially a Gooner, a week after it was confirmed that an agreement was in place. With that deal now put to bed, most Arsenal fans will hope and expect Arsene Wenger to focus attentions on signing a much needed centre-back.

In Asia, pre-season was kicked off by a 4-0 victory over the Malaysian national side, with Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Carlos Vela and Tomas Rosicky getting on the score sheet. That was followed three days later by a 1-1 draw with Hangzhou Greentown in China as Vela made it two goals in two games.

About
David Young Sam Limbert: My retirement as a football player came at the age of 14 due to being rubbish, it's fair to say I was more Kaba Diawara than Thierry Henry, so I turned my focus to writing about the game. I'm a lifelong Arsenal fan and have been lucky enough to watch the team across England and Europe. My favourite Gunner of all time is Dennis Bergkamp, and the 2004 Invincibles is the greatest side I've ever seen in English football. I try to be positive about the Arsenal as it's the hope that keeps us going! Follow me on twitter @SamsMatchReport.

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