Arsenal have been around almost 125 years now. I’ve been a season ticket holder for the last sixteen of those. In terms of success, I could hardly have chosen a better sixteen years in the club’s history. What Wenger has done for Arsenal is comparable to what Chapman achieved in the 1930s – of that, there is no doubt.

It’s going to be tougher than ever for him to add to that medal haul though. Gone are the days of the late 1990s and early 2000s when Arsenal and Man Utd were the only shows in town. This coming season, there are at least six sides who will fancy their chances of squeezing into the top four.

Clearly, we have been active in the transfer market this summer with two very promising players coming in. But we’ve also let a lot of defensive experience go.

Wenger has no intention of splurging tens of millions on players, preferring to see the current crop improve sufficiently to make the next step – to win us the title.

As mentioned in my last post, Alex Song is the template here – a much derided rough diamond whose development in 2009 and 2010 has been explosive.

For this squad to be the title-winning squad Wenger wants it to be, we need to see similar comings-of-age for players like Diaby, Denilson, Walcott, Vela and Djourou.

Which of these five will we be hailing come May 2011?

Home routines

Lucky pants, new shirts, old watering holes, familiar journeys – the first home game of the new season brings back all the little tics of being a football fan. I absolutely love it.

Unfortunately, my home debut is going to have to wait though. I can’t make the game on Saturday and I’m not sure how near to my laptop I’ll get in the days proceeding it.

Here’s to a thumping home win though.

Before then – may I point towards the Arsecast. My voice is on it this week.

Back in a few days…