The Premier League released the fixtures list today and Arsenal start the season at home against newly promoted W.B.A. on the 16th of August. The first real road trip is in September and the squad have to play both Blackburn and Bolton away. Blackburn is currently courting Fat Sam Allardyce and given our history with Bolton I see this trip as the first big test.

The traditionalists would want to know that the first North London Derby is scheduled for October 28th and it’s a home match: the second leg is Feb 7th.

There’s two points in the season where Arsenal essentially play Man U and Chelsea back to back; the first of those is in November and the second is a true back-to-back on May 9th and 16th. One of the things that kind of bothers me here is that the Premier League scheduled Liverpool, Chelsea, and Man U around the Champions League quarter and semi-finals. It’s not entirely unlikely that we could see a repeat of last year’s 3 fixtures against Liverpool congestion and if they make it past that a further 3 match congestion against Chelsea or United in the semi-finals.

Which, frankly, is bullshit and is pretty widely recognized as the second toughest schedule behind Man U. Liverpool got the easiest schedule of the big 4, with home matches scheduled after most of their Champions League matches. I hope they draw Man U and Arsenal get some tiny club. Additionally, I hope that their American owners continue to act like a couple of Yosemite Sam’s and throw the club into further turmoil and greater debt. I have other things that I could wish for but we’ll leave it at that for now.

Looking at the schedule, my annual mecca is going to have to be in February or April. Normally I go in March but I don’t really feel like watching Rovers again and that is the only home match in March. Anyway, more on that trip, uhhh, next year.

And that’s it, Arsenal got jobbed on the fixtures list, again. It will truly show this squad’s character and quality if they come out of this with any trophies much less one of the two league trophies.

Squad News

Rosicky is feeling better… just kidding! He’s now saying “It will be yet a long time before I return” and is targeting August as the point where he will start training again. If I ever see him in an Arsenal uniform again I’ll be shocked.

Speaking of the perennially injured, Robin van Persie wants to join Inter Milan’s sick room because Arsenal don’t pay enough, or so claim the papers. I’m not worried, this story has less meat on it than Victoria Beckham.

And Finally…

I have had a vision, there’s a cloudy future ahead, but I have seen the path through the fog: Ronaldo will go to Real Madrid without talking to the boss which will anger Sir Alex Ferguson and he’ll quit football. This dream exodus will be followed by Lampard slinking off to Inter Milan and David Bentley will go rot on some bench in Europe. And in the last coup, David Villa will snub Litterpool and go to Barcelona.

So it has been foretold.

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