Today was great from an Arsenal fan's point of view. We won and beat Tottenham to that important 4th spot which sets Arsenal up for a real opportunity to improve the squad and start next season with optimism and as possible title contenders. This rather than starting the season with pessimism around the club and a need for re-building after losing key players.
However, it's that dreaded time of the year for us football fanatics. Mid-May. The league season is over and after next week's Champions League and Championship play-off finals, it will be over completely. And it won't start again until mid-August.
I am consumed by genuine fear and misery at this fact. My feelings today are complicated because I'm so pleased about Arsenal's completion of their mission but also depressed about the Premier League season ending. What will I do on weekends now? What will I look forward to all week? Saturday's won't be the same, Sunday's will be even worse and I'll miss mid-week and Monday night football just to top it off. Plus it's the constant thoughts about football. The constant ongoings of the season have you thinking about it all the time and keep you excited and enticed day in day out, I'll miss that.
Having said all that, this is one of the most interesting summers for a long time ahead for a lot of clubs. Arsenal, Tottenham, Everton, Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool, Aston Villa... so especially at the top there's a lot of change happening and there could be big transfer action with the likes of Bale and Benteke, and seeing who the likes of Arsenal bring in.
Because it is a big summer for Arsenal especially. We shouldn't lose any key players (for once) and we have the opportunity to bring in plenty of quality in order to make us title contenders again, with the reported £70 million floating around in the bank. We should also be able to release some players on big contracts like Arshavin, Squillaci, Chamakh and Djourou to free up some more dough.
I think the break from football is too long. 3 months?! I know we've got pre-season but it's not the same is it? The lack of competitiveness is sorely missed. The competitive element in football is like the bolognese to the spaghetti. Without it, it's OK but hasn't got the spice or the complexity and edge that it so needs. The break should be 2 months when there's no European Championship or World Cup. Or have it so the Football League season doesn't finish until mid to late June. That way, you'd get more coverage and ticket sales to lower league football which would promote it and help it out more financially and in terms of popularity.
I'm going to have to do things like shopping to occupy my Saturday's. Or get a job that involves me working on Saturday's. The prospects are painfully uninspiring. It doesn't seem that long since the opening day and now I'm back here again, but unlike last year with no international competition to perk up the summer months of football starvation. You may think I'm exaggerating but I'm genuinely panicked about the lack of entertainment in my life and especially my weekends over the next 12 or 13 weeks. It's usually bad enough when there's a weekend coming up where Everton are away down south or something so we're not going the game for one week, never mind there being no Premier League football for 3 months.
On the more optimistic side, next week there are two big finals over the bank holiday weekend, the fixtures will be coming out in mid to late June which is always an exciting event and when August comes the excitement alone gets you through. Knowing it's only a couple of weeks away is enough at that point. Plus the football league season usually starts off a week earlier than the Premier League season and then there's the Emirates Cup and the Communiy Shield.
So it's not all doom and gloom. And one of the great things about football is it never completely dies away. It'll still be on the back pages of the newspapers and on the telly- transfer news and rumours occurring. Who knows, it could be a great summer for Arsenal fans. Maybe it'll be a summer where we improve significantly, rather than stagger through the outgoings of star players like the last two summers.
(Image courtesy of the Daily Mirror. Accessed: http://i3.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article1899049.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/Arsenal-Laurent-Koscielny-right-celebrates-scoring-the-opening-goal-1899049.jpg on the 19/5/2013)