Can I whisper it out loud... that I'm scared, shit scared! I know we're all meant to be super positive about the changes, we're all meant to have patience, things take time to bed in and half time changes are a sign of flexibility... but I'm a little nervous!
I'm scared that Emery is forcing a system on a squad that can't execute it. Playing out from the back, holding a high line is great on paper and in blogs and twitter threads. But sitting in the Upper East or by my TV its bloody nerve wrecking!! That's my fault, I know I need to be more patient, and I know I must be a loyal supporter... but what if we have square pegs and we're bashing them into round holes??
I'm scared that we have 2 number 9's, who get on great, who everyone likes but who together are suboptimal for the team. I like Auba so much I backed him to be top scorer this season. Call that naive with Salah & Kane smashing goals in, but I just love the toothy Gabon man and his record of scoring in the top flight. It's very early days, but he might be on the bench in Cardiff!? I love Laca as well. I feel sorry he missed out on the French WC triumph, I feel a little guilty that was partially down to Arsenal! I love his impact so far this season off the bench. OK he messed up for that chelsea winner, but hey, no one is perfect. But I'm scared we're never going to see the best of Laca or Auba as one will always be benched.
I'm scared that our midfield is like my son's LEGO box. Every house has a big box where all the odd bits of lego are stored. A wing off a Star Wars droid, a pink bench from a Lego Friends set, a general assortment of odd bits and pieces. We have a Mhki, an Ozil, a Ramsey, a Xhaka, a shiny new Torreira, a bouncy Guendouzi, an Iwobi... we have lots of odd but great players. I can imagine Emery staring into his big midfield lego box and just sighing, what in the hell do I make from this lot! At half time, he decides these two pieces don't actually fit together, so he tried another piece, mixing and mashing until something fun, stable and coherent is formed. It's fun to see this process in real time, but it's also not a soothing calm process to watch from afar!
I'm scared this season will come down to how far we get in the Europa League. I did enjoy the Thursday / Sunday routine last season, the chance to get peripheral players playing regularly and to blood youngsters. I imagine Emery with his record will be very focused to use the Europa League as his ticket into the Champion's League. But so many games, and then rounds of knock out games... it's going to be a long campaign, and our first round opponents I did have to google!
I'm scared what it means to support a Kroenke franchise. We are all now part of Stan's red army... or rather one of his many global sports franchise customers. I imagine him discussing the superior retention rates of English soccer season ticket holders, the savings not having to provide entertainment at the intervals, and how he can maximise the revenue above the growing interest bill and minimising the net team spend. Numbers, not 4-2-3-1 or 1-0 to the Arsenal.... rather 1.8billion 40% leveraged at 3%, netting a whole lot of anxiety and franchisee worry on my part!
I'm scared United will replace Mourinho with Zidane, I'm scared we lose patience with Emery, I'm scared City become invincible, I'm scared Klopp will win the league and never ever stop grinning, I'm scared we fall out of the top 6, I'm scared. Shhhh, deep breaths, deep breaths. COYG!