2017 is almost at a close, so what will 2018 bring us?
1Mesut Ozil will sign a new deal
Alexis Sanchez is already gone, it’s just a case of when and where now, but I really do believe that Ozil will commit to a new deal at Arsenal. His form in recent weeks point to a man playing with the freedom that comes from making a massive decision that has been doing your head in for a year.
Maybe he just wanted to make sure Alexis was really off, first?
2Arsenal will make top 4
Last season was an outlier and while there’s an argument to be made that we are even worse this season, we are still within touching distance. And we haven’t even put together our last minute scramble, yet.
Liverpool’s form won’t last, Tottenham are showing they aren’t as imperious as everyone thought, Chelsea are beatable and United are wobbling.
3Arsenal will win a cup
We may not win leagues but we’ve become quite decent at one-off games, evidenced by our three FA Cups in four years. In 2018, Arsenal have the chance of making the EFL Cup final as well as the FA Cup and the Europa League finals.
4Arsenal will continue to lose games in stupid ways
I’d like to think that we’d eventually learn how not to be morons, but I think it’s clear at this point that this is who we are.
Embracing it makes it less painful.
Nothing changes if nothing changes, and as long as Arsene Wenger remains, the psychological flaws that run through his Emirates squads like a fault line, will remain.
5Arsenal will continue to deliver occasional epic performances
They will give us hope for a few weeks, but they will be the outliers rather than the norm.
6Arsenal will finally get a playing captain
Per Mertesacker will retire from football at the end of the season and Laurent Koscielny will take over the role. Assuming his Achilles don’t explode between now and then, and that is a big assumption, we should start 18/19 with an actual playing captain.
7Arsene Wenger and his players will use the following phrases following a humiliating defeat
Jaded, handbrake, mental strength, fans deserved more, unprepared, lacked intensity, they wanted it more, spirit, belief, lessons, unlucky.
8Arsene Wenger will continue to struggle with his zip
It happens every season. Why has nobody introduced him to buttons or velcro?
9Mesut Ozil will win another World Cup in Russia
10Mathieu Debuchy will finally leave
This is a big call because he’s wanted to leave for years and we’ve wanted rid of him for the same amount of time yet here he is, still at the club talking about how much he wants to leave.
11Petr Cech will sign a new contract
He’s out of contract in 2019 and both he and Wenger think he can play til he’s 40.
12Santi Cazorla will retire from football
The horrendous complications that Santi has suffered due to his Achilles problems has left him needing nine operations, skin grafts, almost cost him his leg and did cost him a significant chunk of tendon.
Despite his best efforts, this injury will prove too much for the Spaniard to overcome and he will be forced to retire causing tears across the Gooner globe.
13Arsenal will beat Tottenham at their new stadium
The first North London derby of the season has been at the Emirates for the past two campaigns so I expect it to move back to Tottenham for what will be the first at their new ground.
For some reason, I fancy us raining on their parade. Maybe wishful thinking on my part, but it’s happy thinking too.
14Arsene Wenger will announce that 18/19 will be his final season at Arsenal
It’s been said so much, it’s almost a catchphrase, but Arsene Wenger has never broken a contract. While part of me thinks he should walk away at the end of this season, there are a few things telling me he won’t.
First-up, when the deal was being agreed, there would have been a conversation about his succession and, more importantly, making sure the club is in a condition to avoid falling apart. Moves have already been made for life after Wenger with a number of behind-the-scenes appointments and we will probably see more.
If he does decide to call it quits at the end of next season, I hope he tells us beforehand so we can make it a season-long celebration of what he’s done for the club before setting off on our new adventure.
What’s one more season at this point, eh?