by Nia Griffiths

Although Arsene Wenger is optimistic about our title hopes next season, he’s not counting his chickens before they’ve hatched – he knows the hard part is still to come.

The boss believes that although we should be aiming high next season and looking to build on the foundations we’ve put in place during the end of last season and pre-season, we have to be realistic and consider that the job isn’t already done. Just because people expect us to do well next season doesn’t mean we necessarily will. We still have to go out once or twice a week and get those points.

“The expectations are very high and that is understandable because you cannot win the FA Cup and finish third in the league and then say ‘Look, next year we want to do nothing,’” Wenger said.

“People expect a lot from us and it is the first time for a long time we have all had confidence in our environment. Before, we always lost big players and then you would quickly question us. The ingredients are there but I am long enough in the job to know we have to prove that with points.”

Although Wenger says “people expect a lot from us”, by people he’s not just referring to the media. The fans have high hopes this season and I think the players do soon. As much as he says he’s being realistic, a lot rides on the next year.

He continued, “So I am confident because we have played well, but I am realistic as well. You know when the competition starts it’s a different game and you have to transform your performance into points.”

On our opening fixtures, the boss said, “We have a tricky start with West Ham and Crystal Palace. But I believe we know what we want to do, we know how we want to play and we had a good end to last season.

“We also have a good stability to our squad. So there are positive ingredients there. We have no injuries at the moment, touch wood, so there is no reason why we should be panicking at the moment.”

On Sunday, we face Chelsea in the Community Shield in what will be a huge test of how far we’ve come. Last season, we only managed a 2-0 loss at Stamford Bridge and 0-0 draw at home and the team will be looking to improve on this.

Although the match is technically a friendly, it’ll great for us mentally if we can win and we should throw everything we have at it.