That's right. With the new season just a week away, I am officially confirming that it is acceptable to be excited as an Arsenal fan.
It's been a few years since we could say so. This time last summer, we'd failed to beat two Scottish teams in friendlies, cancelled our US tour, and had "only" signed Ben White, Albert Sambi Lokonga, and Nuno Tavares. The outlook only got worse a few weeks later.
This time around the feeling is different. The gauntlet of opening the season at a tricky away ground with the whole world watching is starting to look more and more like an opportunity (famous last words!) and less like a being thrown into a pool of quicksand.
After a season in which we suffered greatly from injuries to our first-choice fullbacks, we are now in a reality where we don't even need them to start away at Selhurst Park. Personally, I don't even want them to. The additions of Zinchenko and Saliba (LANS) have given us the possibility of easing our fragile fullbacks into action. The back four of White-Gabriel-Saliba-Zinchenko performed admirably in the Florida Cup victory over Chelsea, and I don't think many fans would complain if the same quartet started in defense next weekend in South London.
I haven't even mentioned Gabriel Jesus. Our marquee signing. Our savior. After months of watching a forward who appeared to be running through treacle, watching our newest Brazilian is like a breath of fresh air. His energy and endeavor is infectious and promises to unlock a new level from those around him. The performance and goal against Chelsea (who look a bit of a mess right now to be fair) won't do much to stop Arsenal fans from prematurely declaring him the greatest striker since Ronaldo Nazario de Lima. Things are looking sunny in N5.
This could all come crashing down next Friday (I've just knocked on every piece of wood in my house). It only takes one bad result to change the whole narrative. But on the other side of the coin, a win would certainly convince Arsenal Twitter that we're winning the league. There is no in between. All we can do as fans is do what we can with the information available to us, and right now, that information is good. I can once again confirm that is okay to be excited about Arsenal right now.