The omens of an away fixture on season’s opening day
By Randy Osae
At first glance, Arsenal’s season curtain raiser away from home may be daunting considering the caliber of opposition Wenger’s men will kick-start their season against and the fact that 2009/10 begins with a travel.
The former of those concerns depends on how Arsenal show up to pursue victory at Goodison Park – which is never any certainty. But what is certain is that an away fixture on the first day of the season is indeed a golden touch to the campaign according to history.
When the Gunners start the term with a trip, they flourish in that particular year.
Arsenal’s average final league position in Premier League seasons in which they kicked off at home is precisely 4.31th place whereas two of their three title triumphs came in the four campaigns that began away from home, while they finished second in the other two.
There are indeed good omens that may come with a visit to Merseyside on August 12.
Ronaldo’s absence from title dominators Manchester United’s helm is already reason to believe the odds may be favoring Arsenal to resume the old wrestle with Ferguson’s men for the crown.
An away season kick-off fixture could also be a ritual that spurs a successful title challenge from the Gunners at last.
Wenger’s men last faced the scenario of Evertonian test on the opening day of the 2004/05 FA Cup winning season – outclassing Moyes’ men 1-4 at Goodison Park and went on to finish runners-up in the league.
Arsenal also began the campaign before that with another triumph over Everton when ‘the Invincibles’ of 2003/04 ran a 2-1 scalp with 10 men.
This may just be a similar season.