Morning all.

European football for the 2022/23 season has kicked off. Man City breezed through their fixture but Chelsea suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb. Aubameyang made his debut for the west London club which according to reports, didn’t go as well as perhaps he or Thomas Tuchel hoped. Not as well as the new owner hoped clearly as he’s now sacked the German. What was it, £250m on players who probably thought they were going to be playing under Tuchel yet within just weeks, he’s out the door. What a classy club they are.

Whilst I’m quite please they lost, I really hope their form in the Champions League improves and make it through to the knockout stage. Same goes for Totts, Liverpool and Man City. No, I’m not going bonkers, I just don’t want any of them finishing 3rd and dropping into the Europa League. Better still would be Totts, Liverpool and Chelsea losing all their games and finishing bottom of their respective groups but I can’t see that happening. Saying that, whilst at the opticians today and chatting to the Chelsea fan testing my eyes, he was saying a win against Zagreb was a certainty.

One thing we all know is that in football, no result is a certainty pre kick off. Who’d have thought Man City would drop points at Aston Villa, against a team we truly battered in every department bar the scoreline, or Liverpool would fail to beat Everton. That’s the beauty of the game, or at least it is for the neutral.

Arsenal head off to Switzerland to face FC Zurich in the first of hopefully many Europa League fixtures tomorrow night. Domestically, Zurich have an awful start to the season and are without a win in their opening seven fixtures. They’ve come through the qualifying rounds in this competition but of course, it’s hard to draw any conclusions as the opposition hasn’t been that strong. Their last fixture was against Hearts which they won 1-0 to secure a 3-1 aggregate scoreline but it was only when Hearts went down to ten men did they score. The Hearts keeper Craig Gordon was struck by something thrown from the stand which isn’t good to read.

Our fixture kicks off at 5-45pm and Mikel Arteta is expected to make a few changes. Bukayo Saka could do with a breather, as could Gabriel Jesus, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli in my opinion. I think Marquinhos, Vieira and Eddie Nketiah will start this one. Rob Holding, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Kieran Tierney must be in contention to start too as well as Fabio Vieira.

But, is it risky to make a vast number of changes in the first fixture of a competition which is so important for the club this season?  Zurich might turn out to be the whipping boys of our group but to take them lightly would be foolhardy. Not that I think Mikel Arteta would or will. Not now. The likes of Vieira, Marquinhos and even Nketiah must be desperate to start a game this season.

Arsenal need a win tomorrow for obvious reasons but also to bounce back after Sunday’s fiasco at Old Trafford. We played well but couldn’t make more of our opportunities created. Once that changes, one team we face is going to be on the receiving end of a battering. Hopefully Everton on Sunday as we get our league campaign back to winning ways, hopefully Zurich tomorrow night too.

It’s that time when fans can vote for their player of the month on Arsenal’s official website. The race for the August award is between Martinelli, Jesus, Odegaard and Saliba. Tough one but I reckon Saliba deserves it.

See you in the comments.