1. That he gets rid of the pre-match huddles. Honestly, is there any point in them? What is said in those few minutes of intense conversation that couldn’t have been said in the dressing room? After all, they’ve just spent at least half an hour together, making their final preparations, and you have to think that such an intense final team talk is purely for the cameras. Do the talking in the dressing room, and then get out there and play.
2. That he isn’t written off if he has a bad first week. A draw tonight is not inconceivable, nor is a defeat at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. If either or both were to occur, I would hope that the widespread reaction would not be as wholeheartedly condemning as that of the tabloid media, who will be looking for circulation numbers with typically dramatic headlines.
3. That Cesc becomes the face of the club in interviews as well as leading by example on the pitch. Win, lose or draw, he always come across as intelligent and articulate off the field, and gives analysts no opportunity to slate him for the words he says.
4. That others follow his lead. When he tries to drive the team forward in injury time, they follow. When he organises, they listen. When he decides to take a yellow card by scything down Ashley Cole in injury time again…you get the point.
5. That he makes Bendtner wear some sensible boots. Seriously, it takes a certain someone to wear pink football boots when still starting out in his career. On Soccer Saturday, Matt Le Tissier said he should ‘at least achieve something before he makes himself look like a prat’. Much as I don’t agree with much that Le Tiss says, you have to admit the man has a point.
Most of all, of course, we hope he has the honour of lifting trophies as the figurehead of the club he, and we, love. Good luck little fella.