Jack Wilshere does not need to point out that it is a big season for him but he cannot help himself. The Arsenal and England midfielder says it on more than one occasion. Perhaps, it is the excitement or the sense of anticipation. It might even be a touch of apprehension, only Wilshere does not really do apprehension.
On the domestic front, the 21-year-old is determined to end Arsenal's eight-year trophy drought; he continues to believe that one piece of silverware will banish the demons and lead to plenty. The club, with summer squad stability and increased financial firepower, are on the brink of a breakthrough, he suggests. It is a tantalising time.
Then there is England and the World Cup finals in Brazil next summer. Roy Hodgson's team must get there first and the path out of qualifying Group H is fraught, with the trip to Ukraine in September likely to be pivotal. Despite his lack of international experience, Wilshere is the great hope and the burden on his young shoulders stands to be onerous.
But with Wilshere, everything starts and finishes with the state of his ankles. The right one, which cracked under the stress of his first full season with Arsenal in 2010-11 and forced him to miss 17 months of football, has been the problem but the left one also flared up towards the end of last season.
Yet what is most striking is the optimism. He acknowledges the importance of a full pre-season and, after missing the opening friendly of the club's Asia tour against an Indonesia XI in Jakarta on Sunday because of flu, he is champing at the bit for involvement. Arsenal play a Vietnam XI here on Wednesday before travelling to Japan to face Nagoya Grampus and Urawa Red Diamonds on Monday and Friday of next week. Wilshere is set to play at some stage. He feels ready.
"There are no long-term injury issues at all for me," he said. "They took the screws out, which was causing me a problem. I just want to have a good pre-season. I haven't had one for two years and it's like you're always playing catch-up. Steve Bould [the assistant manager] said to me that you should never take a good pre-season for granted. It gives you a level of fitness.
"It was tough at the end of last season, especially when I picked up the other injury. I then came back and I wasn't really playing like I can do. That was really annoying. I'd felt really good when I came back first of all [in October] and, after six or seven games, I felt as if I was playing well. The challenge for me is to maintain that level and I know I can do it. I need a good pre-season. The first game against Aston Villa will be a massive target for me. I'll be ready and then play as much as possible."
A clean bill of health not withstanding, Wilshere's wishlist features new signings to give Arsenal extra quality and depth; a strong start that harnesses the momentum of results in the final months of last season; consistency and the ability to win the big league matches. Arsenal won only one of 10 against the top six last time out – the 5-2 derby victory at home to Tottenham Hotspur.
"If you look at Man United, they won the Premier League and yet it wasn't the best Man United team we've ever seen," Wilshere said. "But they had a big squad. In some games, they rotated the whole back four. Football never stops and that's why you need a big squad. It's impossible for one player to play the whole year. I've learnt that myself and you're always bound to get injuries. There are areas where we can improve but I feel it's more about having the depth of squad to see us through.
"Everyone talks about the names [that Arsenal are chasing] at the training ground. We're saying: 'You heard about this player or that player?' It would give everyone such a massive lift. If we can show the consistency and play well in the big games, then I don't think we'll be too far away. I feel we can win trophies this season."
Wilshere is also positive about England's prospects. "It's in our hands. We've got one really tough game in Ukraine and we need to get a result there but if we win our games at Wembley, we can get there [to Brazil]and look forward to the challenge. I want to be fit and involved for the qualifiers. We've got a good, young squad and the belief is there."