That sense was heightened with the announcement of the 2017-18 Premier League fixtures on Wednesday.
We travel to Newcastle on the opening day with our first home game at Wembley Stadium, connected by EE, an intriguing London derby against champions Chelsea.
We're scheduled for St James' Park on August 12 with Chelsea to follow on AUgust 19 with first month's fixtures completed by Burnley at Wembley on August 26 - a reminder, at this stage, all fixtures subject to change.
Fixtures in full...
The players' collective thoughts were perhaps best summed-up by Toby Alderweireld, who said matter-of-factly: “It’s a difficult start, but we’ll be ready for it.”
Here's what a few more of the players had to say...
“It will be a tough start for us but look at it this way, if we get a good start and some positive results with Burnley at home as well in August then that will give us the platform for the rest of the season. We want to get off on the right track.”
"We want to start well - and make up for what happened at Newcastle on the last day of the season two years ago. Then it's Chelsea...we've had some great games against them in recent seasons and we will be looking to set down an early marker."
“I’m very excited for the start of the season. Okay, yes, we have a bad memory from the last time we played Newcastle away but now is the time to make some new memories. And of course, it will be a very intense and fun first home game against Chelsea.”
“Newcastle away will be a tough first game and obviously the last time we were there we didn’t play well, so it’s a good chance to put that one behind us! Of course, Chelsea at home will be a massive game. The atmosphere will be amazing for that one!”
“It’s important for everyone to have a nice break and then regroup for pre-season training because every game in the Premier League is difficult and Newcastle away will be a tough game. But if we are on it – which we will be – we can beat anyone.”
“I think it’s a great start for us, a big away ground and a big match first against Newcastle and then a London derby against Chelsea at Wembley for our first home game. That’s a chance for us to get one back after the FA Cup semi-final.”
“Personally, first and foremost I’m hoping to be fit and in contention and just looking forward to getting the season started. There is no better first home game than to play Chelsea.”