Should Arsenal fans be optimistic about the new season?
A number of British newspapers have now compiled their predictions as to who will finish where in this season’s Premiership.
By common consent Arsenal are due to finish fifth and lose out on a Champions League slot to their North London rivals Spurs. However are those predictions way off the mark? Are there good reasons to suggest that Arsenal can mount a serious title challenge as well as stand a chance of some silverware. Here are five.
1 Jack’s back - It may be a while before he is back to full fitness but Wilshere is certain to play a massive role for Arsenal this year. Maybe Wenger will play him in a more advanced role and give him rein to wriggle past defenders in the way he does so effectively. If Wilshere can have an injury-free season then Arsenal will a have a chance of silverware – he really is that pivotal to them now. In some ways this is why it is so essential that Wenger strengthens the Arsenal midfield. Sure the club has 16 year old Gediom Zelalem coming through, but to overplay Wilshere in the way that Arsenal have arguably over stretched Arteta would be madness.
2 The forwards are on fire – A mate of mine who has been very negative about Arsenal for a few years now thinks that this might actually be a good season and he believes that the key will be Theo Walcott. The player was superb for much of last season – once he had sorted out his kerfuffle with the boss – and the goal for England yesterday was classic Theo – lots of pace but with an excellent finish. However he might not be the top scorer this season. Olivier Giroud has been expecting high profile competition to arrive all summer. But he will start the season as the club’s number one striker. And if he can continue the excellent form he has shown pre-season then I think it is safe to expect a glut of goals from the player.
3 Arsenal are enjoying a great run of form – The end of last season was really rather special – unbeaten in their last ten games was clinical stuff. Arsenal have looked convincing pre-season too. There have been no major departures to unsettle the team and if the Arsenal of the latter end of the last year shows up this season then the club could have a serious crack at the title.
4 Arsenal’s rivals all have issues - New managers for the Manchester clubs and an old one for Chelsea could mean that they start the season tentatively. Man City may have bought well, but as last Saturday underlined new players may take time to settle.
5 The cheque book still hasn’t come out - There are still two weeks for Arsene to grab those marquee signings as well as strengthen the defence and midfield. Surely the club knows that is it doesn’t sign anyone the outcry from the fans and the media will be huge. Maybe it won’t be Suarez, but it might still be someone very exciting.
If you are still not convinced then maybe this feature that predicts a disaster, might be more your point of view.