Season preview: 5 things that us dedicated Arsenal faithful can look forward to this season:
1. OUT WITH THE OLD. Eboue, Almunia & Bendtner’s departures will bring many-a-gooner a smile, as the trio are out of favour players looking to move on to ‘greener pastures’. Many will remember the time when Eboue was booed off after making a substitue appearance (that’s how bad he played!) or that fateful afternoon against Liverpool when he conceded the late late penalty that blew our title hopes. Although Arsenal’s ‘Eddie Murphy’ is set to move on, I’m sure many fans will be relieved that they don’t have to witness his leapfrog warm up ever again. Almunia and Bendtner are just not world-class, that’s it. Blunders last season condemned the Spaniard to the bench, whilst Bendtner just never did anything of value last season when he was given an opportunity. But thanks for your services lads, I’m sure were set to receive a huuuuuuuge payment for the self-acclaimed “best striker in the world”.
2. NEW SIGNINGS. Arsenal’s first major signing of the summer Gervinho will bring back the much needed excitement and fluidity into the attack. His pre-season magic is only the beginning of what will hopefully be a healthy first season for the Ivorian forward. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlaine’s recent signing may come of a suprise to many, however with his popularity growing over the past year, he was a wanted man (/boy) by many of the top Premier League clubs. Ryo Miyaichi’s recent work permit now FINALLY allows him to play on English turf, Wenger may put Miyaichi in the “new signing” category, and it may well pay dividends for the Frenchman if the Japanese winger produces this season amidst the hype.
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3. WILSHERE. Wilshere just had an absolutely incredible season, breaking not only into the Arsenal first team, but also the English senior lineup. One thing that Gooners should definitely get excited about is the continuing growth of England’s brightest talents, he is going from strength to strength, and will be a solid rock in the Arsenal midfield this season. The main element he needs to add to his game is goals, hopefully this will come this season.
4. ROBIN VAN PERSIE. Only one player broke records last year despite Arsenal’s failure to grasp silverware. Robin Van Persie rocked the Premier League after the New Year knocking in a bucket load of goals, and breaking the record for the most consecutive away goals (9 so far), can he continue the record this weekend? He consequently won Arsenal’s Goal of the Season award for his audacious strike in the 2–1 victory over Barcelona in the Champions League, lets hope the injury-prone Dutchman can avoid the treatment room this season as this WILL be his finest season yet. With the inevitable departure of Cesc Fabregas, Van Persie looks set to take over the captains armband to become the official club captain, a worth choice of a player that has shown such commitment to the Arsenal cause.
5. SILVERWARE. Silverware is the number one objective. Maybe a legitimate grin could appear on Wenger’s face if we manage to do so? There is no doubting that this season is make-or-break for Wenger, nothing less than a trophy will satisfy the Arsenal faithful, as long as there is no repeat of last season’s blunders in a cup final, I’m quietly confident of at least one piece of silverware.