Arsenal have left the majority of their support notably confident ahead of the new season.
The club have built on the successes of last season – the FA Cup win and the signing of Mesut Ozil – and have snapped up a host of signings this summer that will make an instant impact in the team – something that hasn’t always been the case in previous years.
Last season Arsenal were considered title contenders due to their strong first half of the campaign, but tailed off considerably after Christmas.
With so much investment in the team already, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
Here’s six reasons why Arsenal are serious title contenders.
How far could Arsenal have gone if Aaron Ramsey had stayed free of injury for all of last season? Many believe that his loss to injury in December was the primary reason for the team’s downfall in the second half of the campaign.
But with the Welsh midfielder confirmed as one of the club’s star performers, there is every reason Ramsey can drive Arsenal on to the Premier League title next season. He’s the perfect blend of goal scorer and creator, while his defensive work makes him an asset in Arsenal’s half of the pitch.
With another season under his belt, there’s no reason Ramsey shouldn’t start this coming campaign even better.
Arsenal finally have an alternative to Olivier Giroud at centre-forward that can be deemed good enough to lead the line. Alexis Sanchez offers something different to the French international, allowing Arsenal’s game to be far more direct. Furthermore, Alexis is a better finisher than his new teammate and is willing to take on shooting chances from anywhere in or around the box.
A lack of quality in depth at centre-forward was one of the key problems for Arsenal last season. In fact, it’s been a long-standing issue at the club, which has only now been addressed through the Chilean’s signing.
Alexis allows for variation in the Arsenal attack and will make the team far more threatening than what was offered last season with the one-dimensional Giroud as the lone frontman.
Mesut Ozil should be well adjusted to life in English football, and though he didn’t have a terrible season during his debut campaign in England, the German left many feeling he was performing well short of his best ability.
But Ozil now has the tools in the Arsenal team to be a success. It was clear that his partnership with Olivier Giroud last season was not ideal for either player, with the German needing options ahead of him to benefit from his creative qualities.
Ozil, however, remains one of Arsenal’s most gifted players, and, provided he can take on a leadership role, will be able to help guide the club to silverware next season.
Arsenal have finally ended their nine-year wait for a trophy by landing the FA Cup, and it’s already clear how much inspiration has been drawn from that win at Wembley in May.
The players now have a taste for silverware and are keen to add more to the Emirates trophy cabinet. There may have been bumps along the road during the final against Hull, but the team clearly had the quality to come out best.
It’s often said that a cup competition win can provide the springboard to further title success, and with Arsenal having now ended the pain of repeated failure on the trophy front, the FA Cup should prove to be the beginning of plenty of trophy success for the club.
Arsene Wenger very much needed that FA Cup trophy win last May. It was widely thought that his future at the club depended on him ending the season with the domestic trophy.
But the Arsenal manager looks reinvigorated. He’s been uncharacteristically active in the transfer market and very much has the tools to mount a serious title charge.
But it should also not be forgotten that the Arsenal boss has been there before. For each of his three Premier League title wins with the club, he had an incredibly strong squad, with quality all over the pitch. And while the makeup of this Arsenal team is notably different, they’re not too far off holding a similar strength that should see them to the league title once again.
This looks to be a season where the Frenchman is keen to quickly build on the recent triumphs of the club.
Despite signing four first-team players this summer, Arsenal are quite clearly not done with their transfer business – and that’s exactly what the team need.
There were issues about depth last season and the gap in quality between regular starters and their backups. But that can no longer be said. Arsene Wenger has added a World Cup-calibre goalkeeper in David Ospina, a first-choice and backup right-back pair in Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers, and a defensive midfielder is surely on the way.
Considering how strong the team are in midfield, Arsenal should be good for a strong tilt at the title, even with the added fixtures of domestic cups and European games.
Injuries have long been a problem at the club, but the squad now looks strong enough to handle the inevitable injury scares that will arise.