Is Anyone Else Excited About Next Season?

It looks like everyone has written us off for next season, and call it blind optimism but I’m excited about the coming campaign.

The bookmakers have given us around 10/1 odds for the league (and some are as high as 12/1) which is bookmaker speak for ‘not a chance in hell’. I mean when Derby visit the Emirates they would shorter odds than that!

I guess the biggest test Arsenal have to face is the strength of the other 3 forces in the league – Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool. Until a few seasons ago Liverpool and Chelsea weren’t even in the picture – it was either Arsenal or United for the Premiership.

There’s no doubt that Eduardo da Silva and Bacary Sagna will add to our young squad, and a few more fresh faces would help the cause but the new season could see our team challenge at the top. If you look at our squad, there is so much potential for big seasons from several players:

Robin Van Persie is going to be spectacular.

This will be his 4th season at the club after joining as a 20-year old and without Dennis Bergkamp or Thierry Henry the Dutchman is now the main man. There’s no question about who will partner Thierry – it’s now all about Van Persie – will he be joined up front with Eduardo or Adebayor?

I’m sure you’ve seen his goals from last season. The goals against Manchester United at home and Charlton Athletic away show his ability to score goals without even thinking while smart finishes against Blackburn (home) and Watford (away) display his sheer ruthlessness in front of goal.

This guy is that good.

£2.5 million? That could be the bargain of the century.

Then we have Emmanuel Eboue.

For me Eboue is highly underrated by Arsenal fans. Through out Spain, Italy and France Eboue is thought of as one of the best right-back talents in Europe with his ability to attack down the right and support the attack. He is prone to a bit of playacting which sometimes detracts from his playing ability. There is a question about his defensive qualities but he (along with Clichy) kept Double Player of the Year Ronaldo quiet twice last season.

Gilberto Silva, Kolo Toure and Gael Clichy were the consistent performers last season, and you can rely on them to give everything next season. Gilberto added goalscoring to his repertoire last season with 11 goals which for a defensive midfielder is exceptional. Toure as usual was a lion at the back, although he suffered from a lack of a consistent partner alongside him. Gallas will probably start the majority of games because of his experience but I’m still wary whether he is Kolo’s best partner. I personally think Djourou and Senderos help the team better than with Gallas, but maybe that’s just me.

The jury is still out on Emmanuel Adebayor. There’s no doubt he has the talent to become a decent player and we’ll find out this season whether he’s got what it takes. He only managed to score 12 times last season which when you compare to midfielder Gilberto is comparatively poor.

Then we have the wingers; Rosicky and Hleb.

Alexander Hleb has something to prove this season after a couple of average campaigns. I am a fan of Hleb and on his day his ball retention and distribution is exceptional – just take a look at the goals he set up for Rosicky (Liverpool, FA Cup) and Flamini (Chelsea, Premiership) last season. He knows where to play the ball and is one of the few players in the squad who will hold onto the ball in the final third. I’ve always thought that he had his better games alongside Henry and Van Persie (a la Reading away) but with Titi out of the picture Hleb will have to adjust his game.

Tomas Rosicky is another guy who is a quality player but like Hleb has probably suffered from being played out of position. When both players arrived at Arsenal they were central attacking midfielders but have been groomed to play out on the wings – and whether they are comfortable playing there is still debatable.

I suppose 6 goals each in their time at Arsenal gives you the answer.

Reyes was the only player on our books who gave the side some natural width but he looks destined to stay in Spain, which is a shame because he was a good player.

Then we have the new boys, Eduardo da Silva and Bacary Sagna. With Eduardo we have signed a poacher who has an eye for goal, so we’ll either get a Francis Jeffers or an Ian Wright. God I hope it’s not a Francis Jeffers… The positive is that although it is the Croatian league, scoring 34 goals in 32 games is still impressive, and at least shows he is a natural goalscorer.

Sagna is an interesting signing. With a reported fee of around £7/8 million you wouldn’t think he would be just warming the bench until Eboue jets off to the ACN. People have said Eboue could play further up in right midfield which wouldn’t be the worst idea – and it would at least give Hleb some competition.

And then of course we have Cesc Fabregas, who for the last couple of seasons has been exceptional and is improving all the time. The team basically revolves around Cesc and looks dis-jointed without him in the side. The tempo of Arsenal’s game is dictated by Fabregas and he is simply an unbelievable talent.

How many 20 year olds can say they’ve had 3 full seasons at a top club, a World Cup campaign and Champions League Final under their belt?

He is possibly the most experienced 20 year old in World football today.

I’ve mentioned before that the first 10 games or so will determine how Arsenal’s season pans out but with Arsene’s Young Guns another year older and more experienced why can’t it be our year?


37 thoughts on “Is Anyone Else Excited About Next Season?

  1. Couldnt agree more!

    This is exactly what i believe! Appart from Ade…i think he can be better than decent. he has the attributes to be as good, if not better than drogba. Finishing is what he lacks.

  2. Totally agree with all you said. How bookies have us at 12-1 is amazing, when we win the league they will get deservedly caned. (I am quitely optimistic)

    RVP is the man and as wenger said after the 3-0 win last night, he is a mix of bergkamp and henry – not a bad mix eh?

    I am looking for big seasons for Rosicky and Hleb, walcott was great last night I heard and I am expecting some spectactular performances from him.

    Cesc, Kolo and clichy will continue with their form of last season, Gallas owes us a good season.

    If we can keep away from major injuries we have as good as chance as anyone.

    I would still like to see an out and out winger with pace to be brought but I am confident about our chances as we stand.

  3. I can’t wait for this season, to be at the end above shit Arsenal will be Great and for Arsenal to end up 6th would be better….

  4. We had too young a squad… What does Wenger sign more youngsters and unproven players! Will we win anything? Surely not like I sais at the start of the 2005-2006 season Wenger ain’t gonna win us anything anymore…. we’d better get used to it! We are in for another very frustrating season!

  5. Great, positive article.. Although, I’m still not that sure wheather van Persie will be that consistent goal scorer..I hope I’m wrong though.. And when Hleb’s not in form, he’s terrible. Eboue might play on the RW, but I would prefer someone with a little bit more teqnique than him. Remember he’s only got one trick in his sleeve, to play the ball outside his defender..

  6. Should Spurs fans be able to come on here and post?

    Eduardo and Sagna are not young and unproven. Both are experienced and very good!

  7. I am an Arsenal fan from Montenegro. I cant wait for the season to begin! I have faith in Arsene Wenger and his players.

  8. im worried about thenscum though.
    front three of da silva walcott and vp could be amazing though, if da silva can find form over here.

  9. The moan culture of Arsenal fans really irritates me. It´s clear you´ve only followed the team because of our success in the Wenger-era. After only a couple of “below-Wenger” seasons (in which we reached the CL final in one of them!) everyone sounds as if the club is destined to become mid-table.

    All you Doom preachers should wait and see before you spit on my beloved team. I follow this team because ÍT IS MY TEAM, not because of that or that player or the number of trophies we have won…

    You should do the same.

  10. well, i for one am glad to read a positive blog – sad that titi has left, but his presence for me held others back – players seemed as if they should always be looking for him and only passing to him – this season we will note a massive change in attitude

    theo – he will stop being in awe of titi and begin to have self confidence

    rvp – what a man – he has the talent, the skill to be awesome – no titi to glance a sulking look towards him if he doesnt always get it right

    ade & hleb – they hold the ball well and i think the neat passes will begin, and more confidence in their own ability

    thomas – i think this willbe his season, and a few more goals coming from him, the left side will be his

    Dudu – all i can say, i cant wait to see a good old fashioned fox in the box to get on the end of some of the super crosses from hleb, thomas, theo and cesc

    Gilbert, Diaby and Cesc in the middle of the park will shine and become strong, whoever plays – diaby should get his chance at the beginning

    not sure at the back – who will be where, but i hope hoyte doesnt leave, i really rate him

    Jens………. sorry, but from what i have seen of our new FAB in goal, he looks strong, confident and quick off his line – for me he shouldbe in goal

    What was the question, am i looking forward to the new season, boy am i, and i am having a bet at 12-1

    This is going to be our season guys, and without spending many many millions

  11. Very optimistic for the coming season.
    Upfront we have enough variety with Ade,RVP,Theo,De Silva And Bendtner.
    Central Midfield looks tight with Diaby and Denilson ready to step in for Cesc and Gilberto.
    Rosicky showed glimpses last season and i expect more from him this year.My only reservation is wide right,Hleb imo is not the answer.Maybe Theo will play there or freddie if he stays.
    Our defence looks strong but have big concerns over our goalies-Lehmann is good but getting on,for me Almunia looks shaky and Fabianski unproven.

  12. I am convinced tht going forward we will score enough goals over the season. I am equally convinced our problem will be the number of goals we concede. last season way too many sloppy goals were conceded. I dont know whether to question the defence or the overall tactics from wenger. Either way its our goals against tally that will decide where we end up this season.
    I think we will improve on last year but the competition at the top is stiff from chelsea and man U. I would be very happy with second spot.

  13. Well thought out and positive blog.

    Too many Arsenal fans are so negative it’s refreshing to read something that doesn’t signal the end of the world!

    The fact is that while Thierry was amazing for us you could tell a few of the younger players were in awe of him. It’s hardly Henry’s fault though, I mean who wouldn’t admire someone of his quality – he was probably one of the best players to ever grace the Premier League!

    I think quite a few players like Theo, Adebayor, Tomas and Hleb will go out and perform having something to prove which could be Arsenal’s strength. Also without Henry, there should be a much greater togetherness since everyone is writting us off before the season begins.

    You can’t win anything with kids right? 😉

    Also, Arsenal Supporter is totally spot on. I’d support Arsenal if they were in League 2!

    And remember, in our worse season so far in the Wenger-era, Spurs still finished below us!

  14. i haven’t been a fan for that long but after studying the arsenal style and seeing the talent thats available i dont understand how anyone could underestimate this club….

    after watching lastnights game i believe we should leave walcot wide right in his natural position…. he has the pace and is showing the technical ability to shine…. and on the other side eduardo looks like a natural winger… he has the pace, technical ability and instincts to kill teams…. i know he’s new but give him time… his left footed crosses were spot on and had ade or rvp still been in the game it could of been 6/7-nil….

    now watching ade’s progression with the ball just bought a smile to see such unselfish play from a striker trying to prove himself….

    so to start the season i would have :
    ade, rvp

    cup teams:

    thats 2 whole teams with great quality across the board and a mix of youth and experiance….and for the cup team if you wanna give theo a rest or move eduardo upfront you can bring in denilson or flamini and move hleb out wide……

    wow this team is stacked and ready to compete for all cups and we’re getting 10/12-1 odds….????
    somebodies drinking alittle much….

    i for one cant wait to start the season….. gooner4life

  15. whilst I agree that this team can do great things, you still have to consider where the opposition have gone over the summer as well. chelsea look stronger with Malouda in particular. they will be the team to beat I am sure. 12/1 is good odds. But I cant wait to watch this team in action. we will play the best football for sure.

  16. Im putting some money down on Arsenal this year. I really do believe if we want to challenge for the title we need to add some width to this team. Get rid of all the bad blood i.e. Reyes and bring in a fresh winger with blistering pace and skill i.e. Quaresma!

  17. I am so very very excited……. 12-1, i am not a rich man by any means but i am seriously considering placing a ton on it………

    I am by no means a southerner, midlands boy all my life but my 17 year love affair with the mighty gunners leaves me wishing the doom merchants would fuck off relinquish their season tickets, if indeed they have one and pass it my way.

    Wide RM’s, why do you folks feel the need to question Wenger, do you indeed have FIFA badges coming out of your ring???? do you have 10 years experience….???? No you are armchair managers, chill out fella’s and let the french wizard work his magic, he has not failed us before, in fact a Carling Cup win last season for chavski slaps of failure based on expenditure of £500mil. Anderson and Nani, bout £17mil each, Fabregas £2mil who’s the clever boy then….. yes that’ll be Arsene……… he knows

    P.S. Shit me, first game at the Emirates on the 28th…….. i canny wait man

  18. I ain’t no Spurs fan you Goofle muppet…. Sagna has played about 100 games for Auxerre and Da Silva about the same number of games for Dinamo Zagreb! Do you call that experienced players???

    Beeing loyal is one thing beeing blind another…. I ain’t pessimistic only realist! And I ll probably attend more games than you Goofle boy… I follow my team trough thick and thin! I just think that people thinking we have a great team are really kidding themselves….

  19. OK BG, without winning £1billion on some kind of mega lottery, you explain who is better position by position that our club could or would be able to reasonably afford????

    and yes money is an issue, cos no one wants another Leeds.

  20. To Arsenal Supporter…

    On what bases do you assume that I only follow Arsenal since their recent succes!

    You tosser! I have been following them since the late seventies….. going to games since 1983 and season ticket holders since the early 90ies and from outside the UK…..

    Open your eyes look at facts and figures and you’ll see that we have not really improved ouor squad which finished over 20 points behing the champions in the last 2 seasons!!!

    So your assumption is completely wrong mate!

  21. Reply to Ali

    No Babel is far too expensive! I would have tried Hunterlaar though!

    Not complaining about the signings we have made as I disagree completely on splashing silly money on players!

    I just think we needed some experience in defence as I don’t rate nor like Gallas! I just can’t see us getting any consistency from players like Adebayor, Hleb or Rosicky either…. and we have no real strengh in depth which was our downfall last season! and let’s not forget that we will lose 3 players to the ACN for 6 weeks in January-February…. do we have cover? No not really…

  22. BG, i get your liking of Huntelaar, who wouldnt, not sure he is the Arsenal type of player, lacks pace, not just a little bit, think freddie could still do him over 100yards and he has the oldest balls, bless him, one of my true favourites, not for the looks obviously(Calvin Klein and his man pouch), i’ll leave those thoughts to women and fellas from the other side…………

    I really do think that Denilson, although rated by most is still underrated.
    I think having accomodate Henry was our downfall, not slating him at all because he was a true premier league great but i agree with the article that the focus will be more TEAM and not HENRY.

    I know you is a realist but hold your tongue (not said in an aggressive manner) lets wait and see what happens and then you can happily have my address and come round and plunder my missus for all she’s worth.
    Hahaha come may next year she’ll still be angelic because………. ARSENE KNOWS hahahaha

  23. I’m excited about the season, and not just because of the game last night, but because we do not have super stars anymore and because our play will be more varied. Henry could not play when games were tight and people defended deep, which RvP, Dudu and Ade are well able to do. And don’t forget Bendtner, I expect big things from him. But the real issue is how we defend because even without Henry we could score.

    I would also like to see a wide player but that will not happen because we have to leave room for Di Maria, Merida, etc. who are coming up and cannot sit on the bench after their loan spells. Even if we do not win tropphies this year, we will definitely be better than last year by a long short. Then the foundation is set. The year after, we get the loan guys: Vela, Di Maria, etc.

    A factor that has escaped everyone is that we have Diaby, Denilson and Song now to give us power in the middle. I know some doubt Song but I like him and so does Wenger. And he proved at Charlton that he can cope with his responsibilities without being spectacular.

    And guys please let’s stop the American from taking the club. For me that is the biggest threat and distabilising factor in Arsenal’s progression. We do not need him and his money!!!!!

  24. Arsenal Vs Man U

    Lehmann vs Van der sar – draw

    Sagnas gary neville – neville

    Gallas vs Ferdinand – Ferdinand

    Toure vs Vidic – Toure

    Helb Vs Ronaldo -Ronaldo

    Fabregas Vs Owen – Fabregas

    Gilberto Vs Anderson – Gilberto

    Rosicky Vs Nani – Rosicky for the exprience

    Van Persie Vs Ronney – Draw

    Adebayor Vs Tevez – Tevez

    Manu 5 Arsenal 4 Draw 2

  25. I don’t think comparing the United and Arsenal teams player-for-player is the best way to compare teams over an entire season.

    I do agree with BG about Gallas though, he just performs and talks like a player who doesn’t care. He came from Chelski for gods sake!

    We have a lot of talented players such as Denilson, Diaby, Gilberto, Cesc and Flamini but they’re all central players. I’d like more competition on the wide areas for Rosicky and Hleb but unfortunately only Theo looks like he’ll compete for the right wing spot.

  26. hello,
    im silva and all i want to say is that im gonna do my best to prove the critics wrong this season. there are also alot of great talent at the club so i dont think more players need to come in, and for hleb from what i saw of him today he played very good football which is a good sign and he also has a great personality and he told me he found out about what the media has been saying about him and he said hes gonna do his best to prove them wrong and show them how good of a player he is. he also told me hes been training the harder than ever and he wants to improve his shooting which is also a good sign. so this season we are the underdogs and thats great beacause i always like a bit of a challenge. so yeah all i want to say to the fans is that you should never to give up hope and i have a good feeling about the coming season and i feel there will be good times ahead.

    thank you!!!

  27. yo sam what kind of players you comparing adebayor and teves, teves aint even a man u player yet so i could say eduardo-saha and eduardo is better. you should be comparing eboue with neville bt i dnt know whos gonna be better maybe neville and what about clichy comon dude sort it out…


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