Arsenal have now gone eight seasons without any major silverware, a fact which most people hardly need reminding of.
This upcoming season could be different at Arsenal though, and not simply because Arsenal are being linked with more world-class players or that they have a new Chairman in Sir Chips Keswick.
Here we will examine the internal changes within the club rather than focusing on the external factors such as players coming and going or the shifting of managers at rival clubs.
We break down why Arsenal will perform better this year than they've managed in their eight preceding campaigns:
In the current transfer window there have not been any sales of major players, or even concrete rumours that might suggest Arsenal are likely to lose a key figure this summer. Signings from this point onwards will only increase the depth of the squad which stands to prove extremely useful if injuries start hitting later in the year. Additionally, the current crop of players have had a full season gelling and getting to know each other.
This improves the chemistry of the squad immensely and will likely contribute to a good opening to the campaign, unlike last season when many of the starting players were still getting to know each other, the league and their surrounding environment.
The Individual Players
Last season, the average starting line up in Arsenal included Cazorla, Giroud and Podolski, who were all newcomers to the Premier League. Arsenal had scoreless draws in their first two games against Sunderland and Stoke City respectively.
The Gunners perhaps lacked the final edge to finish those games unlike the run-in of the 2012/13 campaign when they finished strongly by securing 28 points from a possible 33.
With the individuals players from last season fully settled, the new transfers acquired do not face the immediate pressure of succeeding as the squad has more depth to it.
With the pre-season looking good with three victories in three games, the Arsenal team is looking sharp and ready for the new season.
Having signed a new kit deal with Puma that starts next season, and having kept the club in a financially healthy state for the past few years while paying for stadium costs, there have been rumours that Arsenal have a large budget for this transfer window. Although Arsene Wenger's conservative transfer policy is well known, with clear-outs expected in many top clubs like Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United and even Manchester City, Arsenal may end up with quality players for bargain prices. Also with the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations coming into effect this season, a club like Arsenal does not face the dilemma of readjustment or a compulsory exodus of players.
Considering that Arsenal had the second best defensive record last season conceding only 39 goals (surpassed only by Man City who conceded 34), it is a clear indication that there has been a change in their defensive setup. Especially when you take into account the 49 goals they shipped during the previous season. After a year in the job, Steve Bould is also likely to have more influence in the signing of defensive players and personnel already in the team will be more accustomed to his instructions which will only help the rigidity of the team. With a solid defensive setup, Arsenal can weather the storm and grind out more games, especially at tough away fixtures.
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