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Arsenal: Season preview

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Arsenal

Delivering consistently was an issue for Arsenal, who struggled without their former talisman Robin van Persie to convert the vast amount of chances they create every game into goals. 

This led to the Gunners looking like, for the first time in 17 years under Arsene Wenger, that they weren't going to finish in a Champions League qualifying position, but towards the end of the season they found their form to win eight out of their last 10 games, to finish above local rivals Tottenham to condemn Spurs to another season in the Europa League.

Season summary

Players in: Yaya Sanogo
Players out: Andrey Arshavin, Sebastian Squillaci, Connor Henderson, Denilson, Craig Eastmond, Jernade Meade, Sanchez Watt, Andre Santos, Johann Djourou, Francis Coquelin, Chuks Aneke, Joel Campbell, Martin Angha, Vito Mannone, Gervinho

Premier League finish: 4th
Top scorer: Theo Walcott (14)
League Cup: Quarter-finals
Champions League: Round of 16
Disciplinary record: 42 yellows, 5 reds

What to expect this summer?

One thing that will be unusual for Arsenal this summer is no other club seems to be in the frame to sign a key Arsenal player. 

Also it has been made clear that Arsenal have money to spend, meaning that Wenger now has the freedom to go out and pursue the transfer targets Arsenal fans have been craving for so long. 

Names like Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney are being thrown about (with the former looking more likely), to fill the 40-goal hole left by Van Persie, with Olivier Giroud netting 17 goals in his first season in England. 

You can expect Arsenal to be linked with a defensive midfielders to replace Arteta, who despite his best efforts was shown to be horribly out of position in that holding midfield berth.

Despite Arsenal's decent record of clean sheets, their defence was shown to be frail from set-pieces and Per Mertesacker's lack of pace was exposed by many a player last season too.

All this means you can expect the Gunners to be linked with defenders to sure up the back and continue Steve Bould's good work last season.

What to expect this season? 

Despite the fact that some Arsenal fans still see the Gunners as genuine title contenders, although they have got rid of some deadwood it is unlikely that they will finish above 4th position, however challenging for one of the domestic cups is a definite possibility.

Plan A: Keep the ball and thus win the possession battle (Arsenal on average had 58% possession per game) and pass the opposition to their knees before applying the killer blow.

Plan B: None. This can prove frustrating for the Gunners when they come up against the likes of Stoke City.

Strengths: They aren't a one-man team. Arsenal had four players (Theo Walcott, Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla) score more than 10 goals last season, relieving the pressure on Wenger's traditional one man up front.

Weaknesses: They can't handle pressure. This was proved  by the fact that they lost in both domestic cup competitions to lower-league opposition, showing they couldn't handle being favourites.

Lessons from last season?

Start as you mean to go on. This is the same for the previous season as well, with Arsenal starting relatively slowly before moving up into fifth gear at the end of the season.

Key man this season: Jack Wilshere

Last season the Gunners looked a much better team with the injury-prone Wilshere than without him, winning 51.9% of the games he plays. 

If they can keep him fit and if he can add to his game by improving his finishing ability then Wilshere could be a contender for Player of the Year.

Did you know?

- Arsenal agreed the most expensive contract in history with Puma, earning them £30m       pounds a year, in comparison to their current deal with Nike which gives them £55m over seven years.

- Podolski was substituted 23 times last year the second highest amount in Premier League history.

- The Emirates stadium saw 70 goals last year with 47 of them coming for Gunners, more than any other stadium in the league last season.

- Arsenal won their final five Premier League away games of the season, their best run on the road in nine years.

Verdict: 4th

Even if the Gunners do strengthen in all the aforementioned areas, the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City look too strong for them to overcome this season.

 

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Topics:
Arsenal
Jack Wilshere
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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