Arsenal and Arsene Wenger approach the upcoming season with huge expectation on their shoulders.
A strong finish to the 2012/13 season, no unwanted departures from the club and some expected big name additions in the transfer window have filled the fans with hope & expectation for the coming season.
Not only do Arsenal finally have stability within the squad and money to spend but each club that finished above them last season has changed their manager.
It was hoped that for the pre-season launch of the new away kit that a big name signing would be the one modelling the same.
However, it was the "British core" of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey who were in attendance, looking smart and purposeful in their new attire.
The availability of these players in the off season, with fan favourites like Santi Cazorla on vacation after a hectic shift with the national side in the Confederation Cup maybe one of the reasons why these players were selected for this exercise.
These were also the players who signed long-term deals in December 2012 and January 2013 with the club, and this is a sign of the value that Arsene Wenger puts on these players.
All of them are young, talented and committed to the club, but how far they fulfil their potentials will determine the club's success in the coming seasons. While Walcott, Gibbs and the fit again Wilshere are respective first choices in their positions, the likes of Ramsey, Jenkinson and Oxlade-Chamberlain will be looking to cement their positions, if and when given the chance.
Among the three, Jenkinson early in the season and Ramsey in the latter months have shown they can perform at this level. it is expected that Oxlade-Chamberlain will get his chance in the centre of midfield, where he replaced Mikel Arteta after the latter pulled up injured in the last game of the season.
He must grab these chances with both hands to make a mark and seal his place in the England line up for the World Cup next year.
But it will be Jack Wilshere whose performances will be seen with the keenest interest. He himself has claimed that he is fit and raring to go, and with a full pre-season under his belt, chances are he will be leading the Gunners charge to an end to the trophy drought next season.
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