Soccer

I’ve never been this excited for an Arsenal season

COYG!

Come on you Gunners!

The past couple of seasons of my Arsenal fandom has slowly plateaued to utter disgust and disdain for the ownership and management of how things were going. From the moment Unai Emery was hired to replace Arsene Wenger, that seems to have all changed.

I was skeptical of hiring Emery at first due to a seemingly mediocre pedigree, often finishing third and fourth in the La Liga table with Valencia and Sevilla, respectively. However, he has achieved European glory before taking the PSG job. My first thought is that he’ll be a caretaker until the Arsenal board can find a long term solution to Wenger’s void. Whether he turns out to be more than a short-term option for Arsenal, or whether those long-term managerial staples of the league are a thing of the past, remains to be seen.

It’s not just the potential that Emery can do things differently, and better, than Wenger had during his final years, but the reality that it’s already unfolding before our very eyes. That’s what is so exciting about this summer.

Arsenal’s restrictive summer transfer window policy has been a thing of a past for the past few windows with Wenger, even if his legacy suggests otherwise. Getting some quality reinforcements for both competition and squad depth promises to make Arsenal stronger during the grueling Christmas festive fixtures, barring the usual load of severe injuries.

While adding Stephan Lichtsteiner on a free will help with squad depth during a long season, the depth of midfielders Lucas Torreira and Mattéo Guendouzi are just as great. Also, buying goalkeeper Bernd Leno and Sokratis could finally make the defense quite formidable. Leno should easily take the starting spot away from the aging Petr Cech and Sokratis looks good enough to solidify himself as the club’s best center back.

Having Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang come into his first full season with the squad has  been a joy to watch on social media during the preseason preparations. Aubameyang will now have more experience playing with his teammates and hopefully a new system to get in behind opposing back fours – something every Arsenal fan should be salivating at.

Also, with a new manager comes open competition. The team has plenty of playmakers like Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alex Iwobi, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil – who’ll be as motivated as ever to prove his racist German haters wrong this year – and only a limited amount of playing time to go around. I’ll be rooting for Iwobi to get that playing time.

Just look at this finish. https://www.instagram.com/p/BlolzpGFW_l/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

I like the players coming back from their loan deals in Joel Campbell and Lucas Perez, but the likelihood of them featuring in this squad isn’t high right now. Look for Danny Welbeck and Alexandre Lacazette to compliment Aubameyang’s pace with some average finishing abilities.

Hopefully Emery can incorporate some of the youngsters into the first team without missing a beat, as Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Reiss Nelson look to impress their new boss. To be honest, I’m most excited about the potential of the young striker Eddie Nketiah.

The best part of this season is the freedom of expectations. After finishing last year in a dismal sixth place and being back in the Europa League, Arsenal can’t do any worse.. There’s nothing better than surpassing expectations!

No pressure means no problems – and it’s been showing from the recent social media posts. Judging by these, all the players are best friends and the FIFA Ultimate Team chemistry is probably off the charts. Just like how the Philadelphia Eagles were all buddies with one another, being good pals off the pitch will only help the performance on it.

Okay, I gotta stop hyping up this team or else I’m going to get angry with what this season actually produces. Bottom line: I haven’t ever been this excited for Arsenal to start a Premier League season more than this one. How one can hope…

Oh, and Granit Xhaka still sucks by the way.

 

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