Arsenal 2013-2014 Preview

Yes, baby, it’s back…. the Arsenal and the rest of the Premiership are ready to kick off the 2013-14 season.

So as the boredom of the summer football break comes to an end and the last few Pre-season games being played, it’s time to preview take stock of what Arsenal FC’s season might look like.   Before we start, there are still a few weeks with the window still open, and I anticipate about 3 new players coming in during that time, given how many have been shown the door.

It’s important to note that how we finished the last season so strongly, laying a great foundation for the season ahead.  Can we maintain our “top four” finish?  Spurs, Man City, Chelsea and even Liverpool (not sure they’re rivals though), have all bought quality and have improved their squads.  Whether they will gel or not is a different question and only time will tell.  Actually, that makes the start of the season so important for Arsenal, who as it stands right now have almost an identical line-up as the one who finished last season so strongly.

I have picked out a few players who will be key to our charge to end this current barren run, starting with the youngest of these in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.   I really think this will be a breakout season for him.  Arsene Wenger, it’s time to let him fly – you won’t regret it!  So, where to play him?  I prefer him in the middle letting him roam thus impacting a game a bit more.  He has a powerful shot from distance, can jink both ways and has a football brain.  He really could be special this year and dictate games.

Aaron Ramsey is a player I have previously had my doubts about, as many Gooners have, but let’s give credit where it’s due.  The last 6 months he has been our most improved player, taking giant steps forward after his serious injury.  His passing/vision in preseason has been more than impressive.  Can he carry it on?  I bloody hope so….

Oh, Santi Cazorla, I love that little Spaniard.  He was unreal in his debut season in the Premiership.  The little Magician has pure poetry in his feet, the vision that only the greats have.  Can he raise his game again this season?  It will be fun finding out.

Next up, French striker Oliver Giroud, who scored 17 goals in his first campaign at the club.  He gave a quality return though at times looking a little lost.  He has played with more confidence giving glimpses of how good he could be.  I personally reckon he can score 25 to 30 goals this season. He’s not just a goal scorer, his touch for a big man is impressive.  He plays little passes around the box and creates space for others.

The flourishing partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny was an integral part of Arsenal’s impressive finish to last year, both complementing each other well.  They read the game well and give us a proper foundation for the rest of the team to breakdown opponents.

Last but not least, Jack Wilshere, who has everything.  At the moment he is trying to do too much considering his injury troubles.  If he remains fit and we get to see the real Jack, then, as Wenger likes to say, that will feel like a new signing as he could be world class talent (yes, he has that much ability).

So where do I think we’ll finish?  I truly think a lot comes down to who we bring in in the next couple of weeks.  Wenger himself acknowledged we’re a little thin, and a knock to any of the aforementioned would be devastating.  If Luis Suarez and 2 or 3 other top additions we have the potential to challenge.  Without quality additions, the best we can hope for is 4th with maybe nicking a cup.

Until next time, Up The Gunners!


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