Arsenal: 5 Reasons a Great Season Is in Store for the Gunners
Arsenal has a lot to look forward to in 2012/2013 if Arsene Wenger can play his cards right.
The Gunners finished an impressive third last season, yet at times looked uninspiring and far too reliant on main-man Robin van Persie.
An 8-2 thrashing at the hands of Manchester United and a shock 3-2 loss to Swansea were simply not the characteristics of a title contending side.
Fast forward to July 2012, and things don't look nearly as bleak.
Automatic qualification to the Champions League and an influx of new players in the summer transfer window should have fans licking their chops.
With that in mind, here are five reasons why the Gunners can have an unforgettable season and challenge for their first silverware in over seven years.
At only 20 years old, Wilshere still has several years ahead of him, and Arsene Wenger has stressed his desire to baby him back to full fitness.
Wilshere's creativity and quick passing was greatly missed, but his return should result in some of the fluidity we've come to associate with Arsenal in recent years.
According to the London Evening Standard, ex-Tottenham manager, Harry Redknap, has touted Wilshere to be "England's Andrea Pirlo."
Big words to heap on such a young man, but hopefully he will have a fantastic (injury-free) season and help guide the Gunners to glory.
The signing of Montpellier's Olivier Giroud should bring some much needed attacking presence.
The Independent reports that the transfer fee was somewhere in the region of £13 million.
Not bad for a man who scored 25 goals and lead his team to a Ligue 1 title.
The 25-year-old has a physical style of play and has shown what a competent finisher he is, when presented with the chance.
Giroud should have no problem settling in, with fellow Frenchmen, Arsene Wenger, Laurent Koscielny, and Bacary Sagna helping him along the way.
If Robin van Persie decides to backtrack on his comments and remain at Arsenal for another season, the Gunners will have one of the most formidable front-lines in all of Europe.
The signing of Lukas Podolski from Cologne for £11 million is a coup.
In Podolski, Wenger gets a young (27) player with a vast amount of experience.
He has over 100 caps for Germany and has netted on 44 different occasions.
Podolski's versatility and ability to play anywhere across the front makes him quite an asset as Arsenal prepare for a grueling Premier League campaign.
With all due respect to Wojciech Szczesny, a club of Arsenal's caliber needs a world-class goalkeeper.
According to the The Daily Mail, it will cost around £16 million to snatch Hugo Lloris away from Lyon.
A steep price, but a necessary investment in my opinion.
Over the years, we've seen the Gunners struggle to replace legendary goalkeeper Jens Lehman.
Manuel Almunia, Lukasz Fabianski and Szczesny have all made valiant attempts, but to no avail.
Scenes like these have become a somewhat common occurrence, and one that must be solved ASAP.
In prior years, we heard a lot about Arsenal's emphasis on youth and how it would one day bring its rewards.
Well, it's been a while now and still no rewards.
Until this year, it was widely considered a rarity to see Wenger hype up his sides' chances.
Well, seven years and no trophies seem to have altered his mentality.
At a weekly interview, Wenger had this to say in response to an inquiry from Sol Campbell. Via the sportreview.com:
There are two basic trophies for me that are the sign of the quality of a team; they are the Premier League and the Champions League.
All the rest, they are trophies of course and they are important, but they do not really reflect the deep quality of a team. The championship does, and we want to win it
The Gunners are now an older, more experienced side and should really begin to focus on the present.