The palpable sense of excitement at Arsenal this summer contrasts starkly with the mood amongst fans last summer.
Then, real agony reigned among the Arsenal faithful as they watched other clubs (Manchester City, especially) bring in star after star to strengthen their squads while Arsenal dilly-dallied.
In the end, even the eleventh-hour rush to bring in Yossi Benayoun, Park Chu-Young, Andre Santos and Mikel Arteta did little to dispel the gloom that overcast the atmosphere at the club all summer long.
The pain of losing two of the club's best players was too real at the time. Moreover, Arsenal had already made a bad start to the season so that the feeling of doom was wholly justified.
If the feeling of doom was entirely justified then under the given circumstance, it is no less the case for the fans' present excitement.
Even the club manager, Arsene Wenger, feels confident that the club will challenge for titles this season.
Although, of course, one must be aware that no less should be expected of him when the press poses the inevitable question about the club's chances in the coming campaign.
In proclaiming his optimism, though—the reader would take note of the following—he tempers it in the light of the unpredictable nature of competition in sports:
We want to (compete for honours) and we have a desire to. We are up for it and what we want is to come out of the season and know we have given our best. I feel we did that last year, finishing third with the start we had.The first target is to do as well as we can in every single game and see where we stand at the end of the season, but of course we want to fight for the championship.
The justifications for this excitement can be several, but I underscore just five here.