10 Things for Arsenal Fans to Be Happy About Looking Ahead to Next Season
2012-13 was a painful season for Arsenal fans.
Although they ultimately managed to edge ahead of neighbours Tottenham to finish in the top four, the Gunners also suffered morale-sapping defeats against the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Bradford City.
However, looking ahead to next season, Arsenal have renewed cause for optimism.
Go on to the next slide to see why Gunners fans should be excited ahead of next season.
Big Signings Could Arrive
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Arsenal are finally ready to loosen the spending shackles.
Arsenal's financial potential has been vastly increased by new commercial deals, and chief executive Ivan Gazidis has confirmed the club's intention to join the big spenders. He told The Independent:
It is a big summer. We have been working very, very hard to gain the kind of financial capability we need as a football club to be at the very top end of the game.
The ambition that (majority shareholder) Stan Kroenke, Arsene Wenger, the players, our staff and I know all of the fans have is to be competing to win the Premier League and Champions League. If we are at that level, the trophies will come.
It's an exciting prospect for all Arsenal fans.
The Deadwood Is Gone
Arsenal's first business of the summer was to announce the release of Andrey Arshavin, Sebastien Squillaci and Denilson.
The departure of that trio of misfits has created space on the wage bill for new players more capable of contributing to the first team.
None of that terrible triumvirate will be remotely missed.
No More Sir Alex Ferguson
Over the past two decades, Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson have engaged in a bitter battle.
Next season, Wenger will travel to Old Trafford to find a new adversary in the guise of David Moyes. Wenger didn't quite manage to slay the dragon, but the dragon has rolled in to retirement.
Arsenal fans will not be sorry to see Ferguson's reign come to a close.
The Title Race Is Open
With Sir Alex Ferguson having hung up his hairdryer, several managers will battle it out for Premier League supremacy.
The managerial merry-go-round has whirled into action, and the likes of David Moyes, Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini now find themselves ensconced in English football's top jobs.
Arsene Wenger will see an opportunity to take advantage of the vacuum at the top of English football and catapult Arsenal back into the title race.
Jack Wilshere Will Be Fully Fit
Jack Wilshere's return to regular action was arguably the highlight of Arsenal's 2012/13 season.
However, a minor ankle problem meant he had to be carefully managed through the latter stages of the season to avoid exacerbating his injuries.
Wilshere was forced to miss the England friendlies with the Republic of Ireland and Brazil as he recovered from surgery but will hopefully be back to his best before the start of next season.
That's a mouthwatering prospect for Arsenal and England fans alike.
Gareth Bale Could Leave Tottenham
Arsenal fans would be delighted.
In 2012/13, Bale was the bane of Arsenal's season. His extraordinary performances almost dragged Tottenham into the Champions League at Arsenal's expense.
Without Bale, Spurs would struggle to match their North London neighbours.
Champions League Football
Having clinched fourth place on the final day of the Premier League season, Arsenal have the boon of Champions League football to look forward to.
Arsenal's impressive second-leg victory over Bayern Munich—and the catalytic effect it had on the Gunners' season—should serve as a reminder of the competition's abiding power.
Spurs fans would kill to experience the thrill of the Champions League again.
Arsenal Finally Have a Functional Defence
For the first time in years, Arsenal are heading into a new season with a secure defensive platform.
The blossoming partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny was a key component in Arsenal's impressive end to the 2012/13 campaign.
Arsenal fans will look forward to more of their effective and efficient displays.
The Young Players Are Improving
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's thrilling long-range goal against Brazil was a timely reminder of his remarkable talent.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is one of a number of young Gunners who will be hoping to develop their skills further in 2013/14. The likes of Carl Jenkinson and Ryo Miyaichi will also aim to stake a claim for a regular first-team spot.
Even established starters like Wojciech Szczesny and Jack Wilshere have plenty of potential to improve.
Arsenal Will Finish Above Tottenham
They always do.
Tottenham have not finished above Arsenal in the entirety of Arsene Wenger's reign. In the last two seasons, Spurs have let a significant lead over their rivals slip to be pipped at the post.
Arsenal will triumph over Tottenham again. Simply put, it's what they do best.
What are you looking forward to most next season? Let us know below.