12 Reasons for Arsenal Fans to Be Excited About the 2014/15 Season
With the World Cup approaching the finishing line, Arsenal fans are inevitably turning their attention to the forthcoming 2014/15 campaign.
They will do so with a significant measure of anticipation. With a trophy under their belt and new signings seemingly on the way, Gunners fans have plenty to be excited about.
In this piece we look at 12 reasons for Arsenal supporters to look forward to next season.
The Pressure Is off
Arsenal enter this season under significantly less pressure than the last. The long wait for a silverware is over. Back in May, Arsenal ended a nine-year trophy drought by lifting the FA Cup.
It means that everyone around the club—fans, players, and manager alike—can begin the campaign liberated from some of the anxiety that has surrounded the club in previous years.
One of the most exciting aspects of any new season is the arrival of some new faces. Having lost the likes of Lukasz Fabianski, Bacary Sagna and Nicklas Bendtner, Arsenal are expected to be busy in this window and make a number of recruits.
With the World Cup winding down, Arsene Wenger’s transfer plan has begun to kick in to action. According to the BBC Sport, the Gunners boss is close to adding both Mathieu Debuchy and Alexis Sanchez to his squad. As Wenger sets about building a team capable of landing the Premier League title, those two acquisitions would undoubtedly make for an excellent start.
More Aaron Ramsey Magic
Aaron Ramsey’s outstanding form was one of the undoubted highlights of Arsenal’s 2013/14 campaign. The Welshman built on a solid 2012/13 to enjoy a spectacular season, ending up as the club’s undisputed Player of the Year.
Not even a four-month lay-off with a troublesome thigh injury could halt his progress. The indications are that Ramsey’s performances were far more than an anomalous blip. Arsenal have a bona fide star on their hands, and fans can look forward to seeing more barnstorming displays from the Welshman this Autumn.
Mesut Ozil Will Have Adapted
Arsene Wenger has long preached that a player’s first season in English football is first and foremost about adaptation. Having undergone that process, Mesut Ozil should be primed to make a significant impact in 2014/15.
Ozil’s class is not in question, but he has struggled to influence the big occasions since moving to north London. Now accustomed to the rigours of the English game, he ought to be in a far better position to make his presence felt in the Premier League.
The Potential Arrival of Alexis Sanchez
Anyone who saw Alexis Sanchez play at this World Cup knows what an exhilarating player he is to watch.
At times, he resembles a Tasmanian devil, terrorising defences with his irrepressible movement and immaculate close control. If the BBC are to be believed, Arsenal are close to sealing Sanchez’s signature for next season.
Gunners fans are understandably excited at the prospect of securing a player who would be the most electric forward to wear the Arsenal shirt since Thierry Henry.
Arsene Wenger Is Revitalised
Anyone who has seen the images of Arsene Wenger chilling out on the beach in Brazil in The Metro will know that the Arsenal boss seems more relaxed and energised than he has in years.
Having broken his barren run without a trophy, the manager looks like a new man. The signs are that he will lead Arsenal in to 2014/15 with a renewed vitality and freshness.
A Lucrative New Kit Deal
After having worn Nike shirts for two decades, Arsenal will commence a new kit deal with Puma in 2014/15.
Most Arsenal fans don't care who manufactures the club's attire. However, the money brought in by Puma could well be reinvested in the team. For supporters starved of big-name signings, that's a very appealing prospect.
Welcoming Home Three World Cup Finalists
Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski have made Arsenal fans proud with their performances at the World Cup this summer. The German Gunners have progressed all the way to the final, and many Arsenal fans will hope they go on to win the competition and return to London full of confidence.
Emerging Young Guns
As ever, Arsenal have an exciting crop of youngsters hoping to make a significant impact in 2014/15.
The pick of the bunch might be Gedion Zelalem. The teenage midfielder made his Arsenal debut last year, but his progress was hampered by injury problems. Fit again and already taking a full part in pre-season training, the precocious Zelalem will hope for more opportunities in the coming season.
Theo Walcott's Return
In the case of Theo Walcott, absence really has made the heart grow fonder.
When Walcott plays for Arsenal, he regularly incurs the wrath of certain Gunners fans with his erratic delivery and troubling tendency to disappear out of games for long periods. However, since losing him to a cruciate ligament injury in January, every Arsenal fan has come to recognise his worth.
Without him, Arsenal struggled to inject pace and variety in to their attacking play. His September return will be an enormous boost to the team.
Yet More Champions League Football
Despite a late challenge from Everton, Arsene Wenger was once again able to secure Champions League football for Arsenal.
Although it is a competition that has brought Arsenal plenty of pain as well as pleasure down the years, it invariably produces some of the highlights of any given campaign.
Catching a Glimpse of Joel Campbell
Costa Rican hotshot Joel Campbell caught the eye at the World Cup this summer, and next season Arsenal fans might be able to watch him up close.
After spending three years out on loan, Campbell is widely anticipated to join up with the Arsenal squad for the 2014/15 campaign. His pace and shooting ability could make him an effective understudy for Arsene Wenger's first-choice attackers.