The English Premier League commences in 12 days, igniting worldwide excitement, fear, joy and tragedy. 2011/2012 appears to have the making of a campaign more influential, more thrilling and more tense than the previous and world football fans are salivating.
It has been an exciting summer so far with a number of big-name transfers materializing. With more and more teams now benefiting from investor tycoons, even more money is engulfing football and the transfers will only increase.
Furthermore, with little under a month remaining left in the summer transfer window, there is still much action to be completed. One team who has been surprisingly quiet in terms of transfer activity is North London giants Arsenal. After the Gunners' tumultuous conclusion to 2010/2011, which ensured their notorious trophy drought was extended to six seasons, many believed Arsene Wenger would be immensely involved in transfer movements.
But despite the mass speculation, little has occurred for the Gunners. Veteran left-back Gael Clichy departed to Manchester City for £7 million whilst Wenger managed to acquired highly rated Ivorian striker Gervinho for £10.5 million from French champions OSC Lille.
Captain Cesc Fabregas and key playmaker Samir Nasri have both endured heavy transfer rumours with mass speculation linking the duo with moves to Barcelona and Manchester City respectively. Neither have agreed to anything yet with either Arsenal or rival clubs but it appears Nasri is set to commence 2011/2012 in the red and white. However, Fabregas' future is more tentative.
The speculation has not aided matters internally with the Gunners conveying a poor preseason. Wenger's squad registered just one win against feeble Asian opposition with a 4-0 thrashing of Malaysia XI before drawing with China's Hangzhou Greentown in a goalless stalemate.
Arsenal then conveyed a lacklustre approach to their own Emirates Cup, which the Gunners relinquished for the first time as New York Red Bulls secured the crown. Nonetheless, Wenger's men will begin 2011/2012 eager and hungry to eradicate their renowned trophy drought.
After the accuracy of last season's predictions, Bleacher Report continues the trend for the new, upcoming campaign and establishes the eight Arsenal players to watch in 2011/2012. Take a look.