The Arsenal Fans' Season Preview: Revenge For The 8-2 And Ignoring RvP's Birthday

What to expect from Arsenal in 2012/13, including Gervinho having a good season, a challenge for a trophy and the customary finish above Tottenham...
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What to expect from Arsenal in 2012/13, including Gervinho having a good season, a challenge for a trophy and the customary finish above Tottenham...

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Arsenal

Pre season: Good, bad or ugly?
The tour of Asia didn’t see great success on the field, but sadly pre-season is no longer about the football, and is now about making money and increasing commercial income. Still, we’ve seen some encouraging performances which were just about enough to balance out the worry from the shaky defence.

Hopes for the season?
Obviously a trophy would be awesome, but after a few seasons of stagnating and going backwards, progress in any form would be welcomed. Hoping that the increased quality in depth, in midfield especially, will mean we’re not relying on the same XI for months on end, and will be able to properly challenge for honours.

Quite a lot of the so-called ‘deadwood’ aren’t even bad players, just victims of circumstance, but Andrey Arshavin clearly doesn’t want to be here.

Fears for the season?
New signings don’t gel in time, and we get left behind at the beginning of the season, meaning we have to chase down the Champions League places once again.

Absolute bare minimum you’ll accept?
Anything less than a Champions League place for next season isn’t acceptable. Hopefully we won’t have to worry about that too much and we’ll be able to focus on winning a trophy.

Fixture you’re most looking forward to?
Both of the North London derbies, as we need to make sure we reassert our dominance over that lot, for good. Revenge for the 8-2 is also something that would be nice, so Old Trafford will be keenly anticipated/feared.

Anything less than a Champions League place for next season isn’t acceptable. Hopefully we won’t have to worry about that too much and we’ll be able to focus on winning a trophy.

Got the right manager?
No question. Arsène’s proven time and again that he knows what he’s doing, and hopefully when we look back on his career the nay-sayers will realise that the “Arsène Knows” mantra was indeed true. Laurent Koscielny was his latest gem plucked from obscurity, proving that even in the saturated market he can still find great value. The van Persie saga is another tricky obstacle to manoeuvre, but the business done so far has been great.

By Christmas you’ll be…?
Still going strong in the Premier League and Champions League, in contention for both, and hopefully in the latter stages of the Carling Cup. Beggars can’t be choosers!

Player you’d most like to sign?
Yann M’Vila. Liked him for over a year, and we need a bit more discipline in midfield, what with Alex Song’s roaming forward. We’ve missed a Gilberto type holding midfielder since he left, with Mathieu Flamini filling in briefly, so a less cavalier central midfielder would be nice, and M’Vila fits the bill. A great passer as well, composed in possession, would fit in well here.

Which player should we look out for?

One that will be sneaking under the radar with the massive signing of Santi Cazorla is Gervinho. A lot of players Arsène’s signed from France (Koscielny and Pires to name two) have had mixed first seasons before properly bursting into life, and Gervinho’s shown the signs of his potential in his short career in North London so far. Might benefit from increased competition on the left in the shape of Lukas Podolski.

We’ve missed a Gilberto type holding midfielder since he left, with Mathieu Flamini filling in briefly, so a less cavalier central midfielder would be nice, and M’Vila fits the bill.

Which player would you love to ditch?
Quite a lot of the so-called ‘deadwood’ aren’t even bad players, just victims of circumstance, but Andrey Arshavin clearly doesn’t want to be here. The honeymoon ended long ago, and there was a harsh crashing back down to earth for both Arshavin and Arsenal. Must be being paid handsomely, and for his contribution it’s certainly too much.

Opposition hate figure?
Ashley Cole, Emmanuel Adebayor and Samir Nasri have all recently re-ignited the rivalries that were lurking just below the surface through Twitter, so will all receive a lot of stick.

Tell us something we don’t know about your club?
Jock Rutherford, Arsenal’s oldest ever player at 41 years and 159 days, is the great-grandfather of Great Britain’s Olympic long-jump champion Greg Rutherford.

What won’t happen this season?
As in the Chelsea season preview, Tottenham finishing above us.

Jock Rutherford, Arsenal’s oldest ever player at 41 years and 159 days, is the great-grandfather of Great Britain’s Olympic long-jump champion Greg Rutherford.

Favourite chant?
‘There’s only one Arsène Wenger’.

Where will you finish?
Might be tighter than ever at the top, but an optimistic 2nd.

Any other news?
Does the entire fanbase ignoring van Persie’s birthday count?

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