ARSENAL SEASON PREVIEW: Lack of summer signings again sees Wenger under pressure… can they maintain top-four spot?

Story of the summer…

Despite talk of multi-million pound war chests and stellar transfer signings, nothing has yet materialised at the Emirates. Arsenal’s very public pursuit of Luis Suarez has dragged on, and it seems as if they might miss out on him as they did on another top target in Gonzalo Higuain.

Manager’s main challenge…                                                                  111

Wenger will want to challenge for the title but hanging on to their top four place is a more realistic target – others have strengthened while Arsenal have waited. But, despite injuries, problems and crises, Wenger always seems to get his team over the line. 

Hiccups on horizon…

If the club fail to make a major signing in the next two weeks, Wenger and the Arsenal board will have some seriously angry fans on their hands.

First name on the team sheet…

Jack Wilshere – the youngster may be injury prone but he is the heartbeat of Wenger’s side.


Youngster to watch…

Serge Gnabry – Age: 18 Position: Midfielder/Winger Twitter: @SergeGnabry

During Theo Walcott’s contract wrangles last season the suggestion was Arsene Wenger believed this dynamic winger could fill any potential void. The Germany youth star with an Ivorian father is a direct runner with a powerful shot and has already played Premier League and Champions League football despite just turning 18.

Pre-season quote…

‘We finished strong last season and we want to transfer that strength into the start of the new campaign. If we manage to do that then we will have a chance.’ – Arsene Wenger

Top Tweeter

Lukas Podolski (@Podolski10) – Keen sight-seer, shares selfies with his followers.


Ins: Yaya Sanogo (Auxerre, free)

Outs: Andrey Arshavin (released), Denilson (Sao Paulo, free) and Sebastien Squillaci (released), Martin Angha (Nuremberg, undisclosed), Craig Eastmond (Colchester, free), Conor Henderson (released), Jernade Meade (Swansea, free), Sanchez Watt (Colchester, free), Johan Djourou (Hamburg, loan), Vito Mannone (Sunderland £2m), Andre Santos (Flamengo, free), Francis Coquelin (Freiburg, loan), Joel Campbell (Olympiacos, loan), Chuks Aneke (Crewe, loan), Marouane Chamakh (Crystal Palace, free), Ignasi Miquel (Leicester, season-long loan), Gervinho (Roma, £8m)

New kit

The Gunners are in their final season with Nike and before the partnership ends after 20 years, the American manufacturer has looked back on arguably the club’s greatest moment during that period – the ‘Invincibles’ of 2003-04 – for this season’s away kit.

With the home kit poised to remain the same as last season, this is set to be the final offering from Nike before Puma takeover in a record £30m-a-year deal.

Away kit cost: £50

Stats from 2012-13 season

  • Arsenal won their final five away games, their best such run since 2004.
  • Lukas Podolski was taken off 23 times in the Premier League in 2012-13. Only Steed Malbranque – 26 times for Sunderland in 2009-10 – has been substituted more often in a single Premier League campaign.
  • Four different Arsenal players (Walcott, Cazorla, Giroud and Podolski) scored 10 or more goals in the Premier League in 2012-13, meaning the Gunners were only the fourth side in history to have four players reach double figures in a single PL campaign.
  • Theo Walcott scored two of the five goals scored inside the first minute of a game in 2012-13.
  • The Emirates Stadium saw more goals than any other PL ground (70).
  • Arsenal won a higher percentage of duels than any other team in 2012-13 (52.55%).
  • The Gunners scored a league-high seven goals on the break in 2012-13.
  • Arsenal were forced into making 22 last-man tackles in 2012-13, more than any other side.
  • Arsenal averaged 58 per cent possession in Premier League games last season; the highest in the league alongside Manchester City.

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