Football Season Guide



Gervinho (forward)(Lille); Carl Jenkinson (defender) (Charlton Athl.) Carlos Vela (forward)(Return of loan from West Brom)


Gael Clichy (defender) (Man City);Denilson (midfielder)( loan to Sao Paolo); Jens Lehmann(goalkeeper)(retired); Mark Randall (midfielder)(Chesterfield)

Seasons come and go with a sense of déjà vu for Arsenal fans, and with no silverware to show for their attractive brand of play since 2005. Last season was perhaps the most frustrating for the Emirates faithful as it petered out disappointingly in the final furlong and the fourth place finish means they have to go through a tough qualifying round in the Champions League against Udinese. Arsene Wenger, perhaps for the first time in his tenure, is under real pressure to deliver this time round. However, it very much looks like this season will be one of transition for the Gunners. Their captain Cesc Fabregas is almost certain to leave at some stage in the near future, with a number of other regular players such as Arshavin, Diaby, Bendtner, Rosicky or Squillacci possibly following suit. Samir Nasri has been heavily linked with a move away, having held out on signing a new contract so a January exit could be on the cards for the Frenchman. Gael Clichy, the last of the Invincibles, has already joined Manchester City and Denilson has gone off on loan at Sao Paolo. This hardly instils confidence as a new season dawns with only one high profile signing so far in the shape of Lille winger Gervinho. Wenger will hope most of all that injuries do not restrict his options as has too often been the case in the past few seasons. Thomas Vermalen remained absent for most of the past campaign and was sorely missed. The Belgian should return at the back alongside Johann Djourou or Laurent Koscielny. In goal, Wojciech Szczesny looked to have imposed himself before an injury stopped him in his tracks last season but the Pole should reclaim the number one jersey from the start of the campaign. Sagna will return on the right side of defence while Song should be the anchor of the side in central midfield with the promising Wilshere and Ramsey likely to take a larger hand in things. In the attack, Theo Walcott should take up a more central role as Gervinho will look to establish himself on the wing. Robin Van Persie will return in the marksman role upfront. Still, Wenger remains on the lookout for some reinforcements straight down the spine of the team.


With the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City strengthening, a top four finish now looks like an optimistic target for the Gunners unless they seriously spend to make up for the inevitable departure of Fabregas and the lack of depth in the side, which is patent when injuries strike