There is a lovely nervous but excitable confidence from Gooners today. The new players coming in has given the current players a lift according to both Mikel Arteta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and it seems obvious that a majority of the fan base are feeling somewhat chipper right now. Well all apart from the *Angriest man on Twitter.
I wanted to write a season preview but as I have thought about it, it will be closer to a list of questions rather than anything else. A lot of what is to come is somewhat of the unknown, even more so given the little amount of pre season matches that the team have played this season.
I mean we have not even seen our world cup winners as yet and the season is almost here, it's a strange situation but luckily it is one that on paper we should be able to negotiate for the short term.
So what are my season preview questions?
I wonder how many Arsenal articles have been written since the summer that have not included the Chileans name. We all know how wonderful a player he is and we hope he hits the ground running but what is the plan for him as the season goes on?
I fully expect him to be the Theo Walcott replacement until master Theo is fit and raring to go in the first team once again. But when that day does come, what does Arsène do with Alexis Sanchez?
I initially thought we'd see Walcott and Alexis either side of Giroud going forward but I am not sure if Arsène is too keen on two direct players from the flanks. He has tended to look for either a more defensive option on one side (Parlour, Benayoun etc) with a more striker type player on the other side (Overmars, Walcott etc) or he uses a more creative player on one side (Pires, Hleb, Cazorla) in place of the defensive wing. Gervinho & Walcott or Podolski & Walcott has not lasted very long before being scrapped for another type of player.
I guess it depends on how Arsène views Alexis because he isn't the traditional direct wide forward is he? He is equally as good drifting inside and pulling the strings.
Is Yaya a longer term project or a back up player for the foreseeable future or does Arsène see something in Sanogo to make him our number one striker in a few weeks/months time from now? Arsène clearly rates him as shown last season when he started him in big games against Bayern Munich and Liverpool. The question is, how far can Sanogo go? (didn't even mean that) How quickly can he iron out any flaws in his games and work on his strengths? He seems to have the correct mentality as well as the right age to jump upon the upwards curve that all players want to board.
So Mesut Özil and Theo Walcott are back fit and settled back into the first team a few months down the line. Miraculously we have no injuries to our first team. Ok let's give Nacho Monreal a slight hamstring tweak to make this a bit more realistic. Where does Arsene fit Jack? When Arsene has a fit, talented young player he likes to make space for them to develop and give them games. If all are fit then does Jack get that run? I'm not sure but I do know that if Jack gets in the team ahead of someone due to injury or loss of form then he is certainly gifted enough to take his chance. He needs to do that this season.
The often maligned Frenchman has a chance to show what he can do with a compliment of players around him that he simply did not have enough of last season. An isolated Giroud is a different Giroud to the one who has players to combine with and with Alexis added and hopefully Theo returning to add to the lung bursting runs of Ramsey, this could be a big season for the handsome Frenchman. But before any of that he needs to shine and surpass a hungry and confident Yaya Sanogo.
I have many more questions such has Debuchy's new strengths as well as his weaknesses. Not to mention if the likes of Chambers will get a chance in midfield or the development of Bellerin. But I don't have long to wait until I get some of those answers.
Enjoy the season Gooners, let's hope we all stick together through this campaign and hope the boys can do the business.
* Absolutely hilarious. 'Everything is shiiiiiiiitttttttttt!!!'