Arsenal have had their fair share of criticism since the opening day defeat to Aston Villa, with fans pointing at a lack of transfer activity as a significant failing of the club. Yet study the current crop of players and fans may find a reason to be optimistic about things to come.
With Arsene Wenger known to favour younger talent that can progress, there are some noteworthy players among the Gunner’s ranks. There is no one who understands the pressure on his shoulders more than Jack Wilshere. The talented midfielder has been at the club since he was nine years old, and with injuries clearing up it is hoped he can recapture his form of the 2010/11 season before lengthy spells on the sidelines. At 21 years old, he will surely carry the club forward for many years to come.
And it is not just Wilshere that should excite fans – the club has exciting young full backs in Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson. Both now push for England places for each international fixture, and again with youth on their side can cement down places in the Arsenal starting XI for the foreseeable future. There is also Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Both are fresh young British talent with Premier League experience and are full internationals – Ramsey is even the youngest Wales captain in history, just 20 years and 90 days old at the time.
Golden boy Theo Walcott, many forget, is still relatively young in footballing years. Joining the club in 2006 from Southampton at just 17, the England international’s game has improved steadily with each passing season. Now 24, Walcott produced his best ever season last time around, contributing 11 goals and 12 assists in 46 appearances. If he can carry on firing for the Gunners they will reap the rewards of his form.
It is not just home grown potential in the squad either. The likes of Emmanuel Frimpong and new signing Yaya Sanogo are emerging talent with more than positive reviews being earned with every performance.
Olivier Giroud was in sparkling form during the off season, scoring 8 goals before carrying this into the first two games with a further two for the Frenchman. Arsenal fans should also not forget, amongst their first team they possess 19 full internationals, so a bad first game of the season may not be a bleak as some make out for the Gunners after all.