There is a chance that Arsenal could make significant progress in the Premier League next season while the other top three clubs, United, City and Chelsea, get themselves together after a period of upheaval. The fact that the rewards on offer in the English game makes it even more important to have a tilt at the title next season.
It was great for Arsenal fans to see Super Jack Wilshere back playing in the first team again this season. The 21-year old was obviously as glad as we were to get over his injury after what seemed like an eternity on the sidelines. Jack has put in some great performances for the Gunners, but he knows he has not been at his brilliant best, although he is sure we will see that next season.
We don't know for sure that Arsenal are definitely looking to sign another keeper this summer, but it seems fairly likely, with the problems there have been with Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski over the last few years. I really hope that Arsene Wenger has got a clear idea of who he wants to bring in, even if it is between a few keepers, because according to the media he has about 39 different possibilities.
As usual with Arsenal, half the Premier League club's supporters see the glass being half full while the rest view it as half empty. It just depends if you're wearing rose-coloured glasses or not. Yes, the Gunners have managed to finish the season in the top four again and have reached the European Champions for the 16th straight year.
Ever since the end of the Premier League season last Sunday, Arsenal fans have been looking forward to an optimistic summer transfer window and a much more competitive Arsenal in the future. Some Gooners, like myself, still harbour doubts about the board and Arsenal's wage policy actually allowing Wenger to bring in the `top, top` talent he has been talking about all season.
Juventus player Mauricio Isla has alerted a number of clubs in Europe including Arsenal after he stated that he may be leaving Turin this summer. Isla has had a horrible season at Juventus but the Chilean was a star player at Udinese where he was played in his favoured right wing back position instead of central midfield regularly.
Wenger can lead us through a league in turmoil by DG
While everyone knows that Arsene Wenger is now comfortably the longest serving current Premier League manager, I wonder if you all realise just how far ahead he is of the pack? It was revealed yesterday that Tony Pulis is leaving Stoke after 7 years in charge.
In the 52nd minute at St. James' Park, the inevitable happened. Arsenal scored. Not many would have banked on the rejuvenated Laurent Koscielny to break the deadlock in such a fine fashion, putting his team firmly in the driving seat after a well taken half-volley, but it was no surprise to see another Wenger team heading for the Champions League (with the qualification round in their path) for the umpteenth time in a row (16 to be exact).
With Tony Pulis leaving Stoke City by mutual consent today, and Alex Ferguson retiring from Manchester United the second longest serving Premier League manager is now Newcastle's Alan Pardew. Alan Pardew with Tony Pulis Arsenal's Arsene Wenger is now the longest serving and he's been in the Arsenal job since 1996, and the Frenchmen has [.
Arsene Wenger has already suggested that Arsenal will have a tough time acquiring the transfer targets that the manager wants this summer. The Gunners may have a lot more money to spend in this transfer window, but that in no way guarantees that we will get the players we want.
One of the major problems this year is the competition.
The fans and former players of Arsenal will all have been pleased about the way the Gunners fought back from a seemingly impossible situation to clinch fourth place in the Premier League, qualifying for the Champions League and finishing above our north London rivals again.
As the dust settles, though, and we start to take stock, there are certainly concerns.
The Arsenal transfer target, Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patricio, has admitted that he may be leaving his beloved Sporting Lisbon this summer. In an interview with the Portuguese press he said "I feel good here, but we must consider many things. I still do not know what the future holds for me".
The keeper was the subject of an £8 Million bid just last week from Arsenal which was immediately rejected by Sporting.
For the last decade and a half Fox Soccer has been the voice of the Barclays Premier League in this country and that ended on Sunday. It's going to be sad not to have the EPL on FSC. While FSC has made it's mistakes over the years if it was not for them the EPL would not have the footprint that it has in this country.
The exciting young French striker Yaya Sanogo (great name!) has beeen close to sealing a deal with the Arsenal since last week, with his club Auxerre in negotiations with Arsenal over the compensation fee.
But today the youngster himself has made it clear that he only has one destination in mind for nmext season.
It has been reported that Arsenal are close to sealing the deal for The Montenegro international and Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic. While the Gunners sealed the final Champions League place in the Premier League with victory at Newcastle, Fiorentina missed out despite beating Pescara 5-1.
Jovetic scored in the game, but it could be his last in Viola colours, as Metro reports that his agent, Fali Ramadani, is in the Capital to put the final touches to a deal that could cost the Gunners nearly £25 million.
Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain (Flickr Commons)
Arsene Wenger is making a list, and checking it twice and Gonzalo Higuain seems to be a top the Frenchman's summer transfer window list. According to Pro Soccer Talk, Arsenal are currently working on tabulating a bid for the current Real Madrid striker who could bring additional attacking firepower to a Champions League bound North London side for next season.
Arsenal fans celebrate mediocrity yet again whilst silverware goes begging by Adam Kemp
Arsenal fans will be glad to see the back of a season that has proved the most difficult during Wengers reign. I was embarrassed to see the players celebrating like they won the title as they should have been reserved with a fourth placed finish.
First, please kneel, place your hands together and join me in reciting the Prayer of St Totteringham:
"Our Neighbours, who art in shadow Fallow be thy game. Thy fandom – scum; Thy players – plums (In truth, none would make our eleven). Give us this day our Champions League, And forgive us for taking the p*ss As we laugh at those who finish behind us, And lead us not into N17, But deliver us from Levy For Arsenal's is the kingdom, The power, and the gap, For ever and ever, Arsène.
Hello Gooners! In this article, I will assess all our transfer dealings in the coming transfer window after our glorious victory for the top 4. Feel free to post you thoughts, and please don't be too harsh as this is only my second article.
The biggest Arsenal transfer rumour going around today is the report in the Sun that Arsene Wenger is willing to unload our latest captain Thomas Vermaelen for a cut-price £5million Pounds. The Belgian international will not be happy that the Gunners went on a ten-game unbeaten run as soon as he was demoted to the bench, and the only time he got a game was when Laurent Koscielny was suspended.
There have been a number of reports over the last few days suggesting that Arsenal have agreed terms with Gonzalo Higuain over his potential transfer to the Emirates from Real Madrid. It was also thought that the transfer fee had been settled at around £20 million. Whether this is is true or not, we don't know, but even if it is true, that does not mean the transfer will definitely happen.
According to just about every single Arsenal transfer rumour on the web at the moment, the Gunners two top targets are Fiorentina's Stevan Jovetic and Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain and either one is certain to improve the Arsenal strike force next season.
But today it has been revealed by the Juventus general director Giuseppe Marotta that the Spanish Serie A winners are also keen on signing these two players.
Every year we report the Arsenal players that really have to be taken off the wage bill to make room for some players that actually are capable of competing for First XI places. This time around we have a chance to make big inroads into disposing of these deadwoods and freeing up a good amount of wages to invest in star players.
The Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis yesterday gave his usual rousing speech about Arsenal aiming to win trophies next season, not simply aim for the Top Four. He has vowed to back Arsene Wenger in the transfer market to give the Gunners the toools to win trophies.
With the renewals of season tickets set to begin today, Gazidis said: "It is important to reiterate that for everyone at the Club, qualification for the Champions League is not our ultimate ambition.
After an amazing run in the final two months of the season in which The Gunners went 8-0-2 to finish fourth and qualify for Champions League, the transfer rumors have already begun to swirl around potential offseason moves for Arsenal.
Last season, The Gunners welcomed Spanish duo Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal from Málaga, German Lukas Podolski from FC Koln, and Frenchman Olivier Giroud from Montpellier; who combined for a total of 123 matches started, 46 goals (of 102), 35 assists, and $58 million.
Are You Sitting Down, Arsenal Fans? Kroenke Gives Wenger Green Light on Transfers! by FD
We've all grown used to the sort of frantic post season speculation concerning potential comings and goings at the Emirates. It happens every year. We get fired up by reports in the media and because we want to believe, we fall into the same trap each year only to set ourselves up for yet another disappointing summer.
What is it with modern day footballers? They all seem to want to play in the centre of the park. What happened to all the dashing wide players of yore? Nowadays it's as if players are trying to stay as far away from the pitch side fans as possible.
Andrei Arshavin's four and half seasons at Arsenal can be summarised as the following, the first two and half he looked a good signing, then he lost his form, his confidence and then he lost his place in the team and that was that! Without there ever really being an explanation.
It's that time of year when everyone reflects on the somewhat tumultuous journey we've been on this past season. Today we give you all the opportunity to vote for those players you believe were the most influential in the campaign.
I have added a supplementary poll at the end to stimulate discussion for the day.
Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud (Google Creative Commons)
Having already wrapped up the Premier League title, Manchester United capped off a wonderful campaign with an extraordinary 5-5 draw against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns. United twice led by a three-goal margin, but the home side – inspired by Romelu Lukaku's second-half hat-trick – managed to battle back each time.
With the season over I would love to try to put the season in perspective when looking at the numbers. Where things went wrong and where things went right. What to do to improve for next season and other stuff like that.
Newcastle Sports Direct Franchise XI vs The Arsenal: The match screening event (part 2*)
By Drew Gray (AKA @Blacksheep63)
It was a rather odd Sunday last weekend, partly because I was heading south for London when Arsenal were playing several hundred miles north, and partly because I was going to the Emirates without Tony.
Who Could Arsenal Face in the Champions League Qualifiers? by FD
So Arsenal have once again seen off the Spuds and secured fourth place in the Premier League and confirmed our place in the Top Four for the 16th time in a row. Can you believe that the bookies are now offering the great price of 8/11 for the Gunners to do it again next season.
Arsenal's homegrown hero Jack Wilshere this week stated his desire to one day captain both club and country.
Wilshere said, "I want to captain Arsenal and I want to captain England. That definitely appeals to me. It's my ultimate dream. People say players are no longer bothered about wearing the England shirt.
It was never going to be a world news story like David Beckham, sentimental like saying goodbye to Sir Alex or mentioned in the same breath as Jamie Carragher or Michael Owen's retirement but there is a high chance that after six solid years Bacary Sagna may very well have played his last game for Arsenal yesterday.