As final preparations for the 2012/13 ramp up and the Premier League gets set to kick-off, news outlets, blogs and pundits are dissecting from top to bottom. But what do the fans think?
We asked a panel of supporters in the USA and Canada their views on Arsenal's summer moves, their thoughts on the current squad and their hopes and predictions for upcoming season. Each day this week, we'll delve into a different topic and see what our panel thinks.
So far we have touched on the Club's transfer window moves and who the top players will be over the course of the year. But how about the team as a whole? For the final segment of the roundtable, I asked the panel another two-part question.
Will Arsenal win trophies this season and what will define success for this squad at the end of May?
Can Arsenal win silverware? Absolutely. Will Arsenal win silverware? Superstition prevents me from answering definitively.
I will say that as of right now, this Arsenal team has the best chance of winning trophies going into August since the 2007-2008 team. Arsenal will be in four major competitions, and if weak teams from Chelsea and Liverpool can win the Champions League and League Cups, respectively, there is absolutely no reason Arsenal cannot win any of those competitions.
And silverware is what will define a successful season. Arsenal now finally seem to have the strength in the first XI and the depth on the bench to not only compete on all fronts, but to win. The Premier League is up for grabs; City were very good but not dominant last season and have yet to make any moves, and United, despite signing the impressive Shinji Kagawa, don't appear to have gained on their neighbors - or at least they hadn't before yesterday. Chelsea have spent loads of cash again, but we'll have to see how those elements blend together, and the lilywhites may yet lose their only effective striker and their midfield catalyst in one summer.
There is a good deal of competition in England, but optimism going into an Arsenal season hasn't seemed this strong in years. I really cannot wait for this one to start, I'm going to have that kid-on-Christmas-Eve feeling until August 18th.
From someone who almost always goes into a season thinking we'll win the quadruple (crazy, I know), I can actually say this season I feel quite confident we could. I think we've conducted some of the best business this summer outside of perhaps Chelsea and most definitely have some of the best young players in the league. I look forward to seeing us challenge on all fronts.
Although our club places a great amount of importance on finishing the season in a top four position, I feel it is time we measure success through silverware. I can understand why finishing top four is such an important goal for the club financially and traditionally, but I think we need to take this team to the next level. Almost nobody outside of Arsenal supporters thought we would finish 3rd last season and I believe this season we could surprise everyone again come May.
It certainly does look like it's Arsenal's best chance to win silverware in the last 4-5 years, the squad's depth is staggering compared to last season and more importantly the level of experience in the side suggests this team can turn their patches of good form into the consistency that's required to win major honors.
The Premiership is such a demanding marathon that I don't think we can expect silverware in that competition just yet, but I'd be very surprised if this team didn't at least make it to the final of the FA Cup or the Champions League.
Brett's right, given the relative inactivity of the other top Premiership sides in the transfer market, the signal of intent the club has sent through its own transfer dealings, and just the length of Arsenal's trophyless run, success can only be defined by silverware this season. While the ability to go deep into several competitions may suggest a more gradual success, really Arsenal's only standard this season should be the ability to win a major competition. That may sound like a high standard, but I do believe more than ever that it's a realistic one for Arsenal this time around.
The views expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of Arsenal Football Club or Arsenal Broadband Ltd.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 17 Aug 2012