Search

All Guns Blazing: So many reasons for Arsenal fans to feel positive about 2016

PUBLISHED: 17:12 30 December 2015 | UPDATED: 17:12 30 December 2015

Theo Walcott of Arsenal celebrates scoring his team's first goal (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Theo Walcott of Arsenal celebrates scoring his team's first goal (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

2015 Getty Images

You’d have to be a very pessimistic Arsenal fan to view 2015 as anything less than successful.

The Gunners retained their FA Cup, achieved their highest finish in the Premier League for three seasons, amassed the most league points in the calendar year, signed a world-class goalkeeper and saw the elevation of several players into top stars.

All positives, yeah?

But with the year coming to an end, sights are shifting quickly to 2016 and how it can be even better for Arsenal.

Their first Premier League title in 12 years? An improbable Champions League victory? Or just Champions League qualification after falling away in the spring?

The possibilities are endless when you take into account Arsenal’s ability to self-destruct one minute and perform miracles the next.

One thing that is certain in my eyes is that all the ingredients are there for Arsenal to achieve their goals this season.

The signing of Petr Cech has brought a winning mentality and experience to the defence which they have not had in years.

You would have to think long and hard for a better full-back duo than Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal, while Laurent Koscielny has developed into, for many, the best centre-back in the league – even though he can make Shane Long look like a peak Luis Suarez!

Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla formed an unlikely yet often excellent partnership in centre midfield.

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil at various points illustrated their world-class calibre to leave supporters drooling like they were watching the Invincibles.

Olivier Giroud continued his rise as an under-appreciated yet regular supplier of goals.

And Arsene Wenger’s subtle tactical changes in big games were finally rewarded after years of criticism.

Injuries remain a major source of frustration. Jack Wilshere always seems to be a few weeks away from returning. Danny Welbeck’s eight-month absence is peculiar and needs explaining, while Mikel Arteta’s calves seem unable to handle 45 minutes’ work.

Nevertheless, as shown in the wins over Bayern Munich and Manchester City, when the Emirates is full of positivity, optimistic and belief it can carry the team a long way.

Follow me @UcheAmako

Latest Islington Sports News

Fri, 17:34

Today’s Friday Fanzone Q&A talks to ‘Highbury Harold’ a member of the Black Scarf movement – the supporter group ‘that says it like it is’. Read on for this fourth generation Gooner’s views on all things Arsenal...

Fri, 11:30

Extra £410,000 to identify and support young talent

Thu, 09:37

Islington and Camden’s two District Primary School teams played out a pulsating semi-final in the Kay Trophy at Chase Lodge – with Islington just getting through on penalties.

Wed, 08:29

Return to action after surgery leads to podiums

Wed, 06:00

Islington Boxing Club picked up two victories on an Eastgate ABC dinner show held at the Debenham Leisure Centre in Stowmarket.

Tue, 13:39

The nine-year-old boy from Islington who wowed people last year by conquering three of cycling’s most feared climbs is gearing up for another adventure – and this time his sister is coming along for the ride.

Mon, 16:30

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies saw their 27-game undefeated run come to an end with a valiant 10-0 defeat to north London rivals Arsenal but Karen Hills’ outfit can take plenty of pride away from the encounter.

Mon, 13:26

Alan Higgins will feel unlucky after losing his Southern Area Super-Middleweight title in a superb contest with Criag Richards.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now