Five things to watch out for at Arsenal this season
- Credit: PA
This season marks Arsenal’s first season without European football in just over a quarter of a century.
This will therefore be a strange year for fans of the North London club, but here are five things to keep an eye out on over the course of the campaign.
1. Domestic focus
Whilst the lack of European competition is a huge loss for the fans, players and the club’s revenue, this offers Arsenal with the opportunity have a successful domestic season.
Therefore, consistency will be the first thing that Arsenal fans should watch out for.
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Mikel Arteta should be able to name a consistent XI throughout the season due to playing one game a week and, in turn, this should lead to more consistent performances on the pitch.
2. Ben White arriving
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Arsenal fans had to be patient for the signing of Ben White to be announced by the club, but they won’t have to wait very long for him to make an impact on the pitch.
The former Brighton man slots straight into the Arsenal XI in the right centre-back position and will be looking to replicate his form of the last two seasons which made both Leeds, his loan club, and Brighton fans fall in love with him.
He should impress not only with his defensive ability, but also his ability on the ball. He has a great eye for a pass, the ability to play through the lines and to also hit long, raking cross-field passes to push Arsenal into more dangerous areas.
3. Nicolas Pepe rising
Nicolas Pepe ended the previous Premier League campaign as Arsenal’s most dangerous player.
This form would have encouraged the Arsenal fans and Pepe demonstrated the ability the Emirates faithful have been looking for on a more consistent basis.
The Ivorian’s ability to cut onto his left foot and deliver a whipped cross or shot gets fans on the edge of their seat. However, his end product has been inconsistent.
That said, he is often Arsenal’s most threatening player going forward and tasked with giving the club the bright spark they are after in tight games.
With a consistent run of games, Pepe showed all of his qualities and Arsenal fans will be hoping he starts where he left off ahead of a difficult start to the 2021/22 season.
4. The talisman
For a few years now Arsenal’s talisman has been their captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Gabon international almost singlehandedly won Arsenal the FA Cup in Arteta’s first season in charge, with vital braces in both the semi-final against Man City and the final against Chelsea.
He was rewarded with a brand-new contract as a result, but his form after signing has been worrying.
He didn’t find the net on the regular basis Arsenal needed him to and this season everyone at Arsenal will be hoping for a change in fortune for their skipper.
For Arsenal to succeed, Aubameyang needs to be at his very best and hopefully he will recapture his form of old in front of goal.
5. The next generation
One of the only things which has kept Arsenal fans enjoying football over the last year or so is the emergence of the Hale End academy products.
Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe will be looking to continue their fine form which earned them great plaudits last season, helping them become two of the first names on the team sheet every week.
Watch out for Arsenal’s academy products as they will be a key feature of Arteta’s plans.