Arsenal claimed the first silverware of the season with the Community Shield - more to follow?

Last season

Premier League: 4<sup>th

FA Cup: Winners

League Cup: Fourth round

Top scorer: Olivier Giroud (22)

Summer's work

Manager Arsene Wenger has once again silenced critics who have accused him of lacking ambition in the transfer market by bringing one of La Liga's outstanding talents to the club for the second year running.

Alexis Sanchez is the sole addition to the Gunners' attack as it stands but the additions of Calum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy and David Ospina have more than adequately restocked the squad at right-back and in goal, following the departures of Lukasz Fabianski and Bacary Sagna.

In addition to Sagna, Thomas Vermaelen is now a Barcelona player after Wenger prevented the Belgian from joining Premier League rivals Manchester United.

Meanwhile, Carl Jenkinson has joined West Ham United on a season-long loan and Nicklas Bendtner has called time on his always-perplexing Arsenal career.

Manager – Arsene Wenger

The Premier League's longest-serving manager enters the new season with a considerable weight off his shoulders.

The club's FA Cup success has gone some way in addressing suggestions that doubt whether he is the man to lead the club. And his subsequent dealings in the transfer market speak volumes of his intentions this term.

With the unequovical backing from the board, Wenger will lead the club as he sees fit. Would anyone in their right mind have it any other way?

Key player – Aaron Ramsey

It is safe to assume that if Arsenal were able to rely on the services of Aaron Ramsey for the entire campaign last term, their title charge would not have ended as pitifully as it did.

The Welshman's simply awesome return of 10 goals and eight assists in just 23 Premier League appearances illustrates just how integral his presence is.

Arsenal's title challenge was already over when he returned from a thigh injury last season but in-between, the talent of Mesut Ozil and Sanchez, Ramsey can be the club's catalyst to further triumphs.


In spite of that FA success, Arsenal's league campaign ended in rather predictable fashion.

A stunning start to the season that wound down to a scramble for fourth place is a story we have all heard before.

But given the added strength in depth the squad now possesses, coupled with the addition of fitness coach Shad Forsythe to help address the injuries that have punctured previous campaigns, there is cause for optimism.

Much rests on whether Arsenal can sufficiently trouble the clubs around them in season-defining showdowns, though.

The Gunners managed just one win out of six league meetings with Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool last season and conceded a total of 17 goals on the road against last season's top three. Improving that dismal record is a must.

Prediction – 3rd

Arsenal's squad is better equipped than ever for a Premier League challenge but doubts remain whether they have enough to stand toe to toe with Chelsea and Manchester City.