Have we enough talent? I believe so, yes. And the expectations are very high. You cannot win the Cup and finish third in the league and then say: ‘Look, next year we want to do nothing.
~ Arsene Wenger
Expectations are high and patience from the fans is low. Seems like a team ripe for implosion. The 2014-2015 season was largely anti-climatic because Arsenal and Manchester City were unable to sustain their title challenge toward the end of the season. This year, Wenger believes that his team has the best combination of talent and experience since the Invincibles team that last brought Arsenal a League Championship. However, Manchester United and Manchester City have both strengthened their squads considerably.
My Arsenal-fan friends mostly remain adamant that Wenger is the right man still, though their patience is wearing thin and while this is an admittedly small sample size, Arseblog seems to confirm this sentiment as well. Fans of the team are almost as committed to the philosophy of youth development as Wenger. Citing past successes of Manchester United and Barcelona as support of that method. The reality is that Arsenal, like other teams owned by billionaires, is a buying team. They spend time developing youth players and those players largely end up playing somewhere else because Mezut Ozil or Santi Cazorla was purchased instead. It’s the cold, hard reality of the modern Premier League. Teams want to develop internally, but nowadays, even Barcelona is shipping out it’s youth products and buying success.
The other unmentioned aspect of the upcoming season is that the European players had a real holiday this summer, meaning that there was ample to rest and heal. No World Cup or European Championship to distract everyone. Having said that, the North and South Americans may not feel as rested as they would like, but on the whole, players are coming back from a nice summer break and good off-season.
This upcoming season will remain Chelsea’s to lose. Until someone can prove that they can win a Mourinho style war of attrition (boring, boring Chelsea), I would put Chelsea at the top.