The last few seasons have been hard to bear for Arsenal fans, as the Gunners have struggled from disappointing result to disappointing result under veteran boss Arsene Wenger.
Finishing outside the top four of the Premier League in consecutive campaigns has also not helped the atmosphere amongst the fans. However, since the appointment of Spanish boss Unai Emery there seems a freshness about the team from north London.
Positive pre-season so far
The Gunners have enjoyed a largely positive pre-season, with the team gaining vital minutes and producing some good displays. The performances of the likes of youngsters Emile Smith-Rowe and Matteo Guendouzi have been particular highlights at times.
The team seem far more positive, which is no doubt helped by the less toxic atmosphere of the fans. Some may say that the atmosphere should not affect the players, but they are only human, so it must have affected some of them.
Players still to join the squad
Not all the Gunners players have featured on their recent tour. Lucas Torreira, Nacho Monreal and Granit Xhaka amongst others have yet to play in pre-season due to their World Cup commitments.
No doubt new boss Emery will not be able to assess his squad until everybody has returned from the World Cup. Only then can he decide who will start in the Gunners opening Premier League game against Manchester City next weekend.
The north London side has a tough opening few games, with a visit to Chelsea following that opening game against City. Emery will need all of his players at their best to make a positive start to the Premier League campaign.
Difficult to get a top-four spot
The Gunners remain odds of 2/1 to claim a Champions League spot in the English top-flight in the new season, despite the positives of Emery’s arrival and their decent pre-season displays.
It will once again be very difficult for the team from north London to seal a top-four finish in the new season. However, the change of boss could be a catalyst to the Gunners producing a far more positive campaign in the season.
It will be interesting to see the effect that Emery has on the team’s performances when the actual real action kicks off. If the Spaniard manages to return the Gunners to the top four, then he will have achieved his short-term objective.
Can the positive atmosphere around the Gunners help the team achieve a top-four finish in the new season?