Friday August 7
For our 2015-16 Arsenal F.C. Fantasy Preview, we turned to community member, fantasy enthusiast and livelong Gunners fan A.Timberlake, who prepared an incredible piece for us. Enjoy!
Following successive FA Cup and Community Shield victories for the second season running, Arsenal come into the new campaign riding a wave of optimism and good form. Just as importantly, the Gunners have emerged from a fine preseason nearly free of injury, with Wilshere being the only casualty receiving a hairline fracture during training (Welbeck still rehabbing last year's knee injury and Sanchez is back in training). With the club and manager now the record FA Cup winners respectively, the challenge for both this season will be to mount a sustained title challenge. The last two seasons have seen Arsenal perform a footballing Jekyll and Hyde, putting together stellar half seasons which if extrapolated over a full season would have seen them finish as champions, but in actual fact saw them botch the other halves and ultimately fall well short of their rivals. Having proclaimed this his greatest squad since the ‘Invincibles,’ it is now up to Arsène Wenger and co. to fire straight off the blocks this season and to carry it all the way through until May. If they do not, there will be few excuses to be made. As is always the case with the Gunners, the health of the club’s star players will be key to any success.
After opening at home to West Ham, Arsenal face a moderately difficult start to the new campaign, playing both Liverpool and Chelsea in their next five matches. The good news is that the first half of the season sees Arsenal face the majority of their sterner tests at home, with only a trip to the champions to negotiate from last season’s top six. The Gunners must insure they aren’t playing catch up come the New Year.
Nickname: The Gunners
Manager: Arsène Wenger
2014-15 Finish: 3rd (75 points, 22-9-7 record)