Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday has left fans dreaming of a much more productive future for the club.
The Gunners were in a mess towards the end of Unai Emery’s tenure as manager and it has taken Mikel Arteta a little while to steady the ship.
However, his methods have clearly made a huge difference and winning major silverware proves that he has things heading in the right direction.
Read on as we assess the latest state-of-play at the Emirates Stadium and assess Arsenal’s chances of building on their success next season.
A Roller-Coaster Ride for Arsenal
Most Arsenal fans went into last season fearing the worst, with Emery lacking the necessary skills to take the club forward.
His dismissal towards the end of November was inevitable and it is fair to say that what he left behind was not a pretty sight.
Arteta has worked hard to address the issues and although there is still plenty of work to do, the early signs are extremely promising.
Arsenal were good value for their victory over Chelsea at Wembley and their performance is an excellent foundation on which to build for next season.
Aubameyang Must Stay
Arsenal can be backed at around 5/1 to finish in the top four next season and punters can check here for football odds ahead of the big kick-off.
One of the biggest issues Arteta must address this summer is to resolve the future of star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The 31-year-old bagged 22 goals in the Premier League and his double at Wembley proved to be the difference in the cup final.
Aubameyang is believed to be holding out for a £250,000 per week contract, but that represents good value given how much it would cost to replace him.
Xhaka Highlights Arteta’s Impact
Granit Xhaka’s transformation under Arteta highlights the Spaniard’s man-management skills and may save Arsenal a big chunk of money this summer.
The Swiss midfielder had reacted angrily to being booed by fans against Crystal Palace earlier in the season and his days at the club looked numbered.
Arteta worked with Xhaka to convince him that he still had a future at the club and has been rewarded with some impressive performances over the past few weeks.
He was superb against Chelsea in the cup final and fully deserves the opportunity to have an extended run in midfield next season.
Time for Ozil to Leave
While the likes of Xhaka has proved his worth to Arteta, the same cannot be said of underachieving playmaker Mesut Ozil.
The 31-year-old didn’t play a single minute after the restart of the season and was nowhere to be seen as his teammates grafted their way to victory over Chelsea.
Ozil’s supporters will tell you he has the ability to change games in a heartbeat, but the reality is that he just doesn’t do it on a regular enough basis.
His £350,000-per-week salary is a luxury that Arsenal can ill-afford to indulge any further and they need to get him off the wage bill as soon as possible.
Key Transfer Window Ahead for Arsenal
Ozil isn’t the only deadwood that Arteta needs to shift in this summer, with another eight players believed to be in line for the chop.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Sead Kolasinac and Lucas Torreira are amongst the names being linked with moves out of the club as the manager bids to reshape his squad.
Philippe Coutinho, Thomas Partey and Willian have been strongly linked with the Gunners in the latest transfer news and each would be welcome arrivals at the club.
If Arteta can do some solid business during the summer transfer window, the club would be well placed to kick-on next term.
Improvements Elsewhere Make Things Tough
Arsenal finished 10 points adrift of the top four last season and it certainly won’t be an easy task to bridge that gap next term.
Realistically speaking, challenging Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title is unlikely to happen in the short-term.
The Gunners’ main aim will be to catch Manchester United and Chelsea, but both those clubs can be expected to improve their respective squads.
Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers are also likely to prove troublesome, further highlighting the size of the task that Arsenal face.
Arsenal 2020/21 Predictions: If Arteta can keep hold of Aubameyang and add a little more quality to his squad, Arsenal should be capable of climbing the standings.
Liverpool, City and United look nailed on to be battling for the title, leaving fourth place as a realistic target for the Gunners in the league.
Success in one of the domestic cup competitions also shouldn’t be beyond them, while a good run in the Europa League may also be on the cards.