This time last year, Arsenal fans were frothing at the mouth, calling for Arsene Wenger to step down and planning protests to express their anger with the club’s lack of transfer activity.
On Sunday, 35,000 Gunners supporters bounced out of Wembley convinced they have the squad to genuinely challenge for the Premier League title this season following the 3-0 victory over champions Manchester City in the Community Shield.
Alexis Sanchez has arrived to spice up their attack, Aaron Ramsey has picked up where he left off last term and Mesut Ozil returns this summer as a World Cup winner with a year of Premier League experience under his belt.
The addition of fitness expert Shad Forsythe to the backroom team has also offered encouragement that the Gunners could avoid the annual injury crisis that usually corresponds with a drop in form.
In the first-half against City, Arsenal played with the attacking skill, technique and speed that the fans want to see. Sanchez provided the pace that has been missing since Theo Walcott’s knee injury in January, the midfielders interchanged with slick passing and movement with which City failed to cope.
They were up against an almost unrecognisable City defence. Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis will all expect to start when Manuel Pellegrini’s side face Newcastle next week and will form a far more stable back five.