Arsenal are the title underdogs; now is the time to back them
Despite a disappointing loss to Chelsea in China Arsenal have had a positive preseason and Gooners the world over will rightly be excited about what this team can achieve this season.
Arsenal’s squad has never looked stronger since the move to the Emirates with the arrival of Alexandre Lacazette, a consistent and prolific goalscorer, and Sead Kolasinac, arguably one of the best left backs in the Bundesliga last season. It is possible that Arsenal’s summer business is complete until some squad players make moves elsewhere but as is Arsenal’s squad looks strong.
Rumoured to be on Wenger’s shopping list are defensive midfielders in Porto’s William Carvalho and Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic, Monaco’s wing ace Thomas Lemar and long-term target Riyad Mahrez. It is expected that Arsenal will bring in at least one more top class player before the window shuts, but perhaps more importantly it looks like Wenger will keep hold of Alexis and Özil as promised.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lucas Perez, Jack Wilshere and Mathieu Debuchy could possibly depart the club and if that is the case Arsenal may need to look at their homegrown quota. It makes sense then that Arsène Wenger is showing an interest in Ross Barkley and could enter a straight fight for the Everton man’s signature with Tottenham.
Given the strengthening Arsenal have made this summer and the renewed ability to keep hold of their best players it would seem foolish to write Arsenal off as title contenders but the bookies don’t appear to share that belief. Scouring the market and looking at a large variety of football bets you can easily find excellent odds on Arsenal winning the title. Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchesters City and United are coming in at shorter odds than Arsenal and Liverpool. You can still get the Gunners for an amazing 12/1 to lift their 14th league title in May 2018. That surely is worth a punt as Arsenal’s hopefully one season stint in the Europa League will see them playing more games on Sundays. This can be looked at in various ways but the positive perspective is that it will give Arsenal clarity of focus and objective to play a significant bulk of their games knowing what their rivals have already achieved – or failed to.
There is an odd feeling around Arsenal at the moment, an almost disappointed air lacking in expectation or belief. Perhaps the shock of falling out of the Champions League has rattled the supporters and the media and gambling markets are reacting to that lack of confidence but let us not forget that Arsenal have won the FA Cup three times out of the last four so 80/1 on a Premier League and FA Cup double seems a little mean. The Premier League will be a huge priority for Arsenal as the surest way to get back into the Champions League is to finish first domestically.
A treble seems unlikely but Arsenal’s squad is seriously rich in talent and the new formation is paying dividends. Another trophy would be a successful season for Arsenal but the real aim will be the Premier League. With the players we have, and the motivation from last year’s ignominious league placing, I’m not putting it past this team to win a double at the least.
Come on you Gunners!
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