If you’ve been trying to figure out Arsenal’s chances of winning the Premier League next season it shouldn’t really take very long. Unless Arsene Wenger does something drastic before the transfer window closes at the end of August the chances of them winning the league title, FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League will more or less be the same as last season. Since nothing much has changed, the good news for Gunners’ fans is that a Champions League spot should be very reachable at the end of the 2013/14 season.
The reasoning for their low odds of winning anything is simply because they’ve arguably taken a step backward during the offseason while the other title hopefuls have taken at least one step forward by adding proven talent to their squads. Of course, these teams such as Tottenham could also end up losing elite players before the transfer window slams shut. For example, there’s a good chance Gareth Bale could be on the move before the season kicks off.
But realistically, if Arsenal finished 16 points behind Manchester United last season, there’s little hope they’ll do much better this campaign. Arsenal’s top competition for a second, third, or fourth-place finish are Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham, and Liverpool. All of these clubs have made several changes to their rosters during the offseason and are stronger for it. And let’s face it, the rest of the teams that make up the Premier League are rather mediocre with some of them not even being up to that level.
This means Arsenal has to at least keep pace with City, Spurs, Chelsea and Liverpool when it comes to strengthening their squad. But as of Aug. 7 they simply haven’t done it by adding just one player in young Frenchman Yaya Sanogo. In fact, it could be argued that the team is actually weaker than it was this time last year since numerous players have left, such as Andre Santos, Francis Coquelin, Vito Mannone, Denilson, and Andrey Arshavin.
None of this really matters though if the Gunners play up to their potential in each and every game of the season and remain injury-free. But the odds of this happening are astronomical and it’s just not going to happen. The team will have games where they play well and lose and will also pick up three points after playing poorly. That’s just the nature of sports.
If you’re n optimistic supporter there are a few reasons to believe the club will do better than last season. This could be because some of the top clubs may underestimate them and if Arsenal isn’t expected to win, there’s usually less pressure on the players. This can often result in more relaxed and successful performances. In addition, last season’s newcomers such as Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski now have a Premier League season under their belts and should feel more comfortable, which also usually leads to better results.
The same can be said of the squad’s young players such as Theo Walcott, Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere. These youngsters are gaining experience week after week and their play should show that. If the back four and keeper Wojciech Szczesny also improve on last season’s performance, it means Arsenal’s going to be a tough team to score against. They allowed just 37 league goals against in 2012/13, which was the second-best behind Man City’s 34.
To be honest, it’s still too early to give an accurate prediction on the Gunners’ chances this season and it probably will be until the transfer window closes on Aug. 31. But at this moment in time, the stars would have to align just perfectly for them to take the league title. However, other than coming in first place, they certainly have a legitimate shot at coming in between second and fourth position. This could all change suddenly though if Luis Suarez and Marouane Fellaini make their way down to London from Merseyside.