Team Specials: Arsenal can capitalise on rivals’ reshuffling
With change very much le mode du jour amongst the upper echelons of the Premier League, Arsenal’s may be well placed to end a silverware drought that stretches back to 2005 next season.
Manchester City are in a state of relative inertia as the they attempt to wrestle Manuel Pellegrini away from Malaga, while Jose Mourinho has inherited a squad that he feels need substantial additions – and a subsequent clearout – and which underperformed domestically last year.
Both Chelsea and City may be hindered rather than helped by signings initiated by their respective boards as opposed to managers, a state of play lamented by former City boss Roberto Mancini and Blues gaffer Carlo Ancelotti.
Ex-Everton boss David Moyes is making a huge step up in assuming the managerial reins at Old Trafford, and Manchester United will surely be at their most vulnerable in the Scots’ inaugural season.
Clearly the Gunners need to strengthen in forward positions, but they do not appear to be as susceptible to losing their leading players as in previous seasons. Losing key players such as Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie has been a familiar tale for the club in recent seasons, which has undoubtedly had a knock-on effect for the remainder of the squad heading into the following season.
Recruiting top talent shouldn’t prove a significant obstacle after the club secured fourth place in the league, ensuring Champions League football at the Emirates next term.
The club are 200/1 to complete a cup double involving the Champions League, with the other prize being either the FA Cup or League Cup.
Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis has gone on record as saying: “This year we are beginning to see something we have been planning for some time – the escalation in our financial firepower.” He cited improved commercial revenues by way of evidence.
The Gunners appear best placed to capitalise on change at the top, and are 125/1 to achieve a Premier League-FA Cup double, a feat Wenger achieved in 1997/98.
The more likely hope for the north London side is a domestic cup double, available at 50/1, while optimists may be tempted to pop a small amount on the hallowed treble of Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup success, at 2000/1.
Sceptics doubting the club’s ability to compete can get 1/4 on the club winning no trophies in 2013/14.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing