One could hazard a guess that the number of Arsenal fans who believe the Gunners will win the league next season falls within a very small percentage. There is, of course, some sense of renewed hope with the appointment of Unai Emery, although it remains to be seen whether he will be able to recalibrate the squad, or simply paper over the cracks.
As the World Cup is on the horizon, it might take a little longer than usual for Premier League sides to furnish their squads with new players. Arsenal fans won’t be alone in hoping that the team that starts the new season is markedly different than the one that ended the previous one. The arrival of Stephan Lichtsteiner looks like a shrewd move, with many fans sure to check out his Arsenal debut in the summer friendlies with free live streaming sports, but more work will need to be done before fans truly start believing again.
Arsenal given longest odds in a generation
Despite the fact we know their will be a flurry of transfer activity after the World Cup, a handful of major bookmakers have released their odds for the new season. For Arsenal fans, the odds will either make for grim reading or encourage those optimistic fans that the bookmakers have it wrong. The basic take-away is that Arsenal are huge long-shots to win the Premier League next year.
The biggest odds you can find on the Gunners are 28/1 (Bet365), whereas the lowest odds seem to be coming from William Hill (20/1). That’s likely to be the biggest price for an Arsenal Premier League title win in over two decades. A caveat for the reader however: With the exception of Manchester City, nearly all teams have been given relatively big odds to win the league thanks to the latter’s dominance last season. For example, both Spurs and Chelsea are widely available at 16/1. Runners-up Manchester United can be backed at 7/1. City are odds-on at 4/6 with most bookies.
Top 4 takes on new significance in 2018/19 season
It’s clear by any objective measure that it will be a huge shock if Arsenal won the league in 2018/19. However, there is still the matter of that ‘4th place trophy’, a taunt levelled so many time at Arséne Wenger over the last decade, but one that most Gunners fans would gladly receive right now. As you might expect, Arsenal are sixth out of the so-called ‘Big 6’ in the betting markets for this. The biggest odds available are coming from Betway, who go 11/4 for Arsenal to get back into the Champions League spots. Bet365 are a little more cautious, putting Arsenal at 2/1 to make the Top 4.
Are we reading too much into this? Isn’t it too soon to be thinking about next season when Arsenal could look completely different? Perhaps. However, those odds act of indication not only of where the bookmakers think Arsenal are currently positioned, but also where they think Arsenal will be in just over two months’ time. That suggests Emery, the board and, indeed, the current crop of players have plenty of work to do to shift those expectations. There is nothing to say that those odds won’t tumble in the coming weeks, but everyone connected with Arsenal will have to do their bit to make it happen.