One of the reasons why a lot of people in football were so hard on Arsenal for not winning the Premier League title last season, despite improving our finishing position again and finishing as runners up to the surprise champions Leicester City, was that it was seen as the perfect chance for us with Chelsea flopping and both of the Manchester clubs struggling.
The feeling was that the season coming up is going to be a whole lot more difficult with all of our big rivals bringing in new and highly rated managers. As well as Man City hiring Pep Guardiola, United getting Jose Mourinho and Chelsea putting Antonio Conte in charge, they are all spending big money in the transfer market too, so you can see why people think Arsenal missed a trick last year.
However, even though it is very early days and they have only just played the first of their pre-season games, the aura of renewed confidence at Chelsea is already looking deflated. Conte was clearly not happy after a fairly strong Chelsea side lost to Rapid Vienna at the weekend and as reported by Sky Sports the Italian admitted that there was a lot of work to be done.
Their second choice keeper Asmir Begovic, who played because Courtois is still on holiday after Euro 2016, also stated in an Evening Standard report that he thinks it will be some time before the new manager and the players are anything like a title winning team.
He said, “It’s going to take a bit of time, it’s a process, but so far so good and over time we’ll get better.
“A few things have changed. It’s just something we’re trying to buy into and it’s going to take a little bit of time.”
Just like with players coming from abroad it can often take a new manager some time to get used to the English Premier League and for things to settle down after a change, so can Arsenal at least relax a little about Chelsea being an obstacle to us winning the title this time?