There are a couple of reports doing the rounds of the football media today, both in a similar vein, that suggest to me that it will be a lot harder for Arsenal to win the Premier League title next season. It is not that the Gunners are not improving because I really believe that we are, but that the last two seasons have seen a golden opportunity for a club like Arsenal to take advantage of the struggles of their rivals.
Jose Mourinho and Chelsea were lucky enough to benefit this season from all the other big clubs leaving the door wide open. The former Everton and Man United manager David Moyes has claimed that the Premier League is probably as poor this season as it has been since it began over 20 years ago, as a report in The Mirror explains.
Moyes said, “It’s as poor a Premier League as I’ve seen for… maybe since the start of the Premier League.
“When you think of the great players who have graced the Premier League and the teams… I look at this year, and I look back, and I say ‘Well I don’t see that’.
“I see good teams, very good teams, and some great players, but I just don’t see the competition the way it was in years gone by.”
The struggles of all the English clubs in the Champions League and Europa League would seem to back up this claim as well and I reckon you could say the same of last season. Arsenal raced into the lead and would probably have stayed there but for the injury crisis, but we did that without Alexis Sanchez and with Ozil struggling to settle so you could say that it was a golden opportunity for us. Man City eventually stumbled over the line but it was a very winnable season for a consistent team, just like this time.
But next season could be a different animal and according to Mourinho, as a report by ESPN reveals, it almost certainly will be as he feels that Arsenal, Liverpool and both the Manchester clubs will strengthen this summer and be closer to the title.
He said, “It’s even more difficult to dominate than before. How can you speak about domination when everyone knows what will happen next summer?
“Arsenal have a phenomenal squad. Thierry Henry said they need four top-class players. Give Arsenal four top-class players and I think they will again be the ‘Invincibles’.
“Man United have a phenomenal squad, including the most expensive player in the history of the Premier League [Angel Di Maria], who is not playing.
“They are a club where financial fair play doesn’t make a huge difference for them and they will invest hugely again in the summer. Man City have done phenomenally, winning two titles in three years, and people say they will invest hugely.
“Liverpool is fighting for the title for many years. So next year it will be even more difficult for everyone than this year.”
I know that the Chelsea boss is playing down his chances of back to back titles here but he is also, inadvertently I suppose, admitting that Chelsea have had it easy this year. With a bit better timing that could have been Arsenal, either this time or last time, but from now on we are going to have to do things the hard way.
Oh well, bring it on I say!