A Look At Where Experts Have Arsenal Finishing The Season & Where Fans Think We’ll Finish
It can be very frustrating being a Gunner when it comes to the Premier League. You could argue we have been the most consistent club over the past decade, who else can say that they always finish in the top 4? Manchester United have missed out twice in the past three seasons, while Chelsea finished 10th last season when they were the reigning champions.
After many years of finishing fourth, we finally finished second, behind Leicester city by 10 points. Although you have to respect Leicester for how they won the league, but if we had a top quality striker we could have won the league. Hopefully, Wenger has improved our Premier League odds by signing Lucas Pérez, to become our new goal scoring machine, and Shkodran Mustafi to partner Laurent Koscielny and ensure we’re solid at the back.
Many of the pundits on BBC Sport expect us to finish fourth place behind a top three of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea respectively. It’s hard to argue with their logic as all three clubs have hired new managers, Pep Guardiola at City and Jose Mourinho at United are arguably the two best managers in the world right now, and proven winners everywhere they’ve been. Then there’s Antonio Conte at Chelsea who is an unknown entity in the Premier League but has won the Serie A three times and the Supercoppa Italiana twice during his reign at Juventus.
All three clubs have also spent big money on players, most of whom were in before the season started, while Wenger waited a little longer to get the two players he really needed. Another talking point is that Arsene Wenger is currently in the last year of his contract, so unless he is to sign another extension, he really needs to achieve something big as a way to end his 21 year legacy at the helm of the club.
After a perfect pre-season our opening fixture against Liverpool left a little to be desired. Although there were some great performances from Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Chambers, it’s never good to lose 3-4 at home on the opening day but we were short of defensive options as Chambers and Rob Holding (who also made his debut) were our centre-back pairing who had never played together before.
Then in our next match we had to settle for a 0-0 draw away at Leicester. They are the reigning champions and we were the only team to beat them twice last season.
Since then we have earned two crucial wins on the bounce, first a 1-3 away win at Watford with Cazorla, Sánchez and Özil scoring the crucial goals, followed by a 2-1 win at home to Southampton with Cazorla and Koscielny scoring on that occasion.
Where We Will Finish
There’s still a long way to go but, if we can remain as consistent as we have in the past two games, then we should do well and finish in the top 4. The toughest opponents will be Man City as Guardiola has them playing really well already. Although, City’s new goalkeeper Claudio Bravo looks vulnerable in goal and has been criticised as such, any team who capitalises on that can beat City.