The Premier League season kicks back into life this weekend with the trip to Watford. There’s no question that we’re in a better position to challenge for the top four. At the start of the season, that prospect seemed unlikely. Not impossible, just unlikely. Bookmakers agree; our odds to win the title are anywhere between 25/1 and 40/1. I like an outsider but that’s too far outside for my liking.
While the Premier League is a step too far – even Leicester couldn’t pull this one off – with Manchester City looking the likeliest successors to Chelsea, a top four finish is within reach. But the cups are winnable, even if Wenger’s men are outsiders for domestic glory.
Other silverware is a trickier issue to gauge. I’m not putting much stock by winning the Carabao Cup; who does? Despite beating Doncaster Rovers more comfortably than the 1 – 0 scoreline reflects, only Liverpool of last season’s top seven have been eliminated which is a record that seems likely to remain intact after the next round.
A favourable draw against Norwich City seems likely to push us into the last eight but a quick look at the remaining teams suggests its going to be hard work to lift the trophy. The current top five are all in the draw and all have winnable ties. If any are beaten in fourth round .
Then again, we said that about the FA Cup when we were very much the underdogs in the last four in 2016/17. At Watford the back three which marshalled the Chelsea attack so well is likely to be reunited. We’re getting the band back together although the blackmail Jake and Elwood needed wasn’t needed.
We’re 8/1 to retain the FA Cup this season which are quite generous odds. Use this Ladbrokes promotional code to exploit their current generosity.
To put this one into context, recent research suggests it’s a 5/1 shot that Elon Musk’s claim that we’re living in some sort of Truman Show simulation is right. Great, so we’re all Jim Carrey.
Derided by the many and cherished by few, the Europa League seems to be Arsenal’s best chance of glory this season. Two wins in their opening games means that back-to-back wins over Red Star Belgrade will ease the Gunners into the knockout phase. Will Bayern Munich or Barcelona drop out of the Champions League to haunt Arsenal?
Ladbrokes has Arsenal as clear favourites to win the tournament at 6/1 with only AC Milan running them close. The clubs to fear are those who finish third in their Champions League groups. Napoli, Atletico Madrid, Dortmund or Tottenham, are the stern test which await the Gunners. The remainder are all teams Arsenal can beat. Or at least, are capable of beating.
This is Europe; Arsenal are quite handy at loading the gun and shooting themselves in the foot.
Wenger’s personal CV has a gaping continental trophy-sized hole in it with time fast running out for him to rectify that. The Champions League remains a pipe dream. That situation isn’t likely to improve (much) after his departure either.
Arsenal won the Europa League before in its various guises. The Fairs Cup of 1970, the Cup Winners Cup in 1994. Twenty-fours the gap between those two. 2018 is twenty-four years on from that heroic night in Copenhagen.
Dare Arsenal dream? Do dare, do dare…