After a fairly low-key and disappointing Euro 2016 tournament in France, in which our country again let everyone down again, thoughts are turning to the new Premier League season, which begins in just over a month. We finished last season well, and finished ahead of Tottenham – which has been almost guaranteed in recent seasons.
However, a second placed finish shouldn’t overlook the fact that for large parts of last year, we struggled to take the initiative when none of the other major clubs wanted to capitalize on an open competition and win the Premier League.
England’s woes meant that Roy Hodgson left his job as manager, and Arsene Wenger has been linked with replacing him. The Frenchman has just a year remaining on his current contract, though at the start of the summer he looked like he was building a side that will finally win a league title for the first time since 2004. He started the summer by signing Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach. The Swiss international will bring us a great deal of steel and technical ability in central midfield, and if Jack Wilshere can stay fit then the duo could create one of the most feared pairings thought the division. Xhaka will also replace Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky whose contracts all expired without renewal.
Throughout the upcoming season, Coral offer a range of odds for those interested in Premier League betting. A variety of options are available, including in-play betting during all rounds of matches. There are also outright bets available, such as for a top-four finish and on who’ll win the league. The Gunners are currently rated as third favourites at 11/2 behind both Manchester clubs – which is unsurprising with their spending this summer.
Any success for Arsenal is likely to depend on our consistency. In recent seasons, our campaign has tended to be let down by a lack of results when the going really gets tough. Like during a week where there is a crucial European game followed by an important league or domestic cup fixture, the squad has struggled to cope with injuries to key men like Theo Walcott.
The 2016/17 season gets off to an extremely difficult start, with a home match against Liverpool at the Emirates on the cards for Sunday 14th August. The Merseyside club will be much improved after a full pre-season with Jurgen Klopp, who transformed the club’s playing style last season.
Next up is a visit to champions Leicester City, so it is imperative that we begin the season strongly and set out a marker to our rivals that this will be our trophy. After all, with many teams in transition with new managers and players, this could be our best chance for years.