Arsenal’s chances of winning a first Premier League title since 2003-04 were already decidedly remote as it was, but the 3-1 defeat to Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium extinguished the last remaining hopes.
There’s still plenty left to play for in the current campaign, with Champions’ League qualification via either a top four Premier League finish or by winning the Europa League now being the priority.
For the hopelessly optimistic among the Gunners’ faithful, you can now back Arsenal at odds as big as 125/1 (with Bet Victor) to win the Premier League. More realistically, a ‘Top 4’ finish can be backed at 6/4 with Paddy Power, whilst Europa League success is a 6/1 shot with William Hill (which looks less than generous with the likes of Atletico Madrid, Napoli and Borussia Dortmund all potentially destined for the competition via the Champions’ League).
Anyone predicting a fourth FA Cup success in five seasons will be tempted by the 10/1 offered by Bet Victor and you can get a tempting 7/1 with Unibet for Carabao Cup glory. All those betting odds will be subject to change over the coming days and weeks, so be sure to check out the Freebets.co.uk Arsenal team page for all the very latest bookies prices and football news from a Gunners perspective.
Events off the pitch could be equally fascinating at the club over the coming months, with changes clearly afoot at the Emirates Stadium.
It seems increasingly unlikely that either Alexis Sánchez or Mesut Özil will still be Arsenal players by the time the 2017-18 season gets underway. Speculation that either player could be sold in the New Year seems wide of the mark, with Arsène Wenger being unlikely to sanction any sales with so much left to play for this term and with the January transfer window being notoriously difficult to sign top quality players should he require replacements.
From the player’s viewpoint, both Sánchez and Özil could almost certainly get better personal terms by moving at the end of the season on free transfers (and they can of course agree a pre-contract from January), so there’s little benefit in either seeking a move prior to then.
The summer transfer window could be hugely significant for Arsenal’s future, with the comings and goings being a good indication as to how the club will operate post-Wenger.
With Aaron Ramsey, Petr Cech, Danny Welbeck, Nacho Monreal and Theo Walcott all out of contract in 2019, the club will want to avoid a repeat of the contract situations with Sánchez and Özil, so there could potentially be some significant changes to the Gunners squad on the horizon should the players they want to keep not put pen to paper on new deals.
The imminent arrivals of Sven Mislintat as head of recruitment and Raul Sanllehi (Barcelona’s former Director of Football) as head of football relations, added to the earlier appointments of Jens Lehmann (first-team coach), Darren Burgess (Director of high performance) and Huss Fahmy (contract negotiator) are further signs of the club’s gradual transition process towards the eventual departure of Arsene Wenger.
Wenger’s announcement that he is set for an end of season review was seen by some as an indication that he might be leaving halfway through his current (and surely final) two-year contract, but this is just his customary annual review and is unlikely to signal anything more contentious taking place.
There’s no clear favourite in the managerial betting odds as to Wenger’s successor as yet, with Thomas Tuchel, Diego Simeone, Patrick Vieira, Massimiliano Allegri and Carlo Ancelotti being among the market leaders at present.