The 2018/2019 Arsenal season was the first year under the club’s new manager Unai Emery, after more than two decades under the leadership of Arsene Wenger. Even though Arsenal reached the Europa League final, this year will be remembered as yet another unsuccessful season in which the club didn’t manage to win any major trophy. After another lacklustre campaign for the Gunners, the question now is what’s next for Arsenal?
Another Unsuccessful Season for the Gunners
Did Arsenal Underperform This Season?
While Arsenal fans are undoubtedly left disappointed after the 2018/2019 season, did the club really have the potential to perform better than it did? Looking at the past few seasons, Arsenal have been on a slow and steady decline and haven’t won a major trophy in the last decade, apart from a couple of FA Cup wins. Taking into consideration that this was Unai Emery’s first season and that he is still in the process of getting familiar with Arsenal and the Premier League in general, it’s understandable that the club didn’t achieve any major success this year.
A Quick Look at the Club’s Odds Last Year
Looking at the odds for the 2018/2019 season, Arsenal weren’t really a favourite among bookmakers, who placed the team between the fourth and sixth position. Finishing in fifth place, it’s safe to say that Arsenal met the experts’ expectations. If we take a look at the odds for the upcoming season, most major betting sites place the team around sixth place, which is probably the most realistic position considering the team’s play over the last few years.
For those looking to bet on Arsenal for the 2019/2020 season or just want to get a feel of how the club will fare according to the bookies, the odds of the team winning the Premier League trophy are between 25-1 and 48-1, depending on the site. These odds are subject to change as there’s still a lot of time until the next season starts. They are available at most reputable UK betting sites and can be wagered on using a variety of payment methods, including e-wallets like PayPal. PayPal betting is reliable and is one of the most trustworthy and reputable payment methods for online sports bettors.
The Biggest Issues Going into the Future
Arsenal has been plagued with pretty much the same problems over the last decade or so. No matter how hopeless the future may seem for Arsenal fans, the club can still turn it around with a few right adjustments. Here are some of the biggest questions and issues the club’s management needs to resolve going into the next season.
Who Can Replace Petr Cech as the First Goalkeeper?
Petr Cech announced a few months ago that he would be retiring after this season. The legendary Czech goalkeeper was one of the best Arsenal players in the last couple of seasons and his retirement could be a big problem for Emery going into the 2019/2020 season. The club’s next best goalkeeper, Bernd Leno, has started the majority of matches this season but still hasn’t proven to be as reliable as Cech in crucial moments. While Leno and the reserve goalkeeper, David Ospina, could be considered very good options for most Premier League sides, the club should consider bringing in a big-name goalkeeper if they want to make the extra push towards contendership.
Does Mesut Ozil Have a Future at Arsenal?
Over the past season, Unai Emery has struggled to integrate Mesut Ozil in his system. Although the German international is still one of the best midfielders in the world, this was one of his weakest seasons in recent memory, with only six goals and three assists in 34 appearances this year. However, over the past few weeks, Emery has tried to re-incorporate Ozil into the starting lineup, which may be a sign that the manager has had a change of heart when it comes to Ozil’s future at the club. With Ozil’s weekly salary of £350,000, the club will need to make a firm decision regarding their expectations of the player and his role going into the next season.
The Defensive Line Has to Improve
Looking at some of Unai Emery’s teams from the recent years, it’s clear to see that he likes to set up his team’s offensive tactics to start from the defensive line and build up the attack from the defence. It can be very successful when done right, but Arsenal currently doesn’t have the right defensive players who could carry out this style of football. Laurent Koscielny is the closest thing the club has to a ball playing central defender. Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi are quality players, but have been prone to mistakes at times and aren’t that reliable with the ball for longer periods of time.
The Club Needs to Get Rid of Excessive Contracts
As we’ve mentioned before, Mesut Ozil is one of the top earning players in the football world, with a weekly salary of £350,000. Besides Ozil, there’s a number of players that are earning six-figure amounts each week. This, combined with large transfer flops over the past five years and bad decisions coming from the top, have overburdened Arsenal’s budget and lowered the club’s options on the transfer market. Despite Arsenal being one of the richest clubs in the world, the club’s management will have to resolve the pressing issue of wage restrictions before Unai Emery could bring any new signings to the club.