Ahead of the summer transfer window, Arsenal are currently fourth favourites to win the 2015-16 Premier League, generally around 11/2.
No surprise that Chelsea are the favourites in the football betting tips for the Premier League title, with the current best odds for the defending champions only at 6/4.
Manchester City are second favourites as their owners can be expected to spend big this season, and a team that finished below the Gunners this past season, Manchester United, also find their odds shorter than Arsene Wenger’s side with the Red Devils expected to spend big over the next three months as well.
These odds do not reflect the performance of Arsenal over the second half of the season in which they won 12 of their last 17 Premier League games following their New Year’s Day defeat at Southampton.
A blip in May prevented Wenger’s side from stealing second place from Manchester City, but their performance over the final four months or so should give them courage to mount a serious title shot for the first time in several seasons.
2015 Summer Transfer Window
The 2015 FA Cup winners can also be expected to sign a few big names this summer – with the mega TV deal coming in in 12 months’ time and with Wenger’s reputation on being a good businessman, we can expect the French manager to invest heavily this summer in hope he doesn’t need to be ripped off when the money starts rolling in.
Currently, Arsenal look far short of being able to compete with Chelsea for the number one spot, after finishing 12 points behind Jose Mourinho’s side.
Room for Improvement
In a number of departments they fall short. David Ospina is no Thibaut Courtois, and despite the Colombian having a good record since stepping in for Wojciech Szczesny for the final 17 games, the goalkeeper does look vulnerable to the odd error and not so secure at dealing with crosses and set pieces.
As well as the ability to upgrade in goal, so is there an opportunity to improve the defence. Centre-back Per Mertesacker continues to age and his pace is really lacking versus the quick players in the Premier League. He’s been at fault for a few goals during his time at the Emirates and many Arsenal fans have called for a World Class centre-back to partner Laurent Koscielny.
Arsene Wenger doesn’t appear to have faith in either Kieran Gibbs or Nacho Monreal at left-back. Are either Premier League title-winning quality? There’s room for improvement here also.
Arsenal’s performances turned around when Francis Coquelin came into the team in late December and the young Frenchman’s performances kept him in that role until the end of the season. He’s certainly been an upgrade on Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini so far but still has a lot to learn. Wenger may want to look at an established holding midfielder to play alongside Coquelin, especially versus the top sides. Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey don’t naturally defend.
There are few concerns over the attacking midfield unit – Alexis Sanchez was one of the stars of last season, Mesut Ozil came into form at the end of it, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere have a lot to offer, and on the right wing Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all have pace and an eye for goal.
Up front, Olivier Giroud can be wasteful. The French striker’s failure to score a single goal in his last six Premier League starts may also have the manager on the look-out for a new striker this summer. At the very least, Giroud needs competition because Welbeck didn’t offer him that last season. Neither are in the same league as the likes of Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero. It’s a tough role to replace this summer with few proven quality strikers around, but it’s a position Wenger should really consider upgrading.
Can Arsenal mount a serious title challenge in 2015-16? Arsene Wenger needs to be very busy during this summer’s transfer window if that’s to happen…