So Arsenal have their handpicked successor to Arsene Wenger in former PSG, Sevilla and Valencia boss Unai Emery, but how are the Gunners set to fair next season?
We take an early look at the Arsenal betting for 2018-19 and what market says about the new era at the Emirates Stadium.
No running before Gunners can walk in title race
Wenger is some act to follow, yet not even the most ardent Arsenal support can really say they have been credible challengers for the Premier League title for some time.
Emery will be under no illusions about how tough it will be to make progress on the domestic scene. Although odds-on at 2/9 with Betfred to replicate another top six finish next term, Arsenal are as big as 25/1 in the outright Premier League win market if you fancy a bet on football with Coral.
The Gunners were 37 points off the blistering pace Manchester City set last season and weren’t alone in being unable to keep up with them. They were also a dozen shy of the top four, however, with a vastly inferior goal difference to the likes of Liverpool, North London rivals Spurs and Manchester United.
Getting back into the Champions League is the obvious progress target for Emery. There are two ways he can achieve this with Arsenal. We’ll look at the alternative route he’s well-versed in later but doing so via improving their Premier League position and a top four finish is rated a best price 11/4 chance with Betway.
Europa expert at Emirates helm
What’s the first thing Gunners fans clutched at when Emery was appointed? His European pedigree. Zinedine Zidane’s recent Champions League hat-trick with Real Madrid completed in May isn’t the first time in modern football that a club has won three consecutive European trophies.
Emery steered Sevilla to a trio of Europa League wins during his tenure in Andalusia, eclipsing one of his predecessors in Juande Ramos who had taken the team to back-to-back triumphs in the old UEFA Cup. Now it’s Arsenal who are beneficiaries of this Europa expert.
Given his previous successes in the secondary European club competition, it’s no surprise to find the Gunners prominent in the betting. BetVictor offer best odds of 10/1 that Arsenal lift the Europa League in 2018-19 which means they’re second-favourites.
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Emery inherits a squad of players from Wenger who lost to eventual competition winners Atletico Madrid, though the Gunners won’t come up against Diego Simeone’s well-drilled side again unless they drop down from the Champions League this coming season. The point is Arsenal went close to Europa League glory last term when reaching the semi-finals, so should be clear contenders again.
There are always conflicting priorities on a manager, though, and Emery will have to decide if enhancing his personal Europa record is more important than re-establishing the Gunners on the domestic front. This backdoor route into the Champions League is something he would be foolish to ignore however well his first Premier League season with Arsenal is going.