the Premier League’s big kick-off just around the corner, nothing can top all talking points than build-up and predictions for what should be another thrilling season.

And following Andy Gray’s backing of the Gunners on Tuesday, yet another Scottish pundit – in Bobby McMahon – has tipped Arsenal for bigger and better things next season.

It now looks as though mixed previews have been drawn about Arsene Wenger’s side for the upcoming campaign. These are forecasts so different as some say: “Arsenal for the top four drop” while others insist: “Gunners for the title”.

Bobby McMahon is a renowned analyst on America’s biggest football broadcaster, Fox Soccer Channel.

McMahon traditionally unleashes his previews for all twenty Premier League clubs at this time of the year, and for whatever reason, has made the bold prediction of Arsenal being odds on to lift the title next season.

Here is what Bobby’s crystal-ball says – a gut feeling several gooners may not even dare to have.


Past performances: 1st, 2nd, 4th, 4th, 3rd, 4th
Rear View Mirror: Scored more away goals last season than any other Premier League team — 37.
Top scorer last season: Robin van Persie 11
Front door: Thomas Vermaelen
Back door: Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Toure, Amaury Bischoff, Rui Fonte, Fran Merida (loan)
Win the title? 8/1
Fire the Manager! Arsene Wenger 25/1

Synopsis: In sharing my forecast for Arsenal with colleagues I have been accused of (a) ingesting illegal substances, (b) drinking water with mind altering properties and (c) having just plain lost it.

Admittedly it is a prediction that is made without strong conviction, but frankly I cannot believe the herd mentality that has already written off Arsenal not only as possible contenders, but as a top four team.

The merchants of doom seem to be basing much of their case on Arsenal’s inexperience and Wenger’s reticence to bring in a couple of key players. I would contend that it is Arsenal’s youth that makes such a compelling case for the team to improve this season rather than going in to reverse. After all, this is a side that improved markedly over the course of last season.

Admittedly 14 games into the season is an arbitrary mark, but that proved to be Arsenal’s darkest hour last season. At that stage Liverpool and Chelsea each had 33 points (puts Scolari’s early returns in a different perspective as well perhaps?), Manchester United 28 and Arsenal 23. Everton at that point had 19 points and Villa 24.

Over the remaining 24 games Arsenal and Liverpool only lost one game apiece, although they did rack up ten and eight draws, respectively. Points-wise United steamrolled their way to another 62 points, Liverpool 53, Chelsea 51, Arsenal, 49, Everton 44 and Villa 38. Was this the performance of a side in terminal decline?

If (a) Eduardo stays injury free, (b) Arshavin builds on an impressive second half of the season and (c) Wenger picks up an experienced (and top class) defender and a midfielder before the end of August, then some folks might make a tidy profit at odds of 8/1.

Season’s narrative: Arsene Wenger, genius or cheapskate?

Prediction: 1st


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